The best Winston Churchill books 📚

Browse the best books on Winston Churchill as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Churchill: A Life

Churchill: A Life

By Martin Gilbert

Why this book?

Sir Martin Gilbert wrote the very first benchmark for Churchill's biographies. He has produced many fine works on Churchill, but this in many ways is the pinnacle of his achievements. At the time of publication, it was described as ‘By far the most lucid, comprehensive and authoritative account of Churchill that has been offered in a single volume.’

From the list:

The best books on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

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Book cover of Churchill: A Biography

Churchill: A Biography

By Roy Jenkins

Why this book?

The late politician Lord Jenkins made a name for himself with his political biographies. Churchill: A Life was the culmination of a critically successful career as a writer. Jenkins leaves no stone unturned in assessing Churchill’s thirst for political glory. Andrew Roberts called the book ‘a masterpiece.’

From the list:

The best books on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

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Book cover of Assignment: Churchill

Assignment: Churchill

By Walter Henry Thompson

Why this book?

It will take some digging, but do try to hunt this down. Thompson was assigned as Churchill's bodyguard just a week before the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference began. His account of his boss's attitudes and habits is refreshingly irreverent. (While smoking a cigar, Churchill “looked like an upholstered toad, slowly incinerating himself.”) Thompson also provides an important contemporaneous description of how T. E. Lawrence was regarded by Arabs in 1921, before either he or Churchill became enveloped in mythology.

From the list:

The best books about the fragile peace after the Great War

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Book cover of Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

By Anthony McCarten

Why this book?

A nation at war, facing seemingly insurmountable odds, with much of Europe already conquered and Germany winning every battle, triumphant over all—leaving Britain isolated, its very survival now imperiled. Yet a solitary voice defies the inevitable. “We shall never surrender,” cries Winston Churchill.  Single-handedly, Churchill turns back the voices of defeatism, standing firm against all those both in and out of his government who wanted to sue for peace with Adolf Hitler. He was defiant to the end. This is a book about England’s darkest hour, when she stood alone on the brink of catastrophe, and about one man, Winston…

From the list:

The best books about conquering adversity

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Book cover of The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume 3

The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume 3

By Winston S. Churchill

Why this book?

Leave it to Churchill to sum up the events of 1941 that determined the ultimate outcome of the war. In his words, the theme of this volume of his epic account of the war is “How the British fought on with Hardship their Garment until Soviet Russia and the United States were drawn into the Great Conflict.” Much of this consists of letters, reports, speeches, and other original documents from that period, woven together by its skillful narrator. Little wonder that Churchill was later awarded the Noble Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well…

From the list:

The best books on the view from London in 1941

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Book cover of Plain Words: A Guide to the Use of English

Plain Words: A Guide to the Use of English

By Ernest Gowers

Why this book?

I first read this as a teenager, and its wise counsel has stayed with me ever since. Gowers’ book was originally written as a guide for British government workers, to help them avoid the perils of jargon and ‘officialese’ and write in a way that colleagues and (more importantly) the person in the street could actually understand. 

The fact that I could immediately apply the ideas to my school essays shows you why this book has been continuously in print since the 1950s, and why generations of writers have found it so useful in shaping their own style. 

Practicing exactly…

From the list:

The best books to make your writing crystal clear

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