The most recommended Winston Churchill books

Who picked these books? Meet our 58 experts.

58 authors created a book list connected to Winston Churchill, and here are their favorite Winston Churchill books.
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Book cover of Churchill's Most Secret 001: The Life Story of Commander Harold Wilkinson Goulding

Duncan Falconer Author Of First into Action

From my list on providing a unique insight into military history.

Who am I?

I must be something of a specialist on the impact of conventional and guerrilla warfare on the civilian population. Truth is, leaving school, I never intended to have anything to do with war beyond the books I enjoyed reading. On leaving the military in my 30s I employed the only skills I had and managed organisations and mostly news teams operating in conflict zones all over the world. I matured into a crisis manager, responding and consulting to crisis situations such as kidnap & ransoms, and evacuations from conflict zones. Most of the characters in my books are real, good and bad, taken from the vast theatre of my own experiences. 

Duncan's book list on providing a unique insight into military history

Duncan Falconer Why did Duncan love this book?

Henry Goulding was commander of the WW2 Special Boat Service. There is a dark, incomplete story here. The real drama is hidden between the lines and yet to be proven. Henry Goulding was a friend of Churchill, accomplished spy, fiercely patriotic, yet he did something out of character when he hid a briefcase packed with top-secret documents in his attic. He was summoned to a hospital in Scotland, despite being fit and healthy, escaped after a scuffle, telephoned his wife, was returned to the hospital where he died shortly after, apparently of natural causes. His medical records have never been released. I was contacted by his granddaughter, who years later found the briefcase, and asked if I might write a more detailed book tackling the mystery behind his death, a book begun by Sir Paddy Ashdown who died before completing a chapter. 

This book is currently out of print.

Book cover of Eastern Approaches

Joanna Lillis Author Of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan

From my list on to summon up the spirit of Central Asia.

Who am I?

I am a reporter and author with a passion for seeking out stories less told, and there are plenty of those in Central Asia, where I made my home more than two decades ago: first in Uzbekistan and, since 2005, in Kazakhstan. I have found telling overlooked tales from an overlooked region that is overshadowed by its mighty neighbours – the Russian bear to the north and the Chinese dragon to the east – to be both rewarding and valuable. I hope these book selections will bring more stories about the people who populate Central Asia to the attention of readers with inquisitive minds.

Joanna's book list on to summon up the spirit of Central Asia

Joanna Lillis Why did Joanna love this book?

In the 1990s when I worked at the British Embassy in Moscow organising social functions I met a kind, elderly, white-haired man who came to visit the ambassador. Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a distinguished former diplomat, war veteran, politician, and writer, but still he found time to chat with a lowly staff member about Soviet history – and when he got home, he sent me his book. Eastern Approaches is a captivating memoir of Maclean’s diplomatic service in the USSR during Stalin’s Terror, when he sneaked undercover into Central Asia and experienced many escapades, including run-ins with the Soviet secret police. His tales of derring-do evoke a bygone age – but his expressive portrayals of the people and landscapes of Central Asia are recognisable to anyone travelling in this alluring region today. 

By Fitzroy Maclean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eastern Approaches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

70th Anniversary Edition with a New Foreword by Sunday Times Bestselling Author Simon Sebag Montefiore

'A classic' Observer | 'A legend' Washington Post | 'The best book you will read this year' Colonel Tim Collins

Posted to Moscow as a young diplomat before the Second World War, Fitzroy Maclean travelled widely, with or without permission, in some of the wildest and remotest parts of the Soviet Union, then virtually closed to foreigners. In 1942 he fought as a founder member of the SAS in North Africa. There Maclean specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and…

Book cover of Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Jennifer Kincheloe Author Of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

From my list on smart historical mysteries that start a series.

Who am I?

I’m a public health research scientist who writes humorous historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD. Like you, I read. I love smart, well-researched historical fiction with strong female protagonists and a good romantic subplot. Extra points if the book is funny because studies show laughter is good for you. 

Jennifer's book list on smart historical mysteries that start a series

Jennifer Kincheloe Why did Jennifer love this book?

In 1940 London, Maggie Hope, a brilliant mind who graduated top of her class, is recruited by Number 10 Downing Street to be…a typist. Of course. She’s a woman. She’s also a crackerjack code breaker. I think you know where this is going. The character is wonderful, the writing strong, the story tight. A highlight for me was when Maggie –a young, virginal, cerebral type—pulls off a daring motorcycle jump with a man on the back because she has to. I don’t know, I think there’s a life lesson somewhere in there.

By Susan Elia MacNeal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mr. Churchill's Secretary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BARRY AWARD WINNER • Heralding the arrival of a brilliant new heroine, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge—and the greatness that rose to meet it.

“With any luck, the adventures of red-haired super-sleuth Maggie Hope will go on forever. . . . Taut, well-plotted, and suspenseful, this is a wartime mystery to sink your teeth into.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none…

Dinner with Churchill

By Robin Hawdon,

Book cover of Dinner with Churchill

Robin Hawdon Author Of Number Ten

New book alert!

