Stafford’s description of this critical year is masterful. In 1921 the former “bold, bad man” of British national life rose above his reputation as a war-mongering opportunist. The picture is of a reflective and vulnerable man of character, strengthened by every reverse—a man of vision and, to a few observers, “a prime minister in the making.” Really good books about Churchill are scarce these days, and deserve full appreciation. This one belongs on any list of the top twenty specialized studies.
Churchill offers thoughtful ideas on when representative government may be supplemented by a national vote. Above all, he thought the referendum must be rare. Only eleven times in his long career was there a call for a referendum. Only six times did he support it.