Richard Overy

How I Won

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing The Second World War

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 746pp £30 order from our bookshop

In 1950, reviewing the third of Winston Churchill’s six volumes on the Second World War, Michael Foot perceptively noted his ‘carefulness as an autobiographer’ and his ‘carelessness as an historian’. This is in essence the text of David Reynolds’s fascinating and equally perceptive account of how Churchill came to write what did amount to the story of ‘Churchill’s war’. Economical with the truth, eloquently silent on so many things, Churchill manufactured a legend which fifty years of subsequent scholarship has scarcely diminished.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It is one of those nice linguistic ironies that English should have attempted to make sex respectable by clothing… ,
    • 'He was to my mind the father of the idea that journalism – yes, even journalism – can have a moral dimension to it… ,
    • RT : Feeling old, as exhumes a piece I wrote 37 years ago. But a joy to see Kathy O’S there too. Here’s why:… ,
    • 'Enough of his character remains just out of reach for Barnes to relish the challenge of imagining him.' Patrick M… ,
    • RT : I did a thing about the new Penguin Book Of Oulipo for this month’s Literary Review: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,
    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,