Today, as liberty and truth are increasingly challenged, the figures of Churchill and Orwell loom large. Exemplars of Britishness, they preserved individual freedom and democracy for the world through their far-sighted vision and inspired action, and cast a long shadow across our culture and politics. In Churchill & Orwell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas E. Ricks masterfully argues that these extraordinary men are as important today as they ever were.
Churchill and Orwell stood in political opposition to each other, but were both committed to the preservation of freedom. However, in the late 1930s they occupied a lonely position: democracy was much discredited, and authoritarian rulers, fascist and communist, were everywhere in the ascent. Unlike others, they had the wisdom to see that the most salient issue was human liberty – and that any government that denies its people basic rights is a totalitarian menace to be resisted.
Churchill and Orwell proved their age’s necessary men, and this book reveals how they rose from a precarious position to triumph over the enemies of freedom. Churchill may have played the larger role in Hitler’s defeat, but Orwell’s reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in 1984 and Animal Farm defined the stakes of the Cold War and continues to inspire to this day. Their lives are an eloquent testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it takes to stay true to it, through thick and thin.
‘A superb account of two men who set standards for defending liberal democracy that remains disturbingly out of reach’ Kirkus
“The genius of Ricks’ method is to tell the story of an ongoing struggle through the lives of two extraordinary men” Booklist
'Superbly illustrates that Churchill and Orwell made enduring cases for the necessity of moral and political fortitude in the face of authoritarianism… a bracing work for our times’ Publishers Weekly
Praise for Thomas E. Ricks’s Fiasco
‘Ricks’s scrupulous account of the disaster in Iraq will fill the reader with anger’ Antony Beevor, Sunday Times
‘The most authoritative account of the disaster in Iraq’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times
‘Fiasco’s political impact has been immense’ Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year
‘Possibly the most powerful critique of Anglo-American security and foreign policy in our time’ Evening Standard
‘There will be no better explanation of what went wrong and why’ Spectator, Books of the Year
‘Terrifying’ Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
Praise for Thomas E. Ricks's Gamble
‘A terrific book ... this clear-sighted analysis should be applauded for charting Petraeus's remarkable achievements in Iraq’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times
‘Shines a light through the veil of inscrutability that masks this singular US general ... compelling, troubling, but ultimately inspiring’ The Times
‘It is hard to imagine any history narrating the dramatic turn-round better than this new book ... essential reading’ Evening Standard