William Manchester lives in Middletown, Connecticut. His works have ranged from studies of John F. Kennedy and Douglas MacArthur to a history of the United States from the Great Depression to Watergate. The first volume of his Churchill life, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill; Visions of Glory: 1874–1932 , was published in 1984 by Little, Brown and Company. This article will be incorporated into his second volume, to appear this fall.
An outstanding American historian follows Winston Churchill through a typical day during his political exile in the 1930s and uses that single twenty-four-hour period to reveal the character of the century’s greatest Englishman in all its complexity. See Churchill lay bricks, paint a landscape, tease his dinner guests, badger his secretaries, dictate a history, make up a speech, write an article (that’s how he earns his living), refuse his breakfast because the jam has been left off the tray, refight the Battle of Bull Run, feed his fish, drink his brandy, fashion a “bellyband” to retrieve a particularly decrepit cigar, recite all of “Horatius at the Bridge,” take two baths—and await with noisy fortitude the day when he will save the world.