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Winston Churchill had a rare capacity for friendship and Adrian Phillips has unerringly homed in on the close friends who helped him achieve victory in the Second World War. In this well-researched, closely argued and occasionally revisionist book, Phillips goes beyond most conventional accounts by also forensically focusing on the relationships between the friends, too, and especially their feuds. This work is an important addition to the Churchillian canon.

Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

This is a valuable book, well-written and a pleasure to read. It sheds light on aspects of Winston Churchill’s career which are overlooked by those who see him simply as the man who delivered victory in 1945.

 

Adrian Phillips knows what many historians, dazzled by the myth, fail to see. Churchill was always vulnerable, right up to the end of the war. He was mistrusted by much of his party and disliked by the establishment. In these circumstances he depended on the clutch of supporters, some of them slightly dodgy and unreliable, all, like him, mavericks, whom Hugh Dalton described as Churchill’s camarilla.

 

Phillips concentrates on their role to give a new and important perspective on Churchill’s erratic political career, and brings the disparate elements into a cohesive narrative, thematic as much as chronological.

 

This is a novel approach, a revealing one and one which is far from uncritical. But still it is clear that whatever may be said against him Churchill remains a very great man, indeed perhaps all the more so for being revealed in three dimensions.

Walter Reid, author of Fighting Retreat: Churchill And India.
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