New Annotated Bibliography of Works About Churchill, 1905-2020

New Annotated Bibliography of Works About Churchill, 1905-2020

  s To view and search these “Works about,” please vis­it the Bib­li­og­ra­phy at the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. Here­with, some com­ments and a few sam­ple entries.


In 2018, Andrew Roberts wrote in Churchill: Walk­ing with Des­tiny, works about Sir Win­ston Churchill topped 1000. This cat­a­logue piles on, list­ing more than 1100, near­ly 900 of which we have anno­tat­ed. Win­ston Churchill was the sub­ject of his first biog­ra­phy in 1905 when he was 30 years old. The flow hasn’t stopped. Here in the 21st cen­tu­ry, 100 years lat­er, some years see over 20 new Churchill titles.

The word “works” denotes any item indi­vid­u­al­ly pub­lished, from brief pam­phlets to books large and small. Com­pil­ing and describ­ing them is the pur­pose of this online list­ing, which will be updat­ed seri­atim. I hope it will serve as a liv­ing guide to the vast lit­er­a­ture on the Great­est Briton.

“It was such a hap­py day.” Ower­moigne, Dorset, 28 Sep­tem­ber 1995. L-R: Jaime Snell Men­doza, Ash­ley Red­burn, Eliz­a­beth Snell, Gert Zoller, Richard Lang­worth, Mar­garet Red­burn, Gar­ry Clark, Curt Zoller. (Pho­to by James Snell)


This cat­a­logue would not exist with­out the efforts of two bib­li­o­graph­ic pio­neers, H. Ash­ley Red­burn (1914-1996) and Curt J. Zoller (1920-2014). They worked sep­a­rate­ly, and then togeth­er, updat­ing their find­ings through the Churchill Soci­eties. Curt also co-authored (with Michael McMe­namin) Becom­ing Win­ston Churchill: The Untold Sto­ry of Win­ston and his Amer­i­can Men­tor. Ashley’s work abides, not least with the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. See “Remem­ber­ing Richard Hak­ing: The Gen­er­al Who Saved Churchill’s Life.”

Curt Zoller’s Anno­tat­ed Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Works about Sir Win­ston S. Churchill (M.E. Sharpe, 2004) con­tains the full pub­lish­ing his­to­ry of works through that date. It also offers sev­er­al addi­tion­al lists not cov­ered here: books and arti­cles “sub­stan­tial­ly about” Churchill (e.g., the Alan­brooke Diaries); reviews of Churchill’s own works; dis­ser­ta­tions and the­ses. His book remains avail­able, and is the best source for this data.


For books with con­tri­bu­tions, all con­trib­u­tors are iden­ti­fied, although their full titles may be edit­ed for space. The word “Reprints” means only that a work was reprint­ed, hard­bound or soft­bound. Con­sult the Zoller Bib­li­og­ra­phy for com­plete pub­lish­ing his­to­ries. The word “e-book” indi­cates either a Kin­dle or oth­er elec­tron­ic edition.

Annotations () and Acknowledgements

Anno­ta­tions were writ­ten only for books per­son­al­ly exam­ined. Through 2004, all save a hand­ful (bylined) were writ­ten by me for Zoller Sec­tion A: “Works Entire­ly about Win­ston S. Churchill.” From 2005 on, bylines are sup­plied, most fre­quent­ly: Antoine Capet (AC), Paul H. Courte­nay (PHC), Michael McMe­namin (McM), William John Shep­herd (WJS) and myself (RML). Oth­er bylines are spelled out. Links to reviews are pro­vid­ed for Hills­dale and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions with which the writ­ers are connected.

The efforts and assis­tance of many con­trib­u­tors were pro­found. I am par­tic­u­lar­ly grate­ful to Antoine Capet, Dave Tur­rell, Soren Geiger, and the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Fel­lows for kind assis­tance and cor­rec­tions. Pro­fes­sor James Muller, Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka, Anchor­age, valu­ably proof­read and made numer­ous cor­rec­tions. The remain­ing errors are all mine. —Richard M. Langworth

How to search the list.

Click here. Please do not attempt to find items by scrolling. Instead, use the search box on your brows­er. On Macs, click “Apple-f.” A box will appear where you can enter an author, title, date or top­ic. PCs offer sim­i­lar brows­er searches.

Sample entries from first to last


Scott, A. Mac­Cal­lum. Win­ston Spencer Churchill. Lon­don: Methuen, 1905, 270 pp. ✸ The first biog­ra­phy, writ­ten by an admir­er when Churchill was only 31. Though untaint­ed by knowl­edge of future great­ness, the author wrote favor­ably about young Win­ston and pre­dict­ed that he would even­tu­al­ly become prime minister.


