'His book is timely and a triumph. Roberts manages to convey all the reader needs to know about two men to whom battalions of biographies have been devoted' EVENING STANDARD Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill were two totally opposite leaders - both in what they stood for and in the way in which they seemed to lead. Award-winning historian Andrew Roberts examines their different styles of leadership and draws parallels with rulers from other eras. He also looks at the way Hitler and Churchill estimated each other as leaders, and how it affected the outcome of the war. In a world that is as dependent on leadership as any earlier age, HITLER AND CHURCHILL asks searching questions about our need to be led. In doing so, Andrew Roberts forces us to re-examine the way that we look at those who take decisions for us.
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UK Kirkus Review »
One of them led his nation to victory through bloody-minded determination and defiant speeches. The other brought his people to the verge of victory largely by the force of his personality, then blew it and led them to disaster instead. But does this mean that Churchill was the genius and Hitler a no-hoper who got found out in the end? This question and its complex answers underpin what this book is about. From the outset, Andrew Roberts acknowledges the extraordinary talents of Hitler and Churchill. In terms of personality, habits and political opinions they could scarcely have been more different but both exuded a charisma and self-belief that inspired millions. Whether they did it consciously or not, they were drawing upon the gifts possessed by leaders through the centuries. The techniques may vary but similarities occur again and again. 'Leadership - like courage and even sincerity - can be completely divorced from the concepts of good and evil,' Roberts writes. He points out that both Hitler and Churchill were brave and sincere in their beliefs, each grudgingly admired his adversary and each knew that the other possessed formidable talents. Hitler's style of leadership was instinct-based, almost messianic in its intensity, while Churchill proved to be much more of a bully behind the scenes although he was more willing than Hitler to listen and accept advice. In the end, perhaps the dividing line between the two men was who had the greatest nerve. It proved to be Churchill, who - according to Andrew Roberts - brought off one of history's greatest con tricks. He talked of victory and made his people believe in their destiny, while at the same time he hadn't a clue as to how he was going to get the better of Hitler. The book forms a fascinating study of the two men, exploring their psyches as few others have done. It was written to accompany a BBC series about great leaders but it stands alone as a penetrating study in its own right. Andrew Roberts won the Wolfson History Prize (the historians' equivalent of the Booker) for his book Salisbury, Victorian Titan. He will be in the running for further honours with this one. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Andrew Roberts
Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994 . He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. His books include Napoleon and Wellington in 2001, Hitler and Churchill (based on BBC-2 series) in 2003. What Might Have Been (editor) in 2004. His History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 was published in 2006 and won the Walter Bagehot Prize .