Who am I?

My writing is eclectic and covers many topics. However, all my books tend to have a thriller element to them. Perhaps it's my career as an actor and playwright which has instilled the need to create suspense in all my writings. I sometimes feel that distinguished authors can get so carried away with their literary descriptions and philosophical insights that they forget to keep the story going! It is the need to know what happens next that keeps the reader turning the pages. Perhaps in achieving that some subtlety has to be sacrificed, but, hey, you don't read a political thriller to study the philosophical problems of governing nations!

Robin's book list on lone heroes and threats to national security

What is my book about?

This is a new novel by one of the UK's most prolific writers. It is based around an extraordinary true incident at the start of World War II when fierce political opponents Winston Churchill and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain encountered each other at a famous dinner party. Seen from the perspective of Lucy Armitage, a young girl suddenly conscripted by a strange stroke of fate into Churchill's overworked but adoring team of secretaries.

As Churchill prepares to take over the leadership of the nation, Lucy finds herself increasingly involved in her famous employer's phenomenal work output and eccentric habits. When romance and the world of espionage impinge on her life, she becomes a vital part of the eternal struggle between good and evil regimes that still exists today.

Dinner with Churchill

By Robin Hawdon,

What is this book about?

It is on historical record that, on the evening of October 13th 1939, six weeks after war had been declared on Hitler's Germany, Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain, fierce and implacable opponents for years over the appeasement issue, met together with their two wives, Clementine and Anne, for a private dinner at Admiralty House, and event which caused ripples throughout Westminster.

Chamberlain was still Prime Minister, but had seen all his efforts to negotiate peace with Hitler shattered. Churchill had been recalled to the cabinet after ten years 'in the wilderness', his dire warnings of the Nazi threat vindicated.


Book cover of Assignment: Churchill

Mary Doria Russell Author Of Dreamers of the Day

From my list on the fragile peace after the Great War.

Who am I?

Mary Doria Russell is the New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc, Epitaph, and The Women of the Copper Country. Widely praised for her meticulous research, fine prose, and compelling narrative drive.

Mary's book list on the fragile peace after the Great War

Mary Doria Russell Why did Mary love 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.

By Walter Henry Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Assignment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


When Tommy Thompson as assigned to guard Winston Churchill by Scotland Yard he shuddered. Churchill was considered a tough assignment and Thompson had had his share of tough ones. From Lloyd George to King Alexander of Yugoslavia. But he did it for almost 20 years.

Here is a delightful intimate view of the great statesman and his contemporaries—Lawrence of Arabia, F.D.R., Joseph Stalin, seen with the well-trained eye of a Scotland Yard man.

“As intimate a portrait of Churchill as…

Book cover of The Grand Alliance

Andrew Nagorski Author Of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

From my list on the view from London in 1941.

Who am I?

Award-winning journalist and historian Andrew Nagorski was born in Scotland to Polish parents, moved to the United States as an infant, and has rarely stopped moving since. During a long career at Newsweek, he served as the magazine's bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. In 1982, he gained international notoriety when the Kremlin, angered by his enterprising reporting, expelled him from the Soviet Union. Nagorski is the author of seven books, including The Nazi Hunters and Hitlerland.

Andrew's book list on the view from London in 1941

Andrew Nagorski Why did Andrew love 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 as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

By Winston S. Churchill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grand Alliance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Grand Alliance recounts the momentous events of 1941 surrounding America's entry into the War and Hitler's march on Russia - the continuing onslaught on British civilians during the Blitz, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the alliance between…

Book cover of Churchill: A Biography

Anthony Tucker-Jones Author Of Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895-1945

From my list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with.

Who am I?

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author, commentator, and writer who specializes in military history, with well over 60 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio commenting on current and historical military matters.

Anthony's book list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

Anthony Tucker-Jones Why did Anthony love 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.’

By Roy Jenkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the admiralty to the miner's strike, from the Battle of Britain to eventual victory over Nazi Germany, Churchill oversaw some of the most important events the world has ever seen. Winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for his personal writing and cautioning against a powerful Soviet Russia in his later years in office, his larger-than-life and complex personality has continued to fascinate writers and historians.

In this comprehensive biography, Roy Jenkins faithfully presents these events, while also managing to convey the contradictions and quirks in Churchill's character. Weaving together in-depth analysis and brilliant historical research, Jenkins has succeeded in…

Book cover of I Had a Black Dog

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Who am I?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

Sometimes pictures express depression better than words, and that’s the case in this beautiful, powerful and hopeful little book. Depression can be hard to describe, hard to find the words to tell other people how you feel. Matthew Johnstone uses Winston Churchill’s image of depression as a black dog and in 48 pages reveals what depression can do to you. 

This book is especially good to show to your loved ones when you’re finding it hard to express the pain of your depression.

