Man of the Century: Winston Churchill and His Legend Since 1945

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9780002570343: Man of the Century: Winston Churchill and His Legend Since 1945

Original and revelatory portrait of Churchill post Second World War which examines the development of his fame and his posthumous reputation from one of Britain’s leading political writers

John Ramsden is head of the history department at Queen Mary and Westfield College and a first-rate professional historian. He is a brilliant lecturer with an enviable reputation and is widely admired by the likes of Ben Pimlott and Peter Hennessy, who describes him as ‘much better than me’. His first trade book, AN APPETITE FOR POWER: A NEW HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY is the book to replace Lord Blake’s history – an authoritative, readable, classic history book.

Ramsden’s second trade book is one on Churchill post-Second World War. This will not be ‘yet another book’ on Churchill, but a fresh, original biographical study of Churchill’s post-war fame and reputation, what he was thought to stand for and how that reputation was constructed. It will contain a lot of new and revelatory material on how his personality, attitudes, and vision of himself have affected our own political perception of ourselves as a nation, and will argue that Churchill’s romantic, imperial notion of Britain has contributed directly to many of the political debates of recent years – particularly our attitudes in Europe. This will not be a dry political analysis but an important biographical study of the man who found himself described as the prized possession of the whole world, and of the whole Churchill phenomenon from one of our most interesting and readable historians.

This is Ramsden’s turf. This aspect of Churchill has never been dealt with in any depth and he will undertake extensive new research amongst archives in Britain and the USA – much of which have either not been drawn on before or have only just been released.

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Review:

Ramsden gives us a wry, readable, and comprehensive study of the depth and roots of Churchill's legacy. Library Journal With meticulous research, Ramsden explores the way in which Churchill projected himself throughout the world after 1945, how that self-projection was received, and how well it has stood the test of time...The book clearly and logically deduces how his fame was created, perceived, and marketed. -- George Cohen Booklist A thorough and careful scholarly exploration of the 'Churchill Legend' as it took shape after 1945... Ramsden extends his examination of Churchill's postwar apotheosis beyond Britain to Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the US, where an Americanized Churchill still bulks large in public discourse. This fine book helps explain why. Highly recommended [for] all libraries. Choice Ramsden is a highly talented historian at the peak of his prowess. Scotland on Sunday Ramsden is a canny historian... He is a master of the illuminating detail... The result is an excellent piece of sustained scholarship as well as a good read. Literary Review A marvellously informative and splendidly written account of the mythologising of Churchill. BBC History Magazine This book is a must: atour d'horizon of all things Churchill by the dean of Conservative Party historians. Only John Ramsden with his encyclopedic knowledge of twentieth-century British politics could have produced this magnificent work. -- David Freeman International Churchill Society Magazine Man of the Century is an impressive scholarly achievement, well written and convincingly argued... a provocative book, one that Churchill scholars will find essential. -- Michael H. Shirley History: Reviews of New Books Ramsden's study is a worthy addition to the growing Churchill literature. He succeeds in putting the Churchill legend and myth in historical perspective. -- John Rossi Society

From the Back Cover:

John Ramsden is head of the history department at Queen Mary and Westfield College and a first-rate professional historian. He is a brilliant lecturer with an enviable reputation and is widely admired by the likes of Ben Pimlott and Peter Hennessy, who describes him as ‘much better than me’. His first trade book, AN APPETITE FOR POWER: A NEW HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY is the book to replace Lord Blake’s history – an authoritative, readable, classic history book.

Ramsden’s second trade book is one on Churchill post-Second World War. This will not be ‘yet another book’ on Churchill, but a fresh, original biographical study of Churchill’s post-war fame and reputation, what he was thought to stand for and how that reputation was constructed. It will contain a lot of new and revelatory material on how his personality, attitudes, and vision of himself have affected our own political perception of ourselves as a nation, and will argue that Churchill’s romantic, imperial notion of Britain has contributed directly to many of the political debates of recent years – particularly our attitudes in Europe. This will not be a dry political analysis but an important biographical study of the man who found himself described as the prized possession of the whole world, and of the whole Churchill phenomenon from one of our most interesting and readable historians.

This is Ramsden’s turf. This aspect of Churchill has never been dealt with in any depth and he will undertake extensive new research amongst archives in Britain and the USA – much of which have either not been drawn on before or have only just been released.

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