Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

By Paul Addison | Go to book overview

TWO
The Renegade,
1901–1911

Within four years of his election as the Conservative MP for Oldham Churchill took a daring step that was bound to alter, for better or for worse, the whole course of his future. He crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join the Liberal opposition. When the Liberals came to power he was handsomely rewarded. The Prime Minister, Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, appointed him to his first ministerial office as Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office. After this Churchill's ascent was rapid. When Asquith took over as Prime Minister in 1908 he brought Churchill into the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade at the astonishingly youthful age, for a politician, of 34. In 1910 he promoted him to the Home Office and in 1911 put him in charge, as First Lord of the Admiralty, of the most powerful navy in the world.

The glittering prizes came with a penalty attached. Churchill's change of party placed a large and ultimately very damaging question mark against his reputation. The Conservatives felt betrayed and wrote him off as a shameless opportunist. When he took up the cause of radicalism and cast himself in the role of champion of the people against the House of Lords, they derided

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Churchill: The Unexpected Hero
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Prologue 1
  • One - The Youngest Man in Europe, 1874–1901 7
  • Two - The Renegade, 1901–1911 29
  • Three - The Lilliput Napoleon, 1911–1915 57
  • Four - The Winstonburg Line, 1915–1924 82
  • Five - Respectability Won and Lost, 1924–1939 112
  • Six - The Making of a Hero, 1939–1945 153
  • Seven - Climbing Olympus, 1945–1965 216
  • Eight - Churchill Past and Present 246
  • Notes 255
  • Bibliography 275
  • Index 287
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