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.…