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Winston's Bandits: Churchill And His Maverick Friends is being relased by Biteback at the end of August 2024. Churchill was a warm, emotional man, who needed the support of friends (and family). Through his wilderness years in the 1930s when he battled to re-arm Britain against Hitler and the challenges of leading the country's fight in the Second World World War, a small handful of individuals  gave him that backing. The story of these friendships adds an unfamiliar dimension to the established narrative of Churchill as a towering, unique figure in history.

These friends were all significant figures in their own right; like Churchill himself they were individualists and non-conformists, at odds with the contemporary establishment. Brendan Bracken was a self-invented Irishman who had established himself as a leading financial publisher and gave Churchill undying loyalty. Frederick Lindemann was a distinguished scientist but an outsider; Churchill admired his judgement on the complex technological issues of modern warfare. Bob Boothby, scandalously bi-sexual, was one of the very first politicians to recognise the danger of Hitler. When war came the press tycoon Lord Beaverbrook gave Churchill a vital psychological boost in their fraught relationship.

Looking at Churchill and his friends adds a human dimension to  a towering historical personality,  who too often  appears as remote figure, standing isolated on a plinth. They were the men who were with him in his disasters, hard times and his triumphs.

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