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Publisher Description

From the bestselling author of Destiny of the Republic, this thrilling biographical account of the life and legacy of Wintson Churchill is a "nail-biter and top-notch character study rolled into one" (The New York Times).

At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England. He arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels and jumpstart his political career. But just two weeks later, Churchill was taken prisoner.  Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape—traversing hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.

Bestselling author Candice Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom Churchill would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an extraordinary adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect twentieth century history.

September 20
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

sandclar ,


Great story about a great man. I had no idea what Winston Churchill had done in his early life. Amazing story.

DLPTex@$ ,

An excellent addition to Churchillian biography

Just as in River of Doubt, Millard breaths life into a little known event in the life of a well-known person. Churchill's Boer War adventures illuminate his drive, character and ambition, mostly, but not always, favorably. The adventure story is well told in nail-biting detail, without neglecting the surrounding background. Jennie Churchill, the family and social surroundings, the Boers, the ill-prepared British military are all painted in colorful detail. The result is both educational and entertaining.

november169 ,

Focus on South Africa and the Boers

A pretty good read with a lot of additional detail about Churchill's capture and subsequent escape from the Boers. There are some obvious bias against Colonialism (boo! bad) which tends to drag on a little - not that I am saying Colonialism was good but contemporary efforts, such as Iraq & Afghanistan, have proved to be more costly in lives and money to much less positive affect on the local population.

This was my holiday read. I had a choice to read this or Churchill's own book about his early life - I now have to read Churchill's version as it will likely encompass more of his earlier life (home, family, school, military, North West Frontier...) which was lacking from this book.

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