By Matthew Johnstone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Had a Black Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I Had a Black Dog says with wit, insight, economy and complete understanding what other books take 300 pages to say. Brilliant and indispensable.' - Stephen Fry

'Finally, a book about depression that isn't a prescriptive self-help manual. Johnston's deftly expresses how lonely and isolating depression can be for sufferers. Poignant and humorous in equal measure.' Sunday Times

There are many different breeds of Black Dog affecting millions of people from all walks of life. The
Black Dog is an equal opportunity mongrel.

It was Winston Churchill who popularized the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he…

Book cover of Churchill: A Life

Adam Leitman Bailey Author Of Finding the Uncommon Deal: A Top New York Lawyer Explains How to Buy a Home For the Lowest Possible Price

From my list on making you a better and more successful leader.

Who am I?

My name is Adam Leitman Bailey. I am a lawyer, a writer, an advocate, and a leader. Most importantly, I can not stand injustice.  

Adam's book list on making you a better and more successful leader

Adam Leitman Bailey Why did Adam love this book?

Churchill was a great leader and lawyer and showed how to overcome difficult times.

No leader in world history has exemplified overcoming great odds to lead a country to beat the Nazis and instill a morale within its people when none existed. Almost every chapter in the book is a lesson on how to be a better leader.

By Martin Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition of the highly acclaimed one-volume Churchill: A Life, is the story of adventure. It follows Winston Churchill from his earliest days to his moments of triumph. Here, the drama and excitement of his story are ever-present, as are his tremendous qualities in peace and war, not least as an orator and as a man of vision. Martin Gilbert gives us a vivid portrait, using Churchill's most personal letters and the recollections of his contemporaries, both friends and enemies, to go behind the scenes of some of the stormiest and most fascinating political events of our time, dominated by…

Book cover of Gallipoli

Andrew Dunkley Author Of All I See Is Mud

From my list on World War 1 in the trenches.

Who am I?

I’m an author, radio broadcaster, journalist, and podcaster. I’ve been in the media for almost 40 years. Oddly, writing came to me very late but it hit me light a lightning bolt when it happened. I researched my Grandfather’s time on the Western Front in WW1 after discovering a letter he wrote to a friend. That was the moment I knew I had to write a book. My career has taken me from rock n roll radio to talkback in Commercial, Public, and now Community radio in Australia. I love what I do, but most of all, I just love telling stories to my audience, whatever the platform.

Andrew's book list on World War 1 in the trenches

Andrew Dunkley Why did Andrew love this book?

As a researcher and Historian, L.A. Carlyon was a genius. Gallipoli was a WW1 campaign that failed for the Allies; the brainchild of Winston Churchill and a complete disaster. And yet, it was the first big battle fought by Australians under a National identity and has been written into folklore. Many saw this as the blooding of our nation. What I really loved about this book is that it went into the deep truth about Gallipoli, things I never imagined could have happened, and a land offensive that was never supposed to happen. What we were taught at school was a long way from the truth and it really opened my mind.

By L.A. Carlyon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gallipoli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Because it was fought so close to his old home ground, Homer might have seen this war on the Gallipoli Peninsula as an epic. Brief by his standards, but essentially heroic. Shakespeare might have seen it as a tragedy with splendid bit-parts for buffoons and brigands and lots of graveyard scenes. Those thigh bones you occasionally see rearing out of the yellow earth of Gully ravine, snapped open so that they look like pumice, belong to a generation of young men who on this peninsula first lost their innocence and then their lives, and maybe something else as well...'


Book cover of The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan

Jane Harvey-Berrick Author Of Troll: My Life in Bomb Disposal

From my list on first-hand accounts of warzones.

Who am I?

I have no expertise in the military – I wish I did. But I have incredible respect for their work. I remember reading about the death of Oz Schmid, a bomb disposal officer who was killed in Afghanistan. It was the bravery of his widow, Christina, discussing the appalling lack of equipment and her quiet dignity that touched me profoundly. I asked myself, what can I do to help? Being a writer, I decided to write about it. I quickly realised that I needed an insider’s insight, and found Troll through Felix Fund, the bomb disposal charity. Troll and I wrote the play Later, After, seeing it performed was the proudest moment of my career. 

Jane's book list on first-hand accounts of warzones

Jane Harvey-Berrick Why did Jane love this book?

Troll told me that he read this book in preparation for his own deployment to Afghanistan. Winston Churchill said about campaigns in Afghanistan, “Financially it is ruinous. Morally it is wicked. Militarily it is an open question, and politically it is a blunder.”

It doesn’t feel like much has changed. 

By Lester W. Grau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bear Went Over the Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This rare 10th anniversary edition (published in 2007) contains a new introduction by expert Soviet historian David M. Glantz. In addition all maps and graphics have been enhanced from the 1996 edition. "When the Soviet Union decided to invade Afghanistan, they evaluated their chances for success upon their experiences in East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately for their soldiers, as well as the people of Afghanistan, they ignored not only the experiences of the British in the same region, but also their own experience with the Basmachi resistance fighters in Central Asia from 1918-1933. Consequently, in Afghanistan the Soviet army…