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Lead book review

Churchill and Empire, by Lawrence James - a review

<em>Philip Hensher</em> says that Churchill’s engagement with the empire does not reveal him at his finest hour

20 July 2013

9:00 AM

20 July 2013

9:00 AM

Churchill and Empire: Portrait of an Imperialist Lawrence James

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp.464, £25, ISBN: 9780297869146

A fraught subject, this, and one which makes it difficult to sustain undiluted admiration for Churchill. Lawrence James is the doyen of empire historians, and has traced the great man’s engagement with the enormous fact of the British empire. What emerges is a sense of the individual nations being dealt with at the end of the day, when everything that really mattered had already been handled, and being subject to a series of trivial dismissals, outbursts of comic rage, and with little effort made to understand what might be an appropriate way to govern these immense territories.

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