General John Strawson examines the motivatio ns, plans, actions and sayings of the 2 prominent World War 2 leaders in this study that reflects his own deep connectio ns with the period. 'General John Strawson examines the motivatio ns, plans, actions and sayings of the 2 prominent World War 2 leaders in this study that reflects his own deep connectio ns with the period. 'Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-08-31 Strawson, a retired British general and established writer of popular military history, makes no secret of his positive association with Churchillæwhich includes commanding Churchill's old regiment. This, however, is not an exercise in hagiography. Strawson presents a Churchill whose defects, like the man himself, were impossible to overlook. Churchill was impulsive and dogmatic. He exaggerated his competence in military matters, was an impossible subordinate and a difficult superior. But for Strawson, his triumph over Hitler makes Churchill the greatest Briton of the 20th century and perhaps of any other. Unlike Alan Bullock's joint biography of Hitler and Stalin, or John Lukacs's The Duel, which also focused on Churchill and Hitler, Strawson juxtaposes rather than compares his protagonists. He graphically presents Hitler's rise to power, his challenge to Britain's very existence and the ultimately narrow margin of Allied victory. In each of these contexts, however, Hitler serves essentially as a foil to Churchill. Insight into the fundamental nature of the Nazi challenge inspired Churchill's return from virtual political oblivion after a chequered career, and his unwavering direction of the war. Strawson makes an eloquent and convincing case against revisionist arguments that, between 1940 and 1945, Churchill sacrificed British interests to his own crusading ideals. This is ultimately a study in character: one flawed man possessed it; the other did not. This well-written book is a reminder that sometimes history can be simple despite scholars' best efforts to make it complex. (Oct.)
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