BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Churchill: The End of Glory - John Charmley: Sceptre, pounds 14.99

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The Independent Culture
An iconoclastic reassessment of the war leader around whom the nation has built an enduring and cosy myth. Regarded before the war as a washed-up old dreamer, Churchill came to seem the embodiment of democracy, wise but not pompous, patriotic but not insular. This meticulously researched evaluation, eager to tread on corns, presents instead a kind of upmarket Jeffrey Archer, an energetic careerist, ebullient fantasist and almost manic optimist with an inflated faith in his own decisions. On the Second World War, Charmley pays Churchill muted tribute, while pulling no punches over the great man's worst errors of strategic judgment.