From The Telegraph:
‘Churchill so evidently enjoyed the war that I could never like him,’’ wrote James Lees-Milne, the diarist. ‘‘I merely acknowledge him, like Genghis Khan, to have been great.’’ Max Hastings, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, has similarly conflicted views about Churchill, readily accepting him as ‘‘one of the greatest human beings of the 20th century, indeed of all time’’, yet also dwelling at great length in this book on his perceived strategic failures and personality defects.
In a sense, Hastings has been researching this book for the 30 years that he has been writing about the Second World War, and the depth of the scholarship shows on every page. It is phenomenally difficult to unearth fresh stories and anecdotes about a man as widely and deeply covered historically as Winston Churchill, yet Hastings succeeds again and again. Few will agree with all his often contentious theories about Churchill, but none can fail to admire his archival tenacity and sheer authorial reach. His chapter on Churchill in Athens in Christmas 1944 is worth the price of the book alone.