Winston The Writer

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 1 2012 @ 8:16pm

Reviewing Cambridge University historian Peter Clarke's new book, Mr. Churchill's Profession, Geoffrey Wheatcroft explores the ambiguities of the Winston Churchill's literary endeavors:

"Rarely can an author’s writings have received less attention than those of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953", Clarke observes at the outset. It is idle to ask whether Churchill deserved the prize: like the outrageous praise showered on him at the time, especially in the American press, and with none more fulsome than Isaiah Berlin, it was the mood of the age. Today we can view those writings with more detachment. Churchill was a born storyteller, and an unashamed exponent of what Giovanni Giolitti called "beautiful national legends"; at one extraordinary moment in history, his faith in such legends helped save civilization.