In Search of Churchill by Martin Gilbert
In the summer of 1915, having been sacked as First Lord of the Admiralty during the troubled Dardanelles campaign, Winston Churchill made preparations to go to the battlefield on his government’s behalf. Though the trip never came off, Churchill did write a letter to his wife to be opened in the event of his death. Eager to vindicate his conduct of affairs at the Admiralty, he asked her to gather his papers: “There is no hurry; but some day I should like the truth to be known. Randolph will carry on the lamp.” Churchill was obviously taking the long view; in 1915, his son was four years old.
Randolph was in fact busy at work on the official biography when his father died a half-century later. But then Randolph himself died in 1968 after completing only two volumes, leaving the task to one of his research assistants, Martin Gilbert. Now a very well-known Oxford scholar, Gilbert has produced many important works on the Holocaust and on Jewish history in addition to his labors on Churchill, which are simply prodigious.
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