Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill by Gretchen Rubin

Author Gretchen Rubin wrote this entertaining book for readers who want to know something but not everything about Winston Churchill. Its forty chapters, some quite short, are essays, quizzes, and lists that present various views of the famous British prime minister about whom many huge books are written. Some essays are like Opposing Viewpoint books, giving evidence for contrary assertions, such "Churchill was an alcoholic" and "Churchill was not an alcoholic." The result is an engaging portrait of the man Rubin says was the real James Bond. I will include Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill in the biography readers' advisory guide that I am writing because Rubin has broken out of the big book biography mold with this creatively organized book. It might be described as "biography lite" but she really did capture the essential life in her small book, which should appeal to many busy readers. More libraries should have it. The author has also written a similar book about President Kennedy, which is also under-represented in libraries.

Rubin, Gretchen. Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill: A Brief Account of a Long Life. Ballantine Books, 2003. 307p. ISBN 0345450477.

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