Through the documents in these pages, Martin Gilbert takes the reader on a fascinating journey, covering a wide range of domestic and international problems. Churchill’s vivid personality is evident as each controversy unfolds—traced through private letters and secret Cabinet records. Gilbert’s explanatory notes, never obtrusive, illuminate both the individuals and the events of two and a half dramatic years.

Covering every aspect of Churchill’s life when he was successively Minister of Munitions and Secretary of State for War, Martin Gilbert has also drawn material from the Churchill Papers, now at Churchill College, Cambridge, and from many other archival sources, both private and public.

For Churchill, the period was dominated first by the need to defeat Germany; then by the postwar settlement and the Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks in Russia; and by a growing personal awareness of the strong forces of disruption and chaos with which the early years of the twentieth century were being threatened. The many private letters published here show the range of Churchill’s moods and the extent of his fears. His wife, Clementine, is an ever-present influence.

Sir Martin Gilbert was born in England in 1936. He is a graduate of Oxford University. In 1962 he began work as one of Randolph Churchill’s research assistants, and in 1968, after Randolph Churchill’s death, he became the official biographer of Winston Churchill. Since then he has published six volumes of the Churchill biography, and has edited twelve volumes of Churchill documents. As a distinguished fellow at Hillsdale College, he is currently completing the Churchill document volumes. During forty-eight years of research and writing, Gilbert has published eighty books.