World War II At Night
The World War II At Night Group will discuss Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945 by Max Hastings Vintage, $17.95). Winston s War captures the full range of Churchill’s endlessly fascinating character. At once brilliant and infuriating, self-important and courageous, Hastings’s Churchill comes brashly to life. Beginning in 1940, when Churchill became prime minister, and concluding with the end of the war, Hastings shows us Churchill at his most intrepid and essential, when, by sheer force of will, he kept Britain from collapsing in the face of what looked like certain defeat. Later, we see his significance ebb as the United States enters the war and the Soviets turn the tide on the Eastern Front. But Churchill managed his relationships with the other Allied leaders strategically, so as to maintain Britain’s influence and limit Stalin’s gains. Hastings shows how Churchill nearly squandered the miraculous escape of the British troops at Dunkirk and failed to address fundamental flaws in the British Army. His tactical inaptitude and departmental meddling won him few friends in the military, and by 1942, many were calling for him to cede operational control. Nevertheless, Churchill managed to exude a public confidence that brought the nation through the bitter war.