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Esta es, sin duda, la mejor biografía de Winston Churchill que se haya publicado. Andrew Roberts, considerado como el mejor historiador militar británico, ha podido utilizar para su trabajo una gran cantidad de documentos que ningún biógrafo había podido consultar con anterioridad, incluídos los diarios privados del rey Jorge VI, que se reunía regularmente con Churchill durante la guerra. La riqueza de la documentación que maneja permite a Roberts ahondar en la realidad humana del personaje, siguiendo su vida desde su infancia y la conflictiva relación con su padre hasta su declive, lo cual hace que el lector pueda «ver la segunda guerra mundial a través del prisma del resto de su vida».
Roberts (Napoleon: A Life) serves up an extraordinary biography of Winston Churchill. A resolutely pro-British empire "child of the Victorian era" who was emotionally neglected by his aristocratic father and frivolous American-raised mother, Churchill by his 20s had already reported from, fought in, and sometimes written books about imperial struggles in such places as Cuba, Sudan, India, and South Africa. He leveraged fame due to an escape from Boer captivity to win an election to British parliament in 1900 at age 25. As first lord of the admiralty during WWI, he was scapegoated for the military fiasco of Gallipoli in 1915 and cast into the political wilderness, which strengthened his nonconformist, independent nature, Roberts writes, helping him when he became prime minister in 1940. Roberts captures Churchill's close working relationship with FDR ("the greatest American friend we have ever known"), his distrust of his chiefs of staff, and his excessive faith in Stalin's promises in 1945. He also captures the man, dispelling the myth that Churchill was prone to depression and revealing his deep love for his wife, Clementine; his egotism, his wit, his loyalty to friends, his penchant sometimes for "selfishness, insensitivity, and ruthlessness"; and his "sybaritic" love of good drink and cigars. This biography is exhaustively researched, beautifully written and paced, deeply admiring but not hagiographic, and empathic and balanced in its judgments a magnificent achievement.