After several decades of historical revisionism, Winston Churchill remains one of the most controversial figures in modern history. Critics allege he was a diehard imperialist and warmonger, a bitter opponent of the working classes and a maverick opportunist with an insatiable appetite for power. Despite his record as "the man who won the war," he is often accused of being a war criminal. This book sets out to correct the historical record in a stimulating collection of essays. Arranged in chronological order to show his life in the context of 20th century world history, these essays are both detailed and analytical, while still highly accessible to a general audience. Each one answers a specific historical question about Churchill through a critical examination of the existing historical record. The author believes Churchill deserves to be remembered as much for his domestic policy as his wartime achievements. Of particular interest is an evaluation of his role in introducing old age pensions and unemployment benefits for the very poorest in Edwardian Britain. This, some historians argue, made the difference between revolution and evolution at the end of the war. A special section examines his political philosophy, which is revealed to be more consistent than many imagine. While attention is given to Churchill’s prodigious political accomplishments, the book also shows how he anticipated many important debates facing the world today. In 2002, Churchill was voted The Greatest Briton in a BBC-conducted survey.
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