David irving

Churchill as villain – but is this a character assassination too far?

The veteran journalist Geoffrey Wheatcroft claims in his prologue to Churchill’s Shadow that: ‘This is not a hostile account, or not by intention, nor consciously “revisionist”, or contrarian,’ before launching into a long book that is virtually uninterrupted in its hostility to Winston Churchill, his memory and especially anyone who has had the temerity to admire Churchill or learn lessons from his life and career. Churchill revisionism is hardly new. The very first book I reviewed was Clive Ponting’s revisionist biography of 1994, since when there have been scholarly books by John Charmley, a predictably vicious one by David Irving (whose hero’s career was somewhat curtailed by Churchill) and a