Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship

Published By: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Category: Non-Fiction, History

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Reviewed by Edyth Abraham

Winston Churchill, for as long as he can remember, has been connected with Jews. Coming from a family with close Jewish ties, though not through blood, he has always had friends from this ethnicity. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill was often rebuked by the English aristocrats about his many Jewish friends. Learning about the biblical characters in his school, he was often fascinated with their stories and with their lives.

Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, draws on letters, speeches, newspaper articles and other resources to provide a clear depiction of his friendship with one of the most persecuted races in the world: the Jews.

Reading this book was very eye opening. I have always heard about Churchill through his famous quotes often featured at graduations and other ceremonies–and through those I had developed a certain respect for him. However, after reading this book, I consider him one of the greatest men who ever lived. Sure he had faults; he would be the first to admit that. But what set him apart was the fact that he was willing to stand up for what he believed in, even when popular opinion was against it. He was an ardent supporter for a Jewish state and played a key role in bringing that to pass. Many considered his love for Jews one of his major faults; however, he was not swayed by what others thought him.

Martin Gilbert’s portrayal of Churchill and his relationship with Jews is very enlightening. It explores this often-neglected topic, captivating the readers from the very beginning as it traces his first Jewish friendships to his Jewish friends he had during the time he was Prime Minister. I really enjoyed this book that also includes photographs that chronicle his relationship with them.

Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended to any history buff!

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