The Life of Winston Churchill Critical Context - Essay

Leonard Wibberley

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

The Life of Winston Churchill works well as a biography for young readers for several reasons. The subject had a major role in the making of twentieth century world history, and Churchill’s life lends itself to the “great individual” approach used by Wibberley. The young reader in search of a hero with which to identify will find one in this biography of Churchill. The book focuses on the obstacles that Churchill had to overcome in order to be successful, therefore developing the implicit theme that success awaits those who work hard and persevere. The biography restructures Churchill’s life into a series of amusing stories told through anecdotes, an approach that provides entertainment for young readers.

Churchill’s reputation among the general public in the United States may well be higher than it is in Great Britain; the popularity in the United States of books like Wibberley’s study suggests why this is the case. The Life of Winston Churchill is a romanticized account of a great British leader who had a special interest in bringing the United States and Great Britain closer together. Although it is not a scholarly account and must be read with caution, The Life of Winston Churchill succeeds admirably in its purpose of stimulating the young reader’s interest in history and in the life of one of Great Britain’s most colorful twentieth century political leaders.