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Churchill’s shadow


Winston Churchill towered over his own age, when he was variously described as ‘the saviour of his country’, ‘the leader of humanity’, or ‘the man of the century’. More remarkably, he has towered over fifty years and more since his since his death in 1965. He overshadows both his country, whose recent history has been called ‘an extended footnote to Churchill’, and the United States, where a great cult of Churchill has burgeoned. This account of Churchill’s life and afterlife has been more than ten years in the making. It is not a conventional biography but an account of Churchill’s long life, the cult that arose almost immediately after his death, and his place in popular culture, up to the Oscar-winning film ‘Darkest Hour’ in 2017.

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‘Stimulating, erudite and above all entertaining…For any reader tired of the seemlingly endless round of Churchill-worship’ Robert Harris

A radical biography for a new generation

In A.J.P. Taylor’s words, Churchill was ‘the saviour of his country’ when he became prime minister in 1940. Yet he was also a deeply flawed character.

Giving due credit to Churchill’s achievements but making no secret of his failures, Geoffrey Wheatcroft takes a radically different approach to other biographies. Going far beyond a reappraisal of a life and a career, he reveals the complex shadow Churchill has cast over post-war British history and contemporary politics.

Telling the story of Churchill’s extraordinary life and the equally fascinating one of his legacy, Churchill’s Shadow focuses on how we as a nation have been living in the grip of his self-written myth ever since his death.

‘This is the indispensable biography of Churchill for the post-Brexit 2020s’ David Kynaston, author of On the Cusp: Days of ’62

‘Wheatcroft is a skilled prosecutor with a rapier pen…this could be the best single-volume indictment of Churchill yet written’ New York Times

‘A clear-eyed, incisive and superbly balanced account of Churchill, the man and the myth’ Robert Gildea, author of Empires of the Mind

Read a sample here

Additional information

Weight 0.517 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.8 × 4 cm










941.084092 (edition:23)


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