'By the gains of Industry, we promote Art' 'In Birmingham you may generally recognise a board school by it being the best building in the neighbourhood, with its lofty towers, gabled windows, warm red bricks and stained glass.' So observed the Pall Mall Gazette in 1894. The famous civic gospel shaped Birmingham
Universal guidance and wisdom on celebrating love and partnership, inspired by humanist thought
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR
'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians
Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world.
There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present.
During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'
'Wonderful ... among military historians, Roberts is Britain's crown gem' Wall Street Journal
Taking us from the French Revolution to the Cold War and the Falklands, celebrated historian Andrew Roberts presents us with a bracingly honest and insightful look at nine major figures in modern history: Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George C. Marshall, Charles de Gaulle, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Margaret Thatcher.
Each of these leaders fundamentally shaped the outcome of the war their nation was embroiled in. How were they alike, and in what ways did they differ? Was their war leadership unique, or did these leaders have something in common, traits and techniques that transcend time and place and can be applied to the fundamental nature of conflict?
Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Leadership in War presents readers with fresh, complex portraits of leaders who approached war with different tactics and different weapons, but with the common goal of success in the face of battle. Both inspiring and cautionary, these portraits offer important lessons on leadership in times of struggle. With his trademark verve and incisive observation, Roberts reveals the qualities that doom even the most promising leaders to failure, and the qualities that lead to victory.
Presents the biography of Napoleon who lived one of the extraordinary of all human lives. This book shows how after seizing power in a coup d'etat he ended the corruption and incompetence into which the Revolution had descended.
One of our finest narrative historians tells the shattering story of the blackest day in the history of the British army: the first day of the Somme Offensive, 1 July 1916.
From his earliest days Winston Churchill was an extreme risk taker and he carried this into adulthood. Today he is widely hailed as Britain's greatest wartime leader and politician. Deep down though, he was foremost a warlord. Just like his ally Stalin, and his arch enemies Hitler and Mussolini, Churchill could not help himself and insisted on personally directing the strategic conduct of World War II. For better or worse he insisted on being political master and military commander. Again like his wartime contemporaries, he had a habit of not heeding the advice of his generals. The results of this were disasters in Norway, North Africa, Greece and Crete during 1940-41. His fruitless Dodecanese campaign in 1943 also ended in defeat. Churchill's pig-headedness over supporting the Italian campaign in defiance of the Riviera landings culminated in him threatening to resign and bring down the British Government. Yet on occasions he got it just right, his refusal to surrender in 1940, the British miracle at Dunkirk and victory in the Battle of Britain, showed that he was a much-needed decisive leader. Nor did he shy away from difficult decisions, such as the destruction of the French Fleet to prevent it falling into German hands and his subsequent war against Vichy France. In this fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Anthony Tucker-Jones explores the record of Winston Churchill as a military commander, assessing how the military experiences of his formative years shaped him for the difficult military decisions he took in office. This book assesses his choices in the some of the most controversial and high-profile campaigns of World War II, and how in high office his decision making was both right and wrong.
George III, Britain's longest-reigning king, has gone down in history as 'the cruellest tyrant of this age' (Thomas Paine, eighteenth century), 'a sovereign who inflicted more profound and enduring injuries upon this country than any other modern English king' (W.E.H. Lecky, nineteenth century), 'one of England's most disastrous kings' (J.H. Plumb, twentieth century) and as the pompous monarch of the musical Hamilton (twenty-first century).
Andrew Roberts's magnificent new biography takes entirely the opposite view. It portrays George as intelligent, benevolent, scrupulously devoted to the constitution of his country and (as head of government as well as head of state) navigating the turbulence of eighteenth-century politics with a strong sense of honour and duty. He was a devoted husband and family man, a great patron of the arts and sciences, keen to advance Britain's agricultural capacity ('Farmer George') and determined that her horizons should be global. He could be stubborn and self-righteous, but he was also brave, brushing aside numerous assassination attempts, galvanising his ministers and generals at moments of crisis and stoical in the face of his descent - five times during his life - into a horrifying loss of mind.
The book gives a detailed, revisionist account of the American Revolutionary War, persuasively taking apart a significant proportion of the Declaration of Independence, which Roberts shows to be largely Jeffersonian propaganda. In a later war, he describes how George's support for William Pitt was crucial in the battle against Napoleon. And he makes a convincing, modern diagnosis of George's terrible malady, very different to the widely accepted medical view and to popular portrayals.
Roberts writes, 'the people who knew George III best loved him the most', and that far from being a tyrant or incompetent, George III was one of our most admirable monarchs. The diarist Fanny Burney, who spent four years at his court and saw him often, wrote 'A noble sovereign this is, and when justice is done to him, he will be as such acknowledged'. In presenting this fresh view of Britain's most misunderstood monarch, George III shows one of Britain's premier historians at his sparkling best.