Book Review: Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill


by Michael Shelden

New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013. Pp. xii, 384. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $30.00. ISBN: 1451609914

Churchill’s life and work through 1915

Journalist and biographer Shelden gives us a closer look at Churchill’s early life and political career than is commonly found in most biographies.  Young Titan is divided into three parts. 

The first part covers Churchill’s early life.  We get a look at his family life, his education, his military adventures in Cuba, India, the Sudan, and South Africa, his early writings, his surprisingly, numerous romances, and his first steps in politics.  The second part deals in considerable detail with the period 1905-1910, when Churchill began to make a splash in politics, his marriage to Clementine Hozier, and his entry into the Cabinet as Home Secretary.  The final section covers 1910 through 1915, as Churchill became a rising star in Britain’s political life, passing from Home Secretary to First Lord of the Admiralty, only to fall disastrously after the debacle at Gallipoli, which cast a shadow over his career for decades. 

Sheldon tells a lively tale, with many insights into Churchill’s personality.  He argues, quite effectively, that it was the political disaster that overcame Churchill in 1915 that became the driving force of his life. 

While there are longer, and more detailed books on Churchill, Young Titan will prove rewarding reading even for those familiar with his life and works.


Note: Young Titan is also available in e-Book format, ISBN 978-1-4516-0993-6.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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