Dr. Bowman has done the daring thing, criticising Britain's iconic wartime leader… Churchill is shown here in his real colours as an old-fashioned imperialist and an incompetent strategist…. a lively read with a strong central argument.
I greatly enjoyed Empire First. It is well-researched, clear, fluent… a convincing indictment of the Churchill myth. A book with immense appeal for specialist and lay readers. It was very satisfying to read such a book on a major subject.
This is a fine new analysis of the role Winston Churchill actually played in World War II that differs in important ways from substantial portions of existing accounts and beliefs.
Graeme Bowman takes on British icon Winston Churchill and radically re-interprets his legacy, specifically his WWII leadership, when his focus was less on the struggle against fascism in Europe and more on preserving Britain's Empire. Bowman's big, brawling book deserves a wide audience because it presents an essential corrective to the ill-informed triumphalism that produced Brexit. He has mapped out the theatre of war in the Mediterranean and Far East with a thoroughness I’ve encountered nowhere else.
Rips a new aperture in WWII historiography… best and most original book of the last twenty years.
A thumpingly good read from a sound c***! I laughed aloud several times while reading Empire First - a real achievement for a history book! Comprehensive, fearless and very readable, it sparked a real interest in history for me.
There's never been a book like this - it's history, but not as we know it! Graeme Bowman manages the almost impossible task of presenting detailed, complex history in an engaging and accessible way. The scope of the book is hugely impressive. Most writers tackle World War II through a narrow European focus but Bowman examines the key events of this period through a much wider lens, challenging the conventional view of Churchill as the great hero who saved the world from Nazism. If you thought you knew all there was to know about Churchill's priorities and preoccupations, this book will make you think again.
An informative and revealing account of a major subject.
Empire First is hugely enjoyable. Accessible and knowing, it encourages all serious students of WWII to ‘think again’. This is the book I’ve been waiting for.
Empire First is a fantastic achievement and a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed it. As someone with a fairly limited knowledge of the two world wars, I really appreciated gaining insight into these epic events and Churchill’s role in them. The extensive research underpinning this book has been fashioned into a hugely readable text.
A hugely enjoyable book that belies its historical content, a real page-turner which tells the truth about Churchill's wartime priorities - a message which must be heard above the post-Brexit turmoil. Can't recommend this book highly enough.
This is a great book. I particularly enjoyed the fact that it doesn’t just focus on D-Day but goes right back to the start of Churchill’s life to explain why certain things happened. I also enjoyed the tremendous detail the author goes into on each point.
Starts with Zappa, ends with Brando and compares Churchill to Captain Mainwaring… what more could you want?
Graeme Bowman explores in extensive detail the chasm between the self-promoting Churchill we’ve been taught to revere and the bumbling Churchill whose human frailties threatened Allied victory.
Bowman's research and dry wit combine to produce a much-needed revision of Churchill’s concerns and motivations, leading us into the grim underbelly of a foreign policy in which imperial obsession trumped anti-fascist resistance. Compelling reading and a welcome alternative to conventional hagiography.
Graeme Bowman re-tells the Churchill story based on fact - and its not what you expect. A real page-turner and a totally fresh take.
Empire First is a great piece of work - a triumph of data assembly, archive presentation and argumentation.
Empire First completely recalibrates our nation's moral compass … Bowman’s book helpfully illuminates Churchill's imperial obsession which - at times - jeopardised victory over fascism and the safety of Britain’s armed forces.
Excellent book. Very persuasive and impeccably well researched. Well done!
Most historians pull their punches on Churchill and WWII… NOT GRAEME BOWMAN!! A game-changer!
An enlightening exposé of the true motives of our national hero. Not quite the staunch anti-fascist of popular imagination.
You know the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, Graeme Bowman’s scholarly and eminently readable volume on Churchill grabs that maxim by the scruff of the neck and shakes it to death. Dr. Bowman’s work crackles with academic research and attention to detail. He charts his course methodically and leaves no stone unturned. His use of archives is reassuringly comprehensive… Bowman is right up there with E.P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm in terms of clarity and vigour. A challenging book for anyone with a closed mind, but I give it 10/10.
Graeme Bowman’s view of Churchill emphasises the man’s character and prejudices - not the myth. Bowman demonstrates time and again how many of Churchill’s successes were attributable to others and how - had Churchill had his way - the war would have been extended… Bowman’s book encourages you to make informed choices about our leaders and avoid being hoodwinked by reckless adventurers. I commend it to you.
Churchill’s continued deification is one aspect of WWII that’s well worth re-visiting and - over 450 pages - Bowman proves comprehensively what a menace he was to Britain’s efficient conduct of the war... Bowman makes carefully researched points and arrives at conclusions that are well put and corroborated by evidence. As a corrective to the Disneyfied version of WWII, this is an important work.
A ruthless, evidence-based demolition of Churchill’s competence and integrity as a strategist. Greatest Ever Briton… my arse!
Empire First totally transformed my view of WWII.
Don’t trash statues… BUY BOWMAN’S BOOK!!