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Churchill's Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made

Richard Toye.
Publisher Henry Holt  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9780805087956
Pages/Publication Date 423/2010
Daedalus Item Code 23842
This item is not available.
Both a charmer and a bully, Winston Churchill was driven by a belief that the English were a superior race, whose goals went beyond national interests to offer an enduring good to the entire world; hence his resolve to stand alone against a more powerful Hitler in 1940 while the world's democracies fell to their knees. And yet, Richard Toye reminds us, there is also Churchill the imperialist, who could promote racism and believed India was unsuited to democracy. Rather than locate the statesman's position on a simple left/right spectrum, Toye demonstrates how Churchill evolved over his career, and illuminates his need to reconcile the demands of conscience with those of political conformity.

"Winston Churchill is remembered for leading Britain through her finest hour—but what if he also led the country through her most shameful one? What if, in addition to rousing a nation to save the world from the Nazis, he fought for a raw white supremacy and a concentration camp network of his own? This question burns through Richard Toye's superb, unsettling new history.... Of course, it's easy to dismiss any criticism of these actions as anachronistic. Didn't everybody in Britain think that way then? One of the most striking findings of Toye's research is that they really didn't: even at the time, Churchill was seen as standing at the most brutal and brutish end of the British imperialist spectrum.... In the end, the words of the great and glorious Churchill who resisted dictatorship overwhelmed the works of the cruel and cramped Churchill who tried to impose it on the world's people of color. Toye teases out these ambiguities beautifully."—NYTBR

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