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Churchill: The Life, An Authorized Pictorial Biography by Max Arthur is an elegant and lavish work that uses about 225 photographs to illustrate the many varied aspects of Churchill’s life. The selection of photographs include the famous Karsh and Steichen portraits of Churchill as well as the well-known images of Churchill as a Boer prisoner, at Sidney Street, aboard the Prince of Wales, with Stalin and Roosevelt, and with the royal family at Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. Additionally, many less well known photographs are included in the volume. Arthur is a historian and the author of The Faces of World War I, provides a detailed caption of about 150 words for each photograph. Divided into eight chronological chapters, the book includes both Churchill’s political and personal life, with images of the politician with his family as well as pursuing his hobbies (golf, bricklaying, polo, flying, painting). The one aspect of his life and career not well-covered in the volume is his writing career, which could have been dealt with by including facsimiles of his articles or dust jackets from his books. Beyond the photographs, the book includes pictures of Churchill memorabilia (cigars, dispatch box, watch) and facsimiles of Churchill letters, speech notes, newspaper articles, and other documents. The most interesting of these documents is the Harrow Punishment Book. All of the images are crisp and clear. One quibble about the book would be that Arthur does not include the “smiling” Churchill portrait taken by Karsh in the same photo session as the famous Churchill portrait. Churchill: The Life, An Authorized Pictorial Biography is published by Firefly Books.

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