Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill

Doubleday. Sept. 2016. 416p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780385535731. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385535748. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarIn the best-selling The River of Doubt, Millard chronicled Theodore Roosevelt's dangerous exploration of an uncharted river in the Amazon. Here the author documents the equally risky adventures of Winston Churchill (1874–1965) during the Second Boer War, in which Churchill and his fellow soldiers were captured upon arriving in South Africa. Churchill managed an escape, eventually returning to South Africa to free the men with whom he was imprisoned. The details of these exploits describe endless walking, narrow getaways from captors, and Churchill toting nothing but a squashed bit of foreign currency and some chocolate. Even more incredible is Churchill crossing paths with future historical greats such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rudyard Kipling. Millard shows how the hard lessons learned during this period influenced Churchill's character, decision-making, and personality. Riveting, bizarre, heroic, and sometimes humorous, this thrilling history will cause readers to shake their heads in disbelief throughout.
VERDICT Enjoyable for all readers, especially fans of Churchill, military and world history, narrative nonfiction, and survival stories. [See Prepub Alert, 3/28/16.]
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