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. Martin Gilbert’s explanatory notes, never obtrusive, illuminate both the individuals and the events of nineteen dramatic months.

Covering every aspect of Churchill’s life when he was successively Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for the Colonies, 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, this period was dominated by the search for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, the intensification of conflict with Turkey, and the political crisis that ended the peacetime coalition and Churchill’s own ministerial career. On a personal level, the death of his mother and his young daughter Marigold was a time of great sadness and reflection. Clementine Churchill was an ever-present source of comfort and advice. And the purchase of a house in the Kent countryside—Chartwell—opened up new vistas.

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.