Syden­ham of Combe, Col. The Lord, et al. ‘The World Cri­sis’ by Win­ston Churchill: A Crit­i­cism. Lon­don: Hutchin­son, 192 pp., 1928. Reprints. ✸ A cri­tique of Churchill’s The World Cri­sis, vol. 3, 1916-1918. Con­trib­u­tors also con­sid­er the Dar­d­anelles cam­paign in Churchill’s vol. 2. An impor­tant crit­i­cal work, suf­fi­cient­ly pow­er­ful that Churchill replied to it in part in his 1931 abridged edi­tion of The World Cri­sisCon­trib­u­tors: Admi­ral Sir R. Bacon: “Mr. Churchill and Jut­land.” Major-Gen­er­al Sir W.D. Bird: “Mr. Churchill’s Opin­ions: Some Oth­er Points of View.” Major-Gen­er­al Sir F. Mau­rice: “Jof­fre, Gal­liéni and the Marne.” Sir Charles Oman: “The Ger­man Loss­es on the Somme.” Lord Syden­ham of Combe: “Mr. Churchill as Historian.”


Unknown. Win­ston Churchill: Mein Bun­desgenosse. Aussprüche aus zwei Jahrzehn­ten [Win­ston Churchill: My Ally. Say­ings of Two Decades]. Berlin: Nibelun­gen Ver­lag, 1942, 110 pp., soft­bound, text in Ger­man; sev­er­al trans­la­tions, includ­ing Mon Allié Staline in French. ✸ For­ward by “Vic­tor” [Arnold Littmann]. Ger­man pro­pa­gan­da, quot­ing Churchill’s anti-Bol­she­vik writ­ings from pre-World War II years, with repro­duc­tions of polit­i­cal car­toons, which offer many a ripe irony indeed. The “Ally” was Stalin.


Coote, Col­in R. and Batch­e­lor, Den­zil, eds. Max­ims and Reflec­tions of the Rt. Hon. Win­ston S. Churchill. Lon­don: Eyre and Spot­tis­woode, 1947, 176 pp. Reprints through 1992. ✸ The first book of Churchill quo­ta­tions, and still a mod­el of the genre. Coote, a friend of Churchill’s with a long tenure at London’s Dai­ly Tele­graph, dili­gent­ly sought the most inter­est­ing expres­sions from Churchill’s speech­es and writ­ings, ver­i­fy­ing his cita­tions, arrang­ing them by gen­er­al cat­e­gories and adding accom­pa­ny­ing notes. And so this became an author­i­ta­tive source, a first.


Tay­lor, Robert Lewis. Win­ston Churchill: An Infor­mal Study of Great­ness. Gar­den City, New York: Dou­ble­day, 1952, 434 pp. Reprints through 1961. Reti­tled The Amaz­ing Mr. Churchill, 1962. Trans­la­tions: Ger­man, Hebrew, Nor­we­gian, Span­ish, Swedish. ✸ Out­ward­ly bear­ing every sign of a post­war pot­boil­er, this is actu­al­ly a schol­ar­ly anec­do­tal biog­ra­phy in which Tay­lor found and quot­ed peo­ple who knew Churchill as far back as the Boer War. Though ham­pered by the lack of foot­notes, index and bib­li­og­ra­phy, it offers many unique sources.


Urquhart, Fred, com­pil­er. WSC: A Car­toon Biog­ra­phy. Lon­don: Cas­sell, 1955, 242 pp. ✸ Pub­lished to mark Churchill’s 80th birth­day, this is still a stan­dard work on Churchill polit­i­cal car­toons. Sources run from Nazi to Tory, Lib­er­al to Bol­she­vik, trac­ing Churchill’s entire career from youth­ful war cor­re­spon­dent to post­war Prime Min­is­ter. Explana­to­ry notes by the edi­tor place each illus­tra­tion in con­text and cred­it the artist and publication.


Thomp­son, R.W. The Yan­kee Marl­bor­ough. Lon­don: George Allen and Unwin; Gar­den City, New York: Dou­ble­day, 1963, 364 pp. Trans­la­tions: French. ✸ A cri­tique per­haps over­ly based on rec­ol­lec­tions of Churchill’s rue­ful ex-friend Desmond Mor­ton, who was dropped by WSC and nev­er got over it. Thomp­son con­tends that WSC’s Amer­i­can blood gave him ener­gy, his British blood romance, but Kirkus Reviews dis­sent­ed: “That Churchill is ego­cen­tric is not a new charge, but that his was a nar­cis­sism so com­plete that the only per­son capa­ble of inter­rupt­ing his self-ado­ra­tion was his Nan­ny is a charge repeat­ed and exam­ined at ridicu­lous length.”


