Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

D'Este (Patton: A Genius for War) is a master analyst of 20th-century military leadership, and this book may be his finest yet. Showing a remarkable knowledge of archival and printed sources, he tells the complex story of a statesman and warrior. As a child, Winston Churchill was "headstrong, highly opinionated, and virtually impossible to control." Those traits remained throughout a life he often regretted having spent in council chambers rather than on battlefields. His experiences as a young man in India, South Africa and the Sudan left him with both an abhorrence of war and a passion for soldiering. D'Este skillfully demonstrates how these traits shaped Churchill's persistent advocacy for preparedness and negotiation as means of averting war and his determination to see war through when deterrence failed. D'Este camouflages neither personal weaknesses nor questionable policies. But his expertise as a military historian provides contexts too often lacking in evaluating Churchill's roles in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, 1940's Battle of Britain and the D-Day invasion in 1944. Elegantly written, this tour de force belongs in every library addressing the 20th century. 16 pages of b&w photos, 9 maps. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* D'Este, a biographer of Patton and Eisenhower, has long detected an absence of objectivity about Churchill's military career. Here he astutely lauds Churchill's soldierly courage but questions how Churchill-the-politician acted as, in effect, an operational general. A list of battles he directly affected, from Antwerp in 1914 to Anzio in 1944, amounts to a record of military disaster, but D'Este weighs in the balance Churchill's attitudes toward waging war and the specific decisions he made in World War II that ultimately made him victorious. Churchill's abhorrence of inaction was evident in his youth, inducing him to seek out combat experiences he was fortunate to survive and eager to publicize. He also, D'Este argues, then formed a distrust of generals and admirals, a confidence in his own military intuition, and the flaw of dismissing military factors that bored him, such as logistics. Neither idolator nor revisionist, D'Este yields an ambivalent impression of Churchill that, while no denigration of his heroic leadership of Britain in 1940, underscores his paradoxes, such as a fascination with war's spectacle that vied with an unfeigned horror of its carnage. It is just such paradoxes that render him perennially intriguing to the reading public.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2008 Booklist


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

D'Este's superbly written and researched account of Churchill's life has a unique focus: the great Briton's war experiences, from a toddler playing with tin soldiers to a world leader fighting tyranny. D'Este has written many excellent works of military history and biography (e.g. World War II in the Mediterranean, CH, Dec'90, 28-2295), and he does not disappoint here. His ability to connect quotes, anecdotes, and narrative around his military theme and present a riveting account of Churchill's life is impressive. Although over half the book is about WW II, reflecting the author's expertise as much as his subject's life, some of the most interesting passages deal with Churchill's early years as a junior officer and war correspondent. D'Este's ability to craft the character of Churchill from a young age and trace his martial ethos through imperial service to Parliament and then to senior leadership makes this an innovative and convincing book. D'Este missed an opportunity by neglecting Churchill's later military roles, such as his 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech, or his second term as prime minister. Whether as a subaltern or supreme commander, Churchill was always an aggressive and innovative warrior. D'Este brilliantly tells his story anew. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. J. Tucci School of Advanced Air and Space Studies


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Over 500 books have been written--just in English--recounting the life and career of Winston Churchill, undoubtedly one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Thus one might ask whether we need yet another thick tome dedicated to his exploits. In this case, yes, we do! D'Este, a military historian of tremendous skills, has already crafted impressive and massive biographies of George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower. Now, he turns his manifold talents to examining the military career of Churchill, who considered himself above all a soldier first and a statesman second. Churchill never forgot his experiences either in the Boer War as a young soldier or in the decidedly unhappy Gallipoli Campaign in World War I, where his decisions as First Lord of the Admiralty led to the remarkable and deadly debacle in the Dardanelles. These wartime events shaped his strategic approach to the second and greatest of world wars, a conflict where his strengths and weaknesses as a leader would be clearly shown. D'Este has produced an outstanding work that should take its rightful place alongside the dozens of other studies of this most remarkable statesman. Highly recommended for all collections.--Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

