Friday, 18 January 2013

Dinner with Churchill: Policy Making at the Dinner Table

Author: Cita Stelzer

Published: January 2013

What They Say: A colorful and eloquent look at Churchill, with fascinating new insights into the food he ate, the Champagne he loved, and the important guests he charmed. This delectable volume is a sumptuous and intellectual treat.

A friend once said of Churchill: “He is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.” But dinners for Churchill were about more than good food, excellent champagnes and Havana cigars.“Everything” included the opportunity to use the dinner table both as a stage on which to display his brilliant conversational talents, and an intimate setting in which to glean gossip and diplomatic insights and to argue for the many policies he espoused over a long life. In this riveting, informative and entertaining book, Stelzer draws on previously untapped material, diaries of guests, and a wide variety of other sources to tell of some of the key dinners at which Churchill presided before, during and after World War II.

What Sheli Says: This book is a little gem. I was expecting a bit of a dry non-fiction read, that although I was sure would be interesting, I wasn't sure it would be particularly inspiring. I had a very pleasant surprise! 

This book is full of pictures of artefacts and little anecdotal snippets as well as being a fascinating insight into Churchill's life behind the dining room door. Having visited the Imperial War Museum Churchill exhibition last year and getting an idea about the size and stature of this gentleman last year, reading about his eating habits was not entirely surprising, but for me filled an important piece of the puzzle.

An interesting and fun read, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Churchill and finding out about another angle on his political tactics.

This book was an advance review copy from Netgalley.

Sheli's rating: 7/10

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