Curt Zoller, A Churchill Bibliographer of Distinction

Curt Zoller, A Churchill Bibliographer of Distinction


R.I.P. Curt

Lagu­na Hills, Calif., Octo­ber 6th— Curt Zoller, a Churchill schol­ar for a third of a cen­tu­ry, passed away a week short of his 94th birth­day. “Over the last two years his health had been rapid­ly declin­ing,” writes his daugh­ter Mar­sha, “but he tried so hard to ‘Nev­er give in.'”

A seri­ous book col­lec­tor, Curt was a long­time colum­nist for Finest Hour, the Churchill quar­ter­ly I edit­ed from 1982 to 2014. There he wrote “Churchill­triv­ia,” the Quiz col­umn. In 2004 he pub­lished an invalu­able ref­er­ence, The Anno­tat­ed Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Works About Sir Win­ston S. Churchill. In it, Curt logged thou­sands of books, arti­cles and dis­ser­ta­tions. I con­tributed anno­ta­tions describ­ing the pri­ma­ry works. In his review, Christo­pher Ster­ling wrote:

Zoller divides his more than 2,500 cita­tions into six sec­tions, each of which is arranged and num­bered in chrono­log­i­cal order. Sec­tion A focus­es on books devot­ed entire­ly to some aspect of Churchill’s life (684 of them); Sec­tion B con­cerns “books con­tain­ing sub­stan­tial data about Win­ston S. Churchill” (more than 900);  Sec­tion C cov­ers arti­cles and lec­ture series (near­ly 650); Sec­tion D pro­vides a handy list of reviews of Churchill’s own books; and Sec­tion E offers a three-page alpha­bet­i­cal list­ing by author of six­ty the­ses and dis­ser­ta­tions about Churchill (large­ly from Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties, but includ­ing some in oth­er lan­guages from oth­er nations), the ear­li­est dat­ing from the 1940s. This is all held togeth­er with a sol­id index of author names and an index of titles, allow­ing users a vari­ety of ways to access­ing the material.

Other Zoller Works

“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)

Curt Zoller also pub­lished Her­schel Logan’s The Amer­i­can Hand­press: Its Ori­gin, Devel­op­ment and Use (1980), and co-authored, with Michael McMe­namin, an impor­tant book on Bourke Cock­ran: Becom­ing Win­ston Churchill: The Untold Sto­ry of Young Win­ston and His Amer­i­can Men­tor (2007). In his review of the lat­ter, Ted Hutchin­son wrote:

There is some rare stuff between the cov­ers of Becom­ing Win­ston Churchill: mate­r­i­al so unusu­al, so uncom­mon, that Churchillians should trea­sure it like a rare gem, or a first edi­tion of Mr. Brodrick’s Army. The book is per­haps even more uncom­mon than such rar­i­ties. It exists in a world of fakes, large­ly pop­u­lat­ed by books which only pre­tend to do what it does.

A man nev­er dies as long as he is remem­bered. Curt’s friends will remem­ber the delight of his com­pa­ny and friend­ship; his books assure him a per­ma­nent memo­r­i­al among Churchill scholars.

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