Volume one of The Churchill Documents includes documents relevant to the first narrative volume of the official biography, Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900. The intensity of Churchill’s feelings, the breadth of his opinions, and his tenacity of purpose shine through in these early years, as he gathered the will and determination to confront the world.
The Churchill Documents
Volume 2Young Soldier 1896-1901
The years covered in this volume were among the most intense years of Churchill’s life: several times in danger of death in the firing lines; being taken prisoner of war and escaping from captivity; reporting as a journalist from the scenes of the fiercest fighting; and making every effort to enter Parliament and enter British political life.
Volume 3Early Years in Politics 1901-1907
The correspondence in this volume shows a young man in a hurry, but with strong convictions and clear abilities, one determined to make his mark on the national stage. Writings mine a rich seam of correspondence revolving primarily round his activities as a new Member of Parliament, which culminated in his decision to leave the Conservative Party and join the opposition Liberal Party.
Volume 4Minister of the Crown 1907-1911
Volume 4 of The Churchill Documents begins with Churchill’s remarkable visit to East Africa in 1907 and his journey down the Nile. Then follows his entry into the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade, his courtship with and marriage to Clementine Hozier, his work for prison reform as Home Secretary, his deepening involvement in defence matters, and his opening months as First Lord of the Admiralty.
Volume 5At the Admiralty 1911-1914
The Royal Navy, its needs and its potential, are the main thrust of Churchill’s letters and memoranda in this volume. These documents show how determined he was not to see Britain vulnerable to the growing naval power of Germany. Churchill’s letters to his wife in the last two weeks of July 1914 give a poignant picture of how rapidly the world crisis evolved.
Volume 6At the Admiralty July 1914-April 1915
This volume includes Churchill’s efforts to sustain the siege of Antwerp, his support for the use of air power in war, and his central part in the development of the tank. It also shows the enthusiasm and forcefulness with which he supported an offensive naval policy, first against Germany, then against Turkey, impressing and influencing his colleagues.
Volume 7The Escaped Scapegoat May 1915-December 1916
The letters and documents reproduced in this volume span the period from May 1915 to December 1916. “What about the Dardanelles?” was the cry Winston Churchill was to hear often between the two world wars. It epitomized the distrust in which he was widely held as a result of the eventual failure of the Gallipoli expedition. Although, as the documents in this volume make clear, that campaign was the full ministerial responsibility of the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener.
Volume 8War and Aftermath December 1916-June 1919
For Churchill, the period covered in this volume was dominated first by the need to defeat Germany; then by the post-war settlement and the Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks in Russia; and by a growing personal awareness of the strong forces of disruption and chaos with which the early years of the twentieth century were being threatened.
Volume 9Disruption and Chaos July 1919-March 1921
Through the documents in this volume, editor Sir Martin Gilbert leads the reader on a fascinating journey from July 1919 to March 1921, covering the early problems of peace, the continued intervention in Russia against the Bolsheviks, the Russo-Polish war, terrorism and the search for conciliation in Ireland, revolt in Iraq, Britain’s Palestine Mandate, and the future of Britain’s position in the Middle East.
Volume 10Conciliation and Reconstruction April 1921-November 1922
From April 1921-November 1922, national affairs in Great Britain were dominated by the search for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, and the political crisis that ended the peacetime coalition and Winston Churchill’s own ministerial career. Personal tragedy and hardship also befell Churchill: the death of his mother and of his young daughter Marigold.
Volume 11The Exchequer Years 1922-1929
Among the subjects covered in this volume are Churchill’s return to Conservatism in 1924, the General Strike of 1926 and the continuing coal strike that year, and Churchill’s stint as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir Martin Gilbert includes new material about Churchill’s life at Chartwell, his friendships, and his political and personal relationships, both with the leading figures of the day and with many of those who were then embarking on their own political careers.
Volume 12The Wilderness Years 1929-1935
Among the subjects covered in this volume are Churchill’s long conflict with the Conservative Party over its India policy; his early awareness of the Nazi danger; his creation of an increasingly strong base of popular and parliamentary support; his astonishing literary and journalistic work; his travels in Canada, the United States, and Europe; his financial problems and achievements; and his family life.