In 1953, Winston Churchill received the Nobel Prize for Literature. In fact, Churchill was a professional writer before he was a politician, and published a stream of books and articles over the course of two intertwined careers. Now historian Peter Clarke traces the writing of the magisterial work that occupied Churchill for a quarter century, his four-volume History of the English-Speaking Peoples. As an author, Churchill faced woes familiar to many others; chronically short of funds, late on deadlines, scrambling to sell new projects or cajoling his publishers for more advance money. He signed a contract for the English-Speaking project in 1932, a time when his political career seemed over. The magnum opus was to be delivered in 1939, but in that year, history overtook history-writing. When the Nazis swept across Europe, Churchill was summoned from political exile to become Prime Minister. The English-Speaking Peoples would have to wait. The book would indeed be written and become...

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