Tuesday, April 22, 2008
DAVID & WINSTON Reviewed in The Atlantic Monthly
From the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly: "The two men who led the British to victory in successive world wars—David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill—were only 11 years apart and were partners in government for most of the first quarter of the 20th century. David and Winston reminds us that Churchill— generally seen through the prism of his later years as an arch-reactionary Tory—was, with his senior colleague, an important figure in the radical Liberal government that laid the foundation for Britain’s social-security system. Robert Lloyd George’s argument that his great-grandfather enduringly influenced Churchill becomes a little thin in the 1930s and 1940s, when the two men clashed over the policy toward Nazi Germany and a host of domestic issues. Nonetheless, his book illuminates the lasting personal relationship between them. It also shows an attractive and generous side of Churchill’s character and conduct—as do these two other books about people who, unlike Lloyd George, worked for Churchill, not with him. The Great Man seems to have been the exception to the rule that no man is a hero to his valet. Although he was a demanding and sometimes ill-tempered boss, he apparently inspired endless loyalty and affection in those who labored to serve and protect him under often trying circumstances."