Churchill was an exponent of the view that the British and American people had a unique greatness and destiny and that all British history should be seen as progress towards fulfilling that destiny. This belief inspired his political career as well as his historical writing.
Although Churchill was an excellent writer, he was not a trained historian. The major influences on his historical thought, and his prose style, were Clarendon's history of the English Civil War, Gibbon's Decline and Fall and Macaulay's History of England. He had a limited interest in social or economic history, and he saw history as essentially political and military, driven primarily by great men rather than by economic forces or social change, which is at odds with the views of many trained historians. But neither approach has been accepted as invariably superior. What is important about his work is that it provides an abundance of well written testimony by one of the major participants in the history of the 20th century. As with all witnesses, in reading this testimony it is important to consider the biases and personal interests from which... Read More