Although remembered and even lauded in the public mind as the British prime minister during the Second World War who played a major role in Allied victory over the Axis Powers and Japan, Winston Churchill had a life and political career before 1939 conditioned by fighting other wars and, in peacetime, thinking about war. While historians debate his achievements and failures between 1939 and 1945, a less explored dimension is Churchill’s earlier connexion with war and warfare. This book explores Churchill’s earlier experience in fighting wars as a soldier and politician.
Introduction (B. J. C. McKercher and Antoine Capet) 1. At War on the Nile: What Winston Churchill Learned from the River War (James W. Muller) 2. "A dangerous, if not malignant design": Winston Churchill and the German Naval Challenge before the Great War (John H. Maurer) 3. "By God, I will make them fight!" Winston Churchill and Britain’s Decision for War in 1914 (John W. Young) 4. Churchill's Downfall in 1915: The British Press and the Dardanelles Campaign (Christopher M. Bell) 5. What Churchill and de Gaulle Learned from the Great War (Will Morrissey) 6. The Limitations of the Politician-Historian: Winston Churchill, Rearmament, Appeasement, and the Origins of the Second World War (B. J. C. McKercher) 7. Winston Churchill and the Golden Age of Journalism (Richard Toye) 8. Winston Churchill, France and the Middle East (Warren Dockter)
"Overall, these essays build up a picture of Churchill as a new breed of politician, confident in his own abilities, prepared to speak his mind, impatient to act and prepared to use his pen as a weapon. The book is likely to be of most interest to specialists or those with some prior knowledge of Churchill’s career, but I am glad that the conference papers will continue to stimulate debate. After all, in words attributed to Winston: "Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.""
- Allen Packwood, Christ Church, Cambridge
"Winston Churchill: At War and Thinking of War Before 1939 provides a collection of substantive and challenging essays that make many useful observations that will stimulate further historical discussion and scholarship."
- Brad Tolpannen, The International Churchill Society"In an introduction and eight essays by an international group of scholars, we get a look at the evolution of Winston Churchill’s thoughts on war as derived from his experiences as a soldier, politician, journalist, and historian."
- The NYMAS REVIEW