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Cover

Winston Churchill

A Life in the News

Richard Toye

Publication Date - February 2022

ISBN: 9780192896230

400 pages
Paperback
8.5 x 5.4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $18.95

Description

Before Winston Churchill made history, he made news. To a great extent, the news made him too. If it was his own efforts that made him a hero, it was the media that made him a celebrity - and it has been considerably responsible for perpetuating his memory and shaping his reputation in the years since his death.

Churchill first made his name via writing and journalism in the years before 1900, the money he earned helping to support his political career (at a time when MPs did not get salaries). Journalistic activities were also important to him later, as he struggled in the interwar years to find the wherewithal to run and maintain Chartwell, his country house in Kent. Moreover, not only was journalism an important aspect of Churchill's political persona, but he himself was a news-obsessive throughout his life.

The story of Churchill and the news is, on one level, a tale of tight deadlines, off-the-record briefings and smoke-filled newsrooms, of wartime summits that were turned into stage-managed global media events, and of often tense interactions with journalists and powerful press proprietors, such as Lords Northcliffe, Rothermere, and Beaverbrook. Uncovering the symbiotic relationship between Churchill's political life and his media life, and the ways in which these were connected to his personal life, Richard Toye asks if there was a 'public Churchill' whose image was at odds with the behind-the-scenes reality, or whether, in fact, his private and public selves became seamlessly blended as he adjusted to living in the constant glare of the media spotlight.

On a wider level, this is also the story of a rapidly evolving media and news culture in the first half of the twentieth century, and of what the contemporary reporting of Churchill's life (including by himself) can tell us about the development of this culture, over a period spanning from the Victorian era through to the space age.

Features

  • Traces Churchill's life in the news from cradle to grave, showing how tensions between tradition and novelty played into his constantly evolving media image
  • Drawing on a massive amount of media coverage of Churchill, much of it previously forgotten, and explores ordinary people's reactions to news coverage of Churchill
  • A tale of tight deadlines, off-the-record briefings and smoke-filled newsrooms, of wartime summits that were turned into stage-managed global media events
  • A story of rapidly changing technology, in which the telegraph, the telephone, radio, newsreel and (to a lesser extent) television all played their parts
  • Dealing with themes of censorship and propaganda, the book is of compelling relevance in the era of 'fake news'

About the Author(s)

Richard Toye, Professor of Modern History, University of Exeter

Richard Toye is Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. He previously worked at the University of Cambridge. He has written widely on modern British and international political and economic history. His critically acclaimed book Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness won him the 2007 Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year Award. He lives in Exeter with his wife and two sons.

Reviews

"Winston Churchill - A Life in the News is also the story of a rapidly evolving media and news culture in the first half of the twentieth century, and of what the contemporary reporting of Churchill's life (including by himself) can tell us about the development of this culture, over a period spanning from the Victorian era through to the space age." -- Cosmopolis

"Winston Churchill: A Life in the News sheds a fresh light on one of the best-studied statesmen, exploring the "symbiotic relationship" between Churchill's political life, journalistic career, and media persona." -- Stefan Goebel, Journal of British Studies

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. A Pushing Age
    2. Stage Thunder
    3. Any Home News?
    4. Hell with the Lid Off
    5. Born to Trouble
    6. 'Worse than the Nazis'
    7. 'The War is not Fought to Amuse the Newspapers'
    8. Whose Finger?
    Conclusion

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