The Official Biography

At over twen­ty mil­lion words in thir­ty-one vol­umes, recent­ly com­plet­ed by Hills­dale Col­lege Press, this is the longest biog­ra­phy in his­to­ry. For clar­i­ty and sim­plic­i­ty, we list first the eight nar­ra­tive vol­umes, fol­lowed by their sup­port­ing doc­u­ment vol­umes. The term “offi­cial” does not mean that the authors were oblig­ed to take an autho­rized line or avoid cer­tain sub­jects, because they nev­er were. To order copies, click here.

The Narrative Volumes

Churchill, Ran­dolph SWin­ston S. Churchill, vol. 1: Youth 1874-1900. Lon­don: Heine­mann; Boston: Houghton Mif­flin (also pub­lished by Houghton Mif­flin for the Lit­er­ary Guild), 1966. Hills­dale, Mich.: Hills­dale Col­lege Press, 2006. 608 pp. ✸ Based on thou­sands of papers in the Churchill Archives and oth­er sources, Ran­dolph Churchill’s work was received with gen­er­al praise. Gen­er­al­ly pos­i­tive, though not with­out crit­i­cism, it reflects the theme of the work, “He shall be his own biog­ra­ph­er,” but Ran­dolph added his own lit­er­ary style.

The Document Volumes

Gilbert, Mar­tin and Arnn, Lar­ry P., eds. The Churchill Doc­u­ments, Vol. 23, Nev­er Flinch, Nev­er Weary, Octo­ber 1951-Jan­u­ary 1965. Hills­dale, Mich., Hills­dale Col­lege Press, 2019, 2488 pp. ✸ Reviewed by Hills­dale: This final vol­ume cov­ers the advent of the Cold War, Britain’s rela­tions with the Unit­ed States and Europe, the main­te­nance and dis­so­lu­tion of Empire. Many doc­u­ments deal with domes­tic issues and so with Britain’s eco­nom­ic predica­ment. The issues of state he dealt with as prime min­is­ter fre­quent­ly inter­sect­ed with Churchill’s huge social net­work and pri­vate life. Unique among his con­tem­po­raries, his pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics, social and pri­vate life great­ly over­lapped, so they are not eas­i­ly sep­a­rat­ed. Nev­er Flinch, Nev­er Weary bears tes­ti­mo­ny to Churchill’s fer­tile mind, social incli­na­tions and action-dri­ven per­son­al­i­ty. —Klaus Larres


Man­ches­ter, William. The Last Lion: Win­ston Spencer Churchill, vol. 1: Visions of Glo­ry 1874-1932. Boston and Toron­to: Lit­tle Brown, 1983, 974 pp. Churchill: The Last Lion. Lon­don: Michael Joseph. Trans­la­tions: Ital­ian, French. Many edi­tions since. ✸ Manchester’s lyri­cal biog­ra­phy makes for fab­u­lous read­ing; the pro­logue accu­rate­ly cap­tures the van­ished world into which Churchill was born bet­ter than any oth­er work. Giv­en short shrift by aca­d­e­mics, the author was accused of hagiog­ra­phy (though he is some­times quite crit­i­cal), pur­ple prose and mis­takes large and small. Man­ches­ter has nonethe­less brought more peo­ple to Churchill than any writer save Mar­tin Gilbert.


Gilbert, Mar­tin. In Search of Churchill: A Historian’s Jour­ney. Lon­don: Harper­Collins, 338 pp. New York: John Wiley, 1994, 416 pp. Reprints, e-book. ✸ The offi­cial biographer’s fas­ci­nat­ing adven­tures and inter­views in the process of com­pil­ing the offi­cial biog­ra­phy. This is also Gilbert’s answer to crit­ics over the years who accused him of being uncrit­i­cal about a man oth­ers have spent years denounc­ing. Hav­ing exam­ined more evi­dence than any­one in writ­ing the offi­cial biog­ra­phy, Gilbert states that he came away even more impressed with Churchill’s intel­lect, gen­eros­i­ty, states­man­ship and human­i­ty. Cit­ed by many as the best Churchill book of 1994, and espe­cial­ly use­ful to the schol­ar inter­est­ed in pri­ma­ry source material.


