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"You are one of the unremembered heroes of the war," wrote Lord Beaverbrook to Archibald Sinclair in 1961, no man acted with more balance, with more judgement or greater restraint than yourself. Sinclair, a wealthy landowner from the north of Scotland, was Liberal Party leader from 1935 to 1945 and Air Minister throughout Winston Churchill's ministry during the Second World War. He played a crucial role in both the Battle of Britain and in the strategic bombing of Germany. During his career, he locked horns with Churchill (a lifelong friend and companion), Beaverbrook, Hugh Dowding and Bomber Harris. Many wished to destroy him. His political survival during the height of World War II is testimony to his remarkable skill and resilience.
A consummately talented politician, Sinclair played an important part in the major controversies of mid-century: appeasement, unemployment policy, the Abdication, rearmament and war. His integrity and sense of honor set him apart in an age of opportunism and betrayal. A devout believer in liberalism, Sinclair carried his party through its dark age, modernizing the demoralized and disintegrating 19th-century relic. This biography contains much previously unpublished correspondence between Churchill and Sinclair (including especially striking letters dating from the First World War) and provides revealing glimpses into the lives of many other important figures of that day. An absorbing portrait of a private and a passionate man, Liberal Crusader is must reading from anyone interested in the history of World War II, in the legacy of Winston Churchill, and in British history and politics in general.
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