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Mirrors of greatness : Churchill and the leaders who shaped him  Cover Image Book Book

Mirrors of greatness : Churchill and the leaders who shaped him

Summary: "Winston Churchill remains, indisputably, one of the most revered and recognizable figures of the 20th century. His leadership of Britain to victory against Nazi Germany in World War II solidified his place among the pantheon of great men of world history, and his name remains a byword for steadfast and tenacious leadership. But the Churchill we know today is a myth authored by the man himself, a story he carefully burnished through his memoirs, histories, and other writings. To an extent acknowledged by neither Churchill nor his previous biographers, Churchill's outlook-his political instincts, his understanding of the means and ends of power, his commitment to empire-was shaped decisively by his family, his friends, and adversaries, for good and for ill. In Mirrors of Greatness, prizewinning historian David Reynolds extricates the reality of Churchill from the legend, revealing a lifelong struggle to overcome his political shortcomings and his evolving grasp of what "greatness" truly entailed. Viewed through the eyes of his contemporaries, the familiar arc of Churchill's life is made new. Reynolds shows how Churchill's understanding of and hunger for power were first shaped by the indignity of his father's truncated political career and the guidance of David Lloyd George, his first and closest ally in Parliament. Through his dealings with Hitler and Neville Chamberlain, Churchill's predecessor as Prime Minister, we see his growing awareness of the Nazi threat, and his prescient recognition of the grave danger of appeasement. But Churchill's personal feelings toward other world leaders, both allies and adversaries, were sometimes at odds with historical memory, and in the aftermath of Britain's triumph over the Third Reich Churchill found himself increasingly mismatched to the new world the war had created. His admiration for Mussolini's martial strength faded only as Italy conquered Abyssinia, marking the beginning of a new fascist empire. He openly disdained Gandhi as a "half-naked fakir" whom he considered as grave a threat to Britain as Hitler, and whose campaign for decolonization he thought would bring only grief to the Indians no longer subject to the Empire's benevolent paternalism. His combative relationship with De Gaulle underscored his difficulties in confronting Europe's nascent moves toward postwar integration, while his warmth towards Roosevelt and his faith in their countries' "special relationship" blinded him to Britain's waning influence across the Atlantic. And his underestimation of his successor, Clement Atlee, contributed to Churchill's first fall from power in 1945 and to the rise of a domestic welfare state that he rabidly opposed and yet was unable to stop. Churchill both made history and wrote himself into history, to a degree unique in modern times. While affording him his due as a figure of world-historical importance, Mirrors of Greatness uncovers what lies behind the legend of Churchill as a solitary, self-made hero to recognize the ways his greatest contemporaries made him the man he was"--

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781541620209
  • Physical Description: print
    445 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First US edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2024.
Subject: Churchill, Winston 1874-1965
Churchill, Winston 1874-1965 Psychology
Prime ministers Great Britain Biography
Political leadership Great Britain
Political leadership Great Britain Psychological aspects
Biography & Autobiography
Great Britain Politics and government 1936-1945

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at Evergreen Indiana. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at South Whitley Community Public Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at South Whitley Comm. PL - South Whitley.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
South Whitley Comm. PL - South Whitley 941.08 REYNOLDS DAVID (Text) 30402004905669 NEW NON-FICTION Available -

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