Thursday, October 20, 2016

Churchill becomes household name during 2nd Boer War.

Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, by Candice Millard is an informative and entertaining read that paints a picture of a brash and cavalier young man who will miss no opportunity to gain fame and advancement, be on the battlefield with a sword and pistol, or in the press with a pen.

Hero of the Empire briefly touches on Churchill's experiences in India, the Sudan, and Cuba, giving a thumbnail sketch of young Winston before and directly after the 2nd Boer War before detailing his experiences in South Africa.  The story jumps into high gear after his unsuccessful run for the British parliament, as he travels to Cape Town, South Africa on a troop transport ship as a member of the press corps covering the Boer War.

Love him or hate him Churchill was a unabashed narcissist who saw himself from an early age as someone destined for greatness.  His actions in Natal and the Transvaal of South Africa during the war gave him the exposure back home in Great Britain to propel him into the political spotlight. 

Millard writes a fast-paced narrative will worth the reading.