Related to: 'Empires in the Sun'

W&N

Churchill and Empire

Lawrence James
Authors:
Lawrence James

A genuinely new biography of Churchill, focusing on his contradictory and lifelong relationship with the British Empire.One of our finest narrative historians, and journalist for the SUNDAY TIMES and LITERARY REVIEW, Lawrence James, has written a genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill, set within a fully detailed historical context, but solely focusing on his relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th century, Churchill's first experience of the Empire was serving in conflicts in India, South Africa and the Sudan. His attitude towards the Empire at the time was the stereotypical Victorian paternalistic approach - a combination of feeling responsible and feeling superior. Conscious even then of his political career ahead, Churchill's natural benevolence towards the Empire was occasionally overruled for political reasons, and he found himself reluctantly supporting - or at least not publicly condemning - British atrocities.As a politician he consistently relied on the Empire for support during crises, but was angered by any demands for nationalisation. He held what many would regard today as racist views, in that he felt that some nationalities were superior to others, but he didn't regard those positions as fixed. His (some might say obsequious) relationship with America reflected that view. America was a former colony where the natives had become worthy to rule themselves, but - he felt - still had that tie to Britain. Thus he overlooked the frequently expressed American view that the Empire was a hangover from a bygone era of colonisation, and reflected poorly on Britain's ability to conduct herself as a political power in the current world order.This outmoded attitude was one of the reasons the British voters rejected him after a Second World War in which - it was universally felt - he had led the country brilliantly. His attitude remained Victorian in a world that was shaping up very differently. However, it would be a mistake to consider Churchill merely as an anachronistic soldier. He grasped the problems of the Cold War immediately, believing that immature nations prematurely given independence would be more likely to be sucked into the vortex of Communism. This view chimed with American foreign policy, and made the Americans rather more pragmatic about their demands for self-governance for Empire countries.Lawrence James has written a fascinating portrait of an endlessly interesting statesman - and one that includes tantalising vignettes about his penchants for silk underwear and champagne.

Adrian Goldsworthy

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including PAX ROMANA, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Adrian Greaves

Dr Adrian Greaves is the founder of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society and the author of numerous books on the period and South African wars.

Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the DAILY TELEPGRAPH. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University; in 2003 he was knighted for services to Franco-British relations. He died in 2017.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown whose books include EMINENT CHURCHILLIANS and SALISBURY: VICTORIAN TITAN (awarded the Wolfson Prize for History). His recent book NAPOLEON THE GREAT won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon. Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Literature and Arts. He appears regularly on British television and radio and writes for a number of national newspapers.

Anna Reid

Anna Reid was born in 1965. She read law at Magdalen College, Oxford, and took a master's degree in Russian history and reform economics from London University's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She lived in Ukraine from 1993 to 1995 where she was the Kiev correspondent for the ECONOMIST and the DAILY TELEGRAPH. She has also written for the FINANCIAL TIMES and SPECTATOR.

Anne de Courcy

Anne de Courcy is the author of thirteen widely acclaimed works of social history and biography, including THE HUSBAND HUNTERS, THE FISHING FLEET, THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS and DEBS AT WAR. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the LONDON EVENING NEWS and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the EVENING STANDARD. She is also a former features writer and reviewer for the DAILY MAIL.

Anne Somerset

Anne Somerset was born in 1955 and read history at King's College London. In 1980, her first book, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF WILLIAM IV, was published in Weidenfeld & Nicolson's KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND series. This was followed BY LADIES-IN-WAITING; a biography of Elizabeth I; UNNATURAL MURDER and THE AFFAIR OF THE POISONS. Her biography of Queen Anne, England's last Stuart monarch, was awarded the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. Until his death in 2011, Anne Somerset was married to the artist Matthew Carr. She lives in London with her daughter.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of CRETE: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), STALINGRAD (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), BERLIN: The Downfall, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN (Premio La Vanguardia), D-DAY: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARDENNES 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and ARNHEM: The Battle for the Bridges. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

Charles Spencer

Charles Spencer was educated at Eton College and obtained his degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. Since he was a boy the Battle of Blenheim has fascinated him - it was even his History O level special project - partly because of the Spencer-Churchill direct link to the engagement's prime victor, John, Duke of Marlborough. While in the middle of a seven year stint as a correspondent for NBC News in the United States, Charles Spencer inherited the ancestral home of Althorp, Northampton, which he has since restored and refurbished. He lives at Althorp and in West London with his wife, four children from his first marriage, and two stepsons. He achieved worldwide attention after speaking passionately at the funeral of his sister Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the acclaimed author of SINGAPORE BURNING and co-author of ALAMEIN: WAR WITHOUT HATE.

Dan Cruickshank

Dan Cruickshank is a regular presenter on the BBC best known for his popular BBC Two series THE BEST BUILDINGS OF BRITAIN and WHAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION DID FOR US. He is one of Britain's leading architectural and historic building experts.

David Wragg

A former contributor to THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH and THE SPECTATOR, David Wragg is the author of twenty books on aviation and naval history. His books include JANE'S AIR FORCES OF THE WORLD, THE FLEET AIR ARM HANDBOOK 1939-45, CARRIER COMBAT and WINGS OVER THE SEA.

Douglas Hurd

Douglas Hurd is a politician, biographer and novelist who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95). His previous books include his MEMOIRS, ROBERT PEEL: A BIOGRAPHY and, with Edward Young, CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS: THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY - 200 YEARS OF ARGUMENT, SUCCESS AND FAILURE and DISRAELI: OR, THE TWO LIVES.

Edward Paice

Edward Paice was a History Scholar at Cambridge and winner of the Leman prize. After a decade working in the City he spent four years living and writing in East Africa, and was the author of the first guidebook to newly independent Eritrea. He was awarded a Visiting Fellow by Magdalene College, Cambridge in 2003-4 and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives in Kent.

Edward Young

Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge, and won a Mellon Scholarship to Yale where he studied history and international relations as part of the Grand Strategy Program. He has since worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron and as Chief of Staff to the Conservative Party Chairman. At the 2017 General Election, he stood as the Conservative candidate for York Central, and he is currently the Corporate Communications Director at Tesco PLC. Edward's third book in collaboration with Lord Hurd, DISRAELI, was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, having worked as a research assistant for his biography of Sir Robert Peel, and co-authoring CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS, a history of British foreign policy.

Eric Hobsbawm

Born in Alexandria in 1917, Eric Hobsbawm was educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge. A Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he taught for most of his career at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he was Emeritus Professor of Economic and Social History. He is best known for his trilogy of studies on the long 19th century. He died in London in 2012 at the age of ninety-five.

George Goodwin

George Goodwin is a history graduate of Cambridge, where he was awarded a Foundation exhibition. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.You can follow George Goodwin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GeorgeGoodwin1 and visit his website for more information www.georgegoodwin.com.

Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas has written numerous histories on the Spanish-speaking world, including THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, for which he won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1962, CUBA: THE PURSUIT OF FREEDOM, THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO and THE SLAVE TRADE. His book THE UNFINISHED HISTORY OF THE WORLD won the first National Book Award for History in 1980. Hugh Thomas was chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies 1979-89 and was awarded a peerage as Lord Thomas of Swynnerton in 1981.