Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Candice Millard's Hero of the Empire The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill
Most of the ink of history devoted to Winston Churchill describes his role as British Prime Minister during the perilous times of World War II. However, Churchill had already been in the public eye as a political figure for decades before he achieved his “finest hour.” His political career was started by his experiences in the distant reaches of the growing British Empire, and the first stop in those adventures was in the Boer War in southern Africa. The book being summarized is a historical recounting of Churchill’s actions in that war.
This summary is fascinating, as it paints an accurate portrait of Churchill as someone that considered himself destined for greatness and aided that quest by engaging in some rather nefarious self-promotion. People that know history also know that Churchill was very much a child of the British Empire and an essential component of the Empire was the unquestioned belief that the “native people” were inherently inferior to Europeans. That racism appears in this summary, but rarely in other history books.
An accurate rendition of the early Churchill, this summary could serve as a primer on the first events that led to the creation of the public figure of Winston Churchill. Like so many other men of privilege in the Empire, Churchill firmly believed that he was a man of destiny, so he took many chances. As is made clear in this summary, some of his success was due to sheer luck, which is why he is a historical figure when so many others with the same personal opinion died an early and largely anonymous death.