Mirrors of Greatness

David Reynolds


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HarperCollins Publishers
12 October 2023
ISBN: 9780008439910
464 pages

From the publisher

'A highly imaginative and thought-provoking way of exploring the personality of a man who, like him or loathe him, left an indelible mark on our age' ADAM ZAMOYSKI

Winston Churchill followed his own star. He yearned to be 'great', to gain historical immortality. And he did so through deeds and words: his actions as a soldier and politician, gilded by his writings as a journalist and historian. But Churchill's path to greatness was also defined by the leaders he encountered along the way - friends and foes, at home and abroad. Men of power such as Hitler and Mussolini, Roosevelt and Stalin, David Lloyd George, Neville Chamberlain and Charles de Gaulle. And the haunting presence of the adored father who had seen nothing of merit in his troublesome son. In these men Churchill discerned greatness, or its absence, in ways that influenced his own career. This book includes some whom Churchill would not have deemed 'great', but who - in our own day - offer alternative mirrors of what that word might mean. Mahatma Gandhi, who infuriated Churchill by exploiting the power of powerlessness. Clement Attlee, whose heretical vision of 'Great Britain' was socialist and post-imperial. And his darling Clementine, channelling her 'pinko' sentiments to become Winston's essential helpmate and most devoted critic. Mirrors of Greatness offers vivid new perspectives on Churchill's life and work, showing how this unique man - with dazzling gifts and jagged flaws - learned from his 'great contemporaries' and what they saw in him.