Tag: Churchill official biography

Why Churchill Shunned Pipes and Cigarettes

Why Churchill Shunned Pipes and Cigarettes

A friend sent me a Dun­hill fea­ture from the Dai­ly Tele­graph, stat­ing that Churchill occa­sion­al­ly smoked a pipe as a hol­i­day from cig­ars: “I can find no ref­er­ence to him hav­ing ever smoked a pipe, can you?”

I think Dun­hills are stretch­ing. I can find no tes­ti­mo­ny to Churchill ever smok­ing a pipe. There are indi­ca­tions that he deplored pipe smok­ing (though he tol­er­at­ed it from Sir Arthur Ted­der). Per­haps this arose through his antipa­thy (which grew in the ear­ly 1930s) to Prime Min­is­ter Stan­ley Bald­win.

By look­ing for Bald­win ref­er­ences, I found a key cig­ar-and-pipe stand­off between Churchill and “SB” in 1924, when they were on bet­ter terms, in Mar­tin Gilbert’s Win­ston S.

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Churchill’s Biographers: Gilbert vs. Manchester

Churchill’s Biographers: Gilbert vs. Manchester

You Can’t Read One with­out the Oth­er

A read­er asks for “a clear sum­ma­ry of Mar­tin Gilbert’s and William Manchester’s writ­ing styles, remind­ing me of the vast but com­ple­men­tary dif­fer­ence between Churchill’s two most famous biog­ra­phers.

There are big dif­fer­ences between them, but both should be read for a full appre­ci­a­tion of Churchill. In 1986, as Man­ches­ter was com­plet­ing Vol­ume II of The Last Lion, he received an encour­ag­ing note from Gilbert: “Our work pro­ceeds on par­al­lel tracks.”

Man­ches­ter was a lit­er­ary styl­ist of the first mag­ni­tude, which is quick­ly appar­ent from the sonorous, emo­tive, rolling phras­es of The Last Lion, reflect­ing the skill that ear­li­er brought us Death of a Pres­i­dent and Amer­i­can Cae­sar, his mas­ter­piece on Dou­glas MacArthur.…

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