BIOGRAPHY

Churchill & Son

Dutton. Mar. 2021. 464p. ISBN 9781524744458. $34. BIOG
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In his latest work, Ireland (The Traitors) examines the complicated relationship between Winston Churchill and his only son, Randolph. Ireland points out that the Churchills were close: they dined and drank together; they traveled for business and on holiday; and they confided in each other. Winston, neglected by his own father, loved his son, and desired great success for him. Randolph, in turn, idolized his father, and according to the author, Winston was the only person he truly ever loved. Ireland explores how the events of the Second World War deeply challenged their relationship as Winston rose to become one of Britain’s greatest statesmen. He also considers the positive traits they shared, including bravery and intelligence, as well as their faults, like arrogance and a bad temper. Winston felt keenly that he was destined for a higher purpose, and his political career became his priority. Randolph resented having less access to his father, and although he became a war hero, he also became increasingly erratic and prone to drunken outbursts. The rift between father and son never completely healed. Ireland depicts their story in an eloquent, lively manner overall, with sympathy for both of them.
VERDICT A comprehensive account for those who like biographies about important historical figures.
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