Another book on Churchill! The heart gets that sinking feeling. There must by now be almost as many as on Napoleon, probably the most biographised of all historical figures. They range in size from Martin Gilbert’s multi–volume magnum opus to a pocket biography by the author of this review. But there is no need for the heart to sink: Geoffrey West’s admirable book is the best medium–sized biography so far written.
Professor West is a distinguished historian, old enough to have the ‘feel of the times’ of Churchill’s days of glory and sunset. As a schoolboy prizewinner in 1942, he asked for his reward to be the first volume of Churchill’s war speeches. His age gives him an advantage over the