Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill by Michael Shelden; Churchill’s First War: Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban by Con Coughlin - review by Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones

Of Love & War

Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

By

Simon & Schuster 383pp £25 order from our bookshop

Churchill’s First War: Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban

By

Macmillan 298pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Is there any aspect of Winston Churchill’s life that has escaped examination? Somewhat surprisingly, both these books suggest that there is. Michael Shelden’s biography of young Winston, down to his first fall from grace as one of the principal planners of the Gallipoli debacle in 1915, gives us Churchill the lover, while Con Coughlin focuses on his service as a junior cavalry officer in Afghanistan, fighting over the same ground where British soldiers are once again fighting and dying today.

Daily Telegraph journalists both, Shelden and Coughlin are unabashed admirers of Churchill, with Shelden, an American, emphasising his links with the USA, from his adored mother, the American beauty Jennie Jerome, onwards. Shelden’s book is from the hero-worshipping school of biography, with no hint of the kind of criticisms levelled

Sign Up to our newsletter

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

Follow Literary Review on Twitter