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Winston Churchill and the Art of Leadership (Hardback)

How Winston Changed the World

Military > Biographies Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWII P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII > Churchill

By Dr William Nester
Frontline Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781526781246
Published: 15th September 2020



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Many indeed, are the biographies of Winston Churchill, one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century. But what was that influence and how did he use it in the furtherance of his and his country’s ambitions? For the first time, Professor William Nestor has delved into the life and actions of Churchill to examine just how skillfully he manipulated events to placed him in positions of power.

His thirst for power stirred political controversy wherever he intruded. Those who had to deal directly with him either loved or hated him. His enemies condemned him for being an egoist, publicity hound, double-dealer, and Machiavellian, accusations that his friends and even he himself could not deny. He could only serve Britain as a statesman and a reformer because he was a wily politician who won sixteen of twenty-one elections that he contested between 1899 and 1955.

The House of Commons was Churchill's political temple where he exalted in the speeches and harangues on the floor and the backroom horse-trading and comradery. Most of his life he was a Cassandra, warning against the threats of Communism, Nazism, and nuclear Armageddon. With his ability to think beyond mental boxes and connect far-flung dots, he clearly foretold events to which virtually everyone else was oblivious. Yet he was certainly not always right and was at times spectacularly wrong.

This is the first book that explores how Churchill understood and asserted the art of power, mostly through hundreds of his own insights expressed through his speeches and writings.

This is as good an introduction as any to Winston Churchill, a chronological study which begins with his birth in 1874 and ends with his death in January 1965. The majority of the years in between were eventful to say the least, both for the man and the country he served in various capacities.

Not to everyone's taste, no-one can deny - although some may try - that it was Churchill's leadership which saw Britain though the Second World War. Without Churchill it is arguable whether Britain would have emerged the Victor. He deserves his place in Parliament Square and he deserves our respect. William Nester has written a useful study of the man and his leadership abilities.

Read the full review here

Paul Nixon

"...serves as an introduction to readers less familiar with the subject matter and, perhaps, as a springboard to more detailed study of particular facets of Churchill’s amazing life."

ARMOR Magazine

Nester paints a striking image of his larger-than-life subject.

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The Churchill Project

Overall, for anyone who already had an interest in Winston Churchill, this is no doubt another must have. It breaks down much about the man, his character, personality and traits. In that sense if it much a book of personal psychology, as it is history. That said, intertwined against this breakdown of Churchill is inevitably history, as he had such an important role in shaping so much of. It.

Jon Sandison

Nester is a well published historian, who has several military history book awards to his name: that experience shines through here in what is both a well written and thought-provokingly fresh take on a popular subject.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

It is peppered with brilliant Churchill quotes and the narrative flows freely, capturing the essence of a man who quite literally changed the world.

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Phil Curme

One of many biographies about one of the most written about men in history, Winston Churchill, a life that was lived in the public and straddled so many important events in British history. William Nester delves in the life of a man and looks at how his life and actions, some he dealt with and some he bought upon himself, how he eventually triumphed to shine with successfully winning one of the world most dangerous wars. This book looks at how he asserted the art of power through insights, writings and speeches. It looks at how some loved and adored him, but on the other side some saw him as an egotist and Machiavellian. This book brings you snippets of both and gives you more of the character of Winston Churchill.

This is one of those book where you might think you’ve read possibly everything about Winston Churchill, but I think most people will see a different part of Churchill, one that doesn’t get much airtime. We learn about Churchill in the various chapters about the different stages in his life from childhood and right up through adulthood. He was a child, an adventurer, reformer and scapegoat. But he was also a warrior who wanted to carry a nation along on strong beliefs and ethics, Churchill was fighting for something rather big, he was trying to stop a world being turned into a Nazi dominated world. He wanted his beliefs and ethics to conquer that. I believe this was a fantastic book, very well researched, well written with a lot of quotes and speech passages. This was a great book to read that had me reading from beginning to end. A really good 5 star read.

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UK Historian

Completely fascinating and what's more important, engaging.

Books Monthly

Four fascinating stars!

A unique and in depth look into Mr. Churchill and his leadership.

NetGalley, Christy Warthen

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful in-depth look at Churchill's views on leadership.

NetGalley, Amanda Driver

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book kindly summarizes the leadership lessons of Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister. I am honored I got to preview this book on Netgalley. Winston Churchill not just was a Cassandra warning of the rise of Nazi Germany, but also rallied his people to fight on and lead the free world in repelling the threat... This book is incredibly timely.

NetGalley, Joe Kunzler

William Nestor explores how Churchill himself helped create the (sometimes controversial) situations that led him to power.
Winston Churchill and the Art of Leadership is an exploration of how Churchill turned opposition to support and success. It does not sugar coat his character defects, but rather demonstrates how he turned them to advantage -- both for himself and for his country. The reader is shown how Churchill understood and used the levers of power, and provides a fascinating example for both political and business leadership in today's conflicted society.

NetGalley, Sandra Sosinski

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I loved this look in Churchill’s life. He is one of the most complex historical figures we’ve ever seen. This is definitely one of the easier reads about Churchill though it felt long due to so much information. Normally, if you ever read a short biography on Churchill, then it’s not thorough enough but it was actually wonderful. Extremely well done and well cited.

NetGalley, Caroline Craig David

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

William Nester does in 288 pages what Andrew Roberts tried to do in 1150: Capture the essence of the great but flawed Winston Churchill. In his recent acclaimed bio of the British PM, Roberts even tosses in the kitchen sink. Nester doesn’t need to. Sometimes less is really more!

We learn about Churchill as child, adventurer, reformer, scapegoat, Cassandra, commander, and cold warrior. Meticulously researched, rich in anecdote and quote, this vivid text shows how Churchill’s bold leadership kept the West free. A triumph!

5 out of 5 Stars

NetGalley, Literary Soirée

There is no doubt that Churchill straddled the 20th Century and he was prepared to confront problems guided by his particular ethos. However, he had to convince colleagues and enemies of the direction he believed in, and perhaps that is where his effectiveness lay. Some of his solutions were to largely binary questions; Hitler is bad therefor he must be opposed; Bolshevism is bad therefore using the power of the state to supress some strikes is valid. Ultimately his pragmatism and ego allowed him to believe that if he waited long enough others would eventually agree with him. This book explores the effectiveness of Churchill’s leadership and it does so very well indeed.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Dr William Nester

Dr WILLIAM NESTER, a Professor at the Department of Government and Politics, St. John’s University, New York, is the author of thirty-seven books on history and politics. His book George Rogers Clark: I Glory in War won the Army Historical Foundation’s best biography award for 2013, and Titan: The Art of British Power in the Age of Revolution and Napoleon, won the New York Military Affairs Symposium's 2016 Arthur Goodzett Book Award.

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