Biography: In Search of Churchill
By Martin Gilbert
In Search of Churchill was a very different kind of biography. It delved straight into the British Prime Minister and Admiral’s personal life, his family, and his character. This book was anything but a war chronology. Inside In Search of Churchill, Gilbert talks about his quest to learn about the great man. He shares with us conversations he’s had with all sorts of people regarding Winston, from Winston’s son – Randolph, to the wives of military strategists who worked with Churchill. What resulted was an entirely different type of biography. Unfortunately, it was frustrating at times. The author would finish discussing one interview, in which the subject had just gotten to Churchill accepting the Admiralty, only to talk to someone else about Winston’s childhood. To that extent, the accounts were scattered. However, the insight I gained was phenomenal.
But first, I wanted to mention how this book fit into the grand scheme. The author, Martin Gilbert is evidently a renowned historian of Winston Churchill. Gilbert probably knows more about Churchill than anyone else, in the world. This book was merely an offshoot of Giblet’s behemoth biography of Winston Churchill. That mammoth spans some eight volumes and more than 8,000 pages. It is the culmination of decades of research into the various memoirs, letters, and transcripts held in archives both public and private. Towards the end of this book, Gilbert boasted that when dignitaries like President Carter or Margaret Thatcher wanted a Churchill quote about say, atomic energy, they would send a request to him directly. Gilbert is clearly an expert.
First and foremost, Churchill leapt at me as a man of incredible wit. I had heard a few rumored anecdotes concerning Churchill, but was disappointed not read anything about them. It turns out that many of the famous interactions between a drunken Churchill and elderly women never...