Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, by Gretchen Rubin

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Preview on Amazon Kindle

This delightful book does not read like a traditional biography. Rubin is a woman after my own heart, presenting Winston Churchill as if he is on trial, examining every facet of his life — good and bad. Recognizing that biographies are inherently biased, she leans into that bias and presents both the favorable and the unfavorable as if this were a courtroom drama. She then allows the reader to reach her own conclusions about Churchill’s character.

Each chapter focuses on a different, often controversial, characteristic of Churchill. Rubin then makes a case  for whether that characteristic was true or not. For example, was Churchill an alcoholic or wasn’t he? Rubin presents facts that go in both directions and allows the reader to come to her own conclusion.

I can see how this style wouldn’t be liked by some, but Rubin shows Churchill in all his complex glory, strengths and weaknesses alike.

Language: None
Sex: None (although one chapter discusses academically Churchill’s sex life)
Violence: None

You may also like: The Forgotten Founding Father, by Joshua Kendall; Angels and Ages, by Adam Gopnik; 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff