I may be jumping the gun a little bit with this week’s Read, as this book literally came out just yesterday, but I have been waiting for it for some time and I am just getting into it. The book is Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks, and the reason I have been looking forward to this book is my fanboy admiration for its subjects. I would be hard pressed to find two historical figures I admire more than Winston Churchill and George Orwell and in his hot off the presses book, Mr. Ricks treats us to a dual biography weaving the two men’s stories together.

About Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks, a dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, whose farsighted vision and inspired action preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike. Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930’s—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they’d died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West’s compass set toward freedom as its due north.”

The influence these two men had on the way the 20th century turned out is incredible, and I am left with the thought of what would be different today had they not been around. I suspect the world would be a different place altogether. Even with the flaws we are dealing with today, I am not sure I would want to live in the world that didn’t benefit from a Churchill and an Orwell.

Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.