This is an epic book about an almost unbelieveable life, a classic case of fact being stranger than fiction - you couldn't make it up. His early life is the stuff of a boy's own adventure story, dashing across the british empire fighting natives, being captured by the Boer and escaping. The politics could be rather dull and confusing to someone not really interested in the mire of modern politics, but Jenkins manages to make this somehow slightly noble! The parties and Churchill's floor crossings are explained as are the big issues of the day. The second world war period - for which, I suppose he is most associated - does not dominate the book. Of the 46 chapters, 12 are devoted to this period of years. It also goes a long way to describing how his life to date had uniquly prepared him for exactly that time in history. It is un-nerving to think what would have happened had he not been in the right place at the right time. My only critisism is that the book ends, almost abruptly, at Churchill's death. I know a biography usually ends with the death of the subject, but I can't help feeling it might have been nice to have a summary chapter, maybe discussing his legacy. Jenkins' text is a delight to read, extremely erudite and with a wonderfully wide vocabulary. At approaching 1000 pages, paperback maybe isn't the best format for this book. After 1 read, the spine of my new copy is intact, but the front cover is looking distinctly dog-eared.