ytwcOn my first day in London on this trip I wandered into a bookstore and picked up a copy of Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill by Michael Sheldon. I have been carrying this book with me the entire time while traveling around. I like having a book (or Kindle) in my bag while touring around so I can pull it out at any time to read while having a casual meal, waiting on queue for an event, or just relaxing.

In addition, as I seem to be in a bit of at Churchill phase (having just recently featured the fine book Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table as a Weekly Read) this new book was the perfect companion for a London holiday.

I have read a few comprehensive biographies of Winston Churchill over the years, and for the most part they can be overwhelming and/or mostly focused on the iconic years of his wartime leadership. In Young Titan, Mr. Sheldon offers a vivid picture of the young Churchill and his life experiences that helped create the legendary figure he became.

About Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill by Michael Sheldon: “In modern memory, Winston Churchill remains the man with the cigar and the equanimity among the ruins. Few can remember that at the age of 40, he was considered washed up, his best days behind him. In Young Titan, historian Michael Shelden has produced the first biography focused on Churchill’s early career, the years between 1901 and 1915 that both nearly undid him but also forged the character that would later triumph in the Second World War. Between his rise and his fall, Churchill built a modern navy, experimented with radical social reforms, survived various threats on his life, made powerful enemies and a few good friends, annoyed and delighted two British monarchs, became a husband and father, took the measure of the German military machine, authorized executions of notorious murderers, and faced deadly artillery barrages on the Western front. Along the way, he learned how to outwit more experienced rivals, how to overcome bureaucratic obstacles, how to question the assumptions of his upbringing, how to be patient and avoid overconfidence, and how to value loyalty.”

Take away what we all know about Churchill from the Battle of Britain and he is still a compelling historical figure. By focusing on these core early years of his career, this book illuminates – and humanizes – Churchill in ways that makes reconsider him in a new context.

Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill by Michael Sheldon is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.