D'Este (Patton: A Genius for War) is a master analyst of 20th-century military leadership, and this book may be his finest yet. Showing a remarkable knowledge of archival and printed sources, he tells the complex story of a statesman and warrior. As a child, Winston Churchill was "headstrong, highly opinionated, and virtually impossible to control." Those traits remained throughout a life he often regretted having spent in council chambers rather than on battlefields. His experiences as a young man in India, South Africa and the Sudan left him with both an abhorrence of war and a passion for soldiering. D'Este skillfully demonstrates how these traits shaped Churchill's persistent advocacy for preparedness and negotiation as means of averting war and his determination to see war through when deterrence failed. D'Este camouflages neither personal weaknesses nor questionable policies. But his expertise as a military historian provides contexts too often lacking in evaluating Churchill's roles in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, 1940's Battle of Britain and the D-Day invasion in 1944. Elegantly written, this tour de force belongs in every library addressing the 20th century. 16 pages of b&w photos, 9 maps. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* D'Este, a biographer of Patton and Eisenhower, has long detected an absence of objectivity about Churchill's military career. Here he astutely lauds Churchill's soldierly courage but questions how Churchill-the-politician acted as, in effect, an operational general. A list of battles he directly affected, from Antwerp in 1914 to Anzio in 1944, amounts to a record of military disaster, but D'Este weighs in the balance Churchill's attitudes toward waging war and the specific decisions he made in World War II that ultimately made him victorious. Churchill's abhorrence of inaction was evident in his youth, inducing him to seek out combat experiences he was fortunate to survive and eager to publicize. He also, D'Este argues, then formed a distrust of generals and admirals, a confidence in his own military intuition, and the flaw of dismissing military factors that bored him, such as logistics. Neither idolator nor revisionist, D'Este yields an ambivalent impression of Churchill that, while no denigration of his heroic leadership of Britain in 1940, underscores his paradoxes, such as a fascination with war's spectacle that vied with an unfeigned horror of its carnage. It is just such paradoxes that render him perennially intriguing to the reading public.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2008 Booklist


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

D'Este's superbly written and researched account of Churchill's life has a unique focus: the great Briton's war experiences, from a toddler playing with tin soldiers to a world leader fighting tyranny. D'Este has written many excellent works of military history and biography (e.g. World War II in the Mediterranean, CH, Dec'90, 28-2295), and he does not disappoint here. His ability to connect quotes, anecdotes, and narrative around his military theme and present a riveting account of Churchill's life is impressive. Although over half the book is about WW II, reflecting the author's expertise as much as his subject's life, some of the most interesting passages deal with Churchill's early years as a junior officer and war correspondent. D'Este's ability to craft the character of Churchill from a young age and trace his martial ethos through imperial service to Parliament and then to senior leadership makes this an innovative and convincing book. D'Este missed an opportunity by neglecting Churchill's later military roles, such as his 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech, or his second term as prime minister. Whether as a subaltern or supreme commander, Churchill was always an aggressive and innovative warrior. D'Este brilliantly tells his story anew. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. J. Tucci School of Advanced Air and Space Studies


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Over 500 books have been written--just in English--recounting the life and career of Winston Churchill, undoubtedly one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Thus one might ask whether we need yet another thick tome dedicated to his exploits. In this case, yes, we do! D'Este, a military historian of tremendous skills, has already crafted impressive and massive biographies of George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower. Now, he turns his manifold talents to examining the military career of Churchill, who considered himself above all a soldier first and a statesman second. Churchill never forgot his experiences either in the Boer War as a young soldier or in the decidedly unhappy Gallipoli Campaign in World War I, where his decisions as First Lord of the Admiralty led to the remarkable and deadly debacle in the Dardanelles. These wartime events shaped his strategic approach to the second and greatest of world wars, a conflict where his strengths and weaknesses as a leader would be clearly shown. D'Este has produced an outstanding work that should take its rightful place alongside the dozens of other studies of this most remarkable statesman. Highly recommended for all collections.--Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.