He is commemorated throughout the world in museums and statuary, on street signs and in gift shops; even more prominently, Winston Churchill's monumental presence persists in shelves upon shelves of biographies and histories, dozens of which were written by Churchill himself and have been international bestsellers. While political figures are routinely the objects of intense posthumous scrutiny, few have achieved such pervasive and ongoing influence, and fewer still have so adeptly orchestrated their own place in history. Man of the Century is the often surprising story of how Winston Churchill, in the last years of his life, carefully crafted his reputation for posterity, and it reveals him as the twentieth century's pioneering, and perhaps most gifted, "spin doctor." It is also a far-ranging account not only of Churchill's continuing impact on British, American, and European politics, but also of the powerful legacy of his vision of a common destiny and heritage for English-speaking peoples around the world.
In the first book to examine the full scope of Churchill's postwar influence, John Ramsden draws on fresh material and extensive research from three continents to argue that the statesman's force of personality and romantic, imperial notion of Britain have contributed directly to many political events of the last several decades-including American involvement in Vietnam and the role of the Anglo-American alliance in promoting and protecting a certain vision of world order. Man of the Century captures the complexities of Churchill's story and political legacy as well as the spirit and irreverent power of the statesman who became a modern legend.