How Many Books Did Winston Churchill Write – Part II
Winston Churchill was a busy man. He gallivanted around the British Empire as both British cavalry officer and, simultaneously, war correspondent, sat over the course of seven decades in Parliament, holding virtually every cabinet post in the British government, from First Lord of the Admiralty to Prime Minister (twice), and saved the world from Hitler in a way no other person on the planet could have done. He wooed prospective brides, downed mass quantities of champagne, painted hundreds of canvasses, smoked uncounted big cigars, and flew three-quarters of the way to the moon (well, its equivalent, by air, to direct the British war effort and negotiate with FDR and Stalin). He also wrote. By one account, he “produced thirty-three titles in fifty-one volumes. [They] consist of eighteen collections of speeches, one of newspaper articles, four of war dispatches, two of essays and character portraits, one novel, one travel book, two biographies, one autobiography, two world war memoirs, and one history of a people.” That’s not to mention an estimated 500 articles and hundreds of uncollected speeches and papers. Eight-to-nine million words, all told. (from Sword and Pen: A Survey of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill by Mannfred Weidhorn.)
33 books in 51 volumes. Or was it 38 books? 43? In 58 volumes, 72, or 73? The authorities on Churchill don’t agree. But we’re here to find out. In the last column, I listed 19 books in 29 volumes, assuming you count Parts I and II of The World Crisis, Volume III as two volumes on your shelf. Let’s pick up where we left off, with his 20th book.
- Into Battle (titled Blood, Sweat and Tears in the US) (1941) – This speech collection includes some of his most enduring phrases (e.g., “This was their finest hour.” “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”)
- The Unrelenting Struggle (1942) – speeches given in 1941
- The End of the Beginning (1943) – speeches given in 1942
- Onwards to Victory (1944) – speeches given in 1943
- The Dawn of Liberation (1945) – 1944 speeches
- Victory (1946) – last of the war speeches
- Secret Session Speeches (1946) – 5 speeches presented in closed sessions of Parliament
- The Second World War (1948-1953) (6 volumes) – World War II from Churchill’s perspective. “This is not history;” he wrote, “this is my case. The one and only memoir of the war by a head of state. Published before most other participants got their memoirs out, he managed to steer the discussion for decades to come. Self-serving in many spots, but always revealing.
- The Sinews of Peace (1949) – Kicked out of office by voters, Churchill returns to the stump, delivering more warnings, including the “Iron Curtain” speech that helped America to understand the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
- Europe Unite (1950) – Speeches on this theme.
- In the Balance (1952) – More speeches
- Stemming the Tide (1954) – Speeches by Churchill, back in office as Prime Minister
- The Unwritten Alliance (1961) Winston’s last volume of speeches. Title refers to the Anglo-American bond, but book published only in the UK.
- A History of the English Speaking Peoples (1956-1958) (4 volumes) – Churchill was nearly done with this popular history, but then the Second World War began. He picked it up after exiting #10 Downing Street the second time, and, with a team to help this octogenarian, polished it off. Limited in what it covers – mostly politics, war and the great deeds of great men and women in Great Britain and the US. A more fitting title, tweaked Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee, was “Things in history that interested me.” And we’re better off for it. Not totally reliable, but a smashing good read, written in Churchill’s usual conversational style.
OK, 14 books in this post, plus 19 in the last one. That’s 33 books in 51 volumes. Actually, just 33 volumes if you get the one-volume abridgements of all his multi-volume works. But is that it, or isn’t it? How do we get to 38 books or 43? See Part III.