Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Churchill's Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government by Dr. Larry Arnn

 As someone who has always been intrigued by Churchill, I was excited to find another book about this great and controversial statesman. While I think that Churchill was a great politician, who had a lot of foresight about developments involving the power balance between Russia and the USA and its effects on Europe, I do not think that he was the most important politician of the 20th century as the author states. Churchill was involved in politics long before WW2II and had a life that sought controversy from the Boer War through WWI and finally WWII. In some decision he was right, eerily seeming to know what the future would being, in other decisions he was wrong and cost many people their lives. He was a great leader, that I agree with the author, but like all great leaders he had to also learn from his earlier mistakes. I am setting up the review with this rather long statement because the author does focus on only one aspect of Churchill's work and life, so anyone not familiar with his life may want to take a step back ever so often and reread a section because this book tackles complex subjects using Churchill as an example.
As stated, this author is focused on one specific aspect of Churchill's life and work, namely his thoughts on free government in various times such as war and peace. This book is somewhat philosophical, but also historical because Churchill's view does evolve. This evolution of political thinking is expected because Churchill did make mistakes and what made him great as a politician was his ability to learn and adapt. Did his thought-process fundamentally change? No, but it evolved. I thought this author did a great job with this book. Not only did he pick a wonderful politician as an example (using Churchill's involvement in several wars and political action in peace times), but he also managed to lay out a clear image of how free government must differ between war and peace time and must consider treaties and changing nation states into account. Churchill not only lived through the experiences of a guerrilla war in South Africa through a traditional war in WWI to the advent of modern weaponry in WWII, but he also saw major changes in the British Empire happen that were independent of the war, but certainly influenced some of his decision in war and peace.
Overall, for anyone interested in Churchill, this book is a good add-on to have and have read. But also people who seek to understand how free government can work in various times, will find this book interesting to read.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

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