The American edition of Andrew Roberts’s Churchill: Walking with Destiny comes out today.
I know, I know—you’re probably wondering whether yet another bio of the eminent British statesman was really necessary. Apparently so: Both the New York Times and the Economist named it one of the best books of the year.
What’s the fascination with Winston? Well, for one, he smoked as many as 10 cigars a day* and actually got a doctor’s note authorizing a minimum of 250 cc (a little over 8 oz.) of “alcoholic spirits” at meal times. During prohibition. I mean, sure, he led Britain to victory in WWII and wrote some 13 million words in 43 books and is one of the most significant figures of the 20th Century—a period with no shortage of significant figures—but c’mon. What a badass.
*According to former valet Roy Howells, “in two days his cigar consumption was the equivalent of my weekly salary.”