Review of The Churchill Factor


This paean to Winston Churchill was published when Boris Johnson was still Mayor of London, but already planning towards a return to the House of Commons and building up his political career. Media reviews of this book focused heavily on the author rather than the subject of the biography and the writing style certainly made me feel that I could barely make out the Churchill for the Johnsonisms. The style reads like a public lecture (to students, not academics) that is designed to entertain with only a passing concern for elucidation. For this website the concern is with how Johnson would treat Churchill's dominant, and ultimately unsuccessful, role in directing the post-war European integration movement in an inter-governmental direction. There is only a brief, and confused, chapter on this topic. Johnson fails to note that Churchill established the European Unity movement as a counter-balance to the federalists and encouraged his son-in-law, Duncan Sandys, to become a key player in the 1940s moves towards political integration in Europe. The chapter is so weak that the impression is given that Johnson was not motivated to research that aspect of the twilight of Churchill's political career.

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