Cohen, Ronald I. Bib­li­og­ra­phy of the Writ­ings of Sir Win­ston Churchill. Lon­don: Thoemmes; New York: Con­tin­u­um, 3 vols., 2006, 2184 pp. ✸ The prod­uct of thir­ty years’ research and col­lect­ing, this is the ulti­mate and ever-stan­dard bib­li­og­ra­phy of Churchill’s writ­ings, encom­pass­ing Churchill’s pub­lished books, pam­phlets, leaflets, con­tri­bu­tions, arti­cles, speech­es, let­ters, mem­o­ran­da and state­ments, togeth­er with the cir­cum­stances of pub­li­ca­tion. Its pub­li­ca­tion put all pre­vi­ous attempts at bib­li­og­ra­phy in the shade, and it will for­ev­er be con­sult­ed as the “last word.” —RML


Leam­ing, Bar­bara. Churchill Defi­ant: Fight­ing On: 1945-1955. New York: Harper­Collins, 2010, 368 pp. Reprints, e-book. ✸ The per­son­al dimen­sion helps make this the most impor­tant sur­vey of Churchill’s last active decade. Valu­able to those new to Churchill because of its keen insight into his life­long defi­ance of long odds and for­mi­da­ble adver­saries. No foot­notes and lots of speech para­phras­ing allow Leam­ing to get to the ker­nel of WSC in those years, and so to his final goal, peace. —RML


Arnn, Lar­ry P. Churchill’s Tri­al: Win­ston Churchill and the Sur­vival of Free Gov­ern­ment. Nashville: Thomas Nel­son, 2015, 240 pp. Reprints, e-book. ✸ Reviewed by Hills­dale: Churchill stud­ies can reveal impor­tant lessons that remain pow­er­ful­ly rel­e­vant for the lead­ers and cit­i­zens of free soci­eties. This notion is itself found­ed on the belief that though the threats to civ­i­liza­tion may have altered since Churchill’s day, there is con­sis­ten­cy between his chal­lenges and ours—that he is a good guide to fol­low in the cause of defend­ing free­dom. So such a belief must lie behind any con­cep­tion of his­to­ry as pro­vid­ing guid­ance. If these com­mon­al­i­ties do not exist, nei­ther Churchill’s sto­ry, nor his­to­ry in gen­er­al, has any­thing to say to us now. A unique and impor­tant work on Churchill’s polit­i­cal thought. —Justin D. Lyons


Roberts, Andrew. Churchill: Walk­ing with Des­tiny. Lon­don: Allen Lane; New York: Viking, 2018, 1152 pp. Reprints, soft­bound, e-book. ✸ Reviewed by Hills­dale; for a sec­ond Hills­dale review click here): What can jus­ti­fy anoth­er big biog­ra­phy? New sources, for one thing. But the real jus­ti­fi­ca­tion is that this book is excellent—the best biog­ra­phy since Sir Mar­tin Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life (1991). It has the adven­ture, ener­gy, and inces­sant move­ment that Churchill pro­duced. It is wit­ty, flu­ent, and pre­cise, in rhythm with the mate­r­i­al. We gal­lop across decades and through the largest episodes in his­to­ry. It is devoid of the smug sec­ond guess­ing that we all may com­mit. It is the prod­uct of a mas­sive and faith­ful labor. Roberts tells the sto­ry of a won­der­ful life with accu­ra­cy and dash, with rich­ness and com­pre­hen­sion. It rais­es all the ques­tions and pro­vides the mate­r­i­al for their con­tem­pla­tion. —Lar­ry P. Arnn


Vale, J. Allis­ter and Scadding, John W. Win­ston Churchill’s Ill­ness­es 1886-1965. Barns­ley, Yorks.: Front­line, 2020, 522 pp. ✸ Reviewed by Hills­dale: A thor­ough­go­ing foren­sic exam­i­na­tion of Churchill’s mal­adies from boy­hood to old age. As a result we have the stan­dard work in this field. Com­bines pro­fes­sion­al com­men­tary with layman’s terms, so no read­er will be lost in med­ical tech­nol­o­gy. Also pro­vides names of dis­eases and drugs as well as peo­ple and places, and the images include many physi­cians men­tioned. No seri­ous Churchill schol­ar will now be able rou­tine­ly to quote Lord Moran (1966) with­out acknowl­edg­ing the deci­sive caveats intro­duced by this new work. —Antoine Capet

One thought on “New Annotated Bibliography of Works About Churchill, 1905-2020

  1. Wow! Sure­ly even your epic book­cas­es aren’t vast enough to shelve the 1100 titles Richard? It speaks vol­umes of the incred­i­ble depth of Churchill that fresh insights con­tin­ue to emerge in books even after so many have already been published.

    Ha! No, but they hold a fair num­ber of them. RML

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