Paperbacks: Churchill's Cigar, by Stephen McGinty

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The Independent Culture

An ingenious idea brilliantly realised, this is a book-length footnote, but it is far more readable and enjoyable than the massive tomes it annotates.

McGinty's account of WSC's love affair with the weed, albeit in the form of a log-sized Romeo y Julieta, sparkles with unexpected revelations (the Nazi ban on smoking in public places is uncannily familiar) and splendid anecdotes. When the Turkish president remarked on "the difficult conditions in London" during a meeting with Churchill in 1943, WSC agreed, while pulling "an incredibly long cigar" from his pocket: "We are even down to the tiniest cigars."