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Book Review: Winston Churchill by John Perry

Winston Churchill (Christian Encounters Series)

My latest review for Booksneeze is Winston Churchill by John Perry.  It's another biography in Thomas Nelson Publishers' Christian Encounters Series.  Booksneeze provides free books in exchange for honest reviews.  Check it out at http://www.booksneeze.com (and no, I didn't pick the name).  I've previously reviewed another book in this series, the biography written of John Bunyan. 

This biography of Churchill is, by the nature of the series, quite short.  Considering all of the aspects of any life, much less one as crucial to the 20th Century as Winston Churchill, a book this size will not cover everything.  That's neither a strength nor a weakness.  Just a fact.

To consider the value of this work, I'd like to take a look at what is included and excluded.

Included: quick summaries of the action points of Churchill's life.  This is good to provide background.

Excluded: Details of large blocks between the points of action.  For example, how did Churchill spend the whole of his time in the Boer War in South Africa?  These details are left out.  That's not all bad.

Included: An emphasis on his nanny and her role in raising him.  Alongside this are consistent criticisms of the role, or lack of role, his parents held.  This shows some insight into Churchill's behaviors.  However;

Excluded: More than one passing reference to the fact that Churchill's parents were as personally involved in their son as any other parents in their class and wealth at the time.  It's pointed out once, but then not recalled in other statements. This isn't to say that Churchill's parents were ideal, but that more balance would have preferable.  Not every time that his parents were criticized, but more often than just the once.

Included: A brief statement about Churchill's acknowledgment of God and the benefits, especially socially, of Christian beliefs.

Excluded: In-depth information showing Churchill as a devout or committed Christian.  This is a place not to be disappointed in this book.  It's very easy to assume that a Christian Encounters biography will primarily feature great heroes of the faith and detail their faith, prayers, and Christian activity.  I'd like to see a little more of that, but there might not be more of it.

So, don't look to this biography to give you an example of faith to walk in.  Look to it for what it is: a brief synopsis of the life of an individual who did, at some points, agree with and follow a part of the Christian faith.

I'd give 3 stars out of 5 to this one, since I've got to rate it out of 5 stars!  Remember: free book provided by publisher.  Read Disclosures! for more info.

 

Doug

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