Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War

Article excerpt

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War by David Reynolds. Penguin: Alien Lane (http://www.penguin. co.uk), 80 Strand, London, WC2R ORL, 2004, 672 pages, £30.00 (hardcover).

David Reynolds has done it again. In Command of History is a book about the writing of six booksWinston Churchill's multivolume memoirs about his experiences in World War II, to be exact. In this carefully researched and nuanced study, Reynolds shows that this once and future prime minister wrote his account with three different considerations in mind. First, like any author, he wanted to make money. Churchill was fully aware that fame is a fickle thing and that he needed to strike quickly if he wanted to maximize his profits. second, like any major political figure, he wanted to defend decisions he had made. Finally, and unlike most political memoirists, he wrote with an eye to his political future. He was still an active member of the House of Commons and often molded his writings to service his political interests as he saw them in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The author's detailed account shows that Churchill made a small fortune from these memoirs that ranged-depending on inflation and currency exchange rates-between 18 and 50 million dollars. …

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