Winston Churchill Reporting



From the jungles of Cuba and the mountains of the North-West Frontier, to the banks of the Nile and the plains of South Africa, Winston Churchill—enthralled by combat, cigars, and whisky—showed extraordinary courage and tenacity under fire.

Long before his finest hour as Britain’s wartime leader, Winston Churchill emerged on the world stage as a brazen foreign correspondent, covering wars of empire in Cuba, India, the Sudan, and South Africa. In those far-flung corners of the world, reporting from the front lines between 1895 and 1900, Churchill mastered his celebrated command of language and developed strong opinions about war. He thought little of his own personal safety, so convinced was he of his destiny, jumping at any chance to be where bullets flew and cannons roared. “I have faith in my star—that is that I am intended to do something in the world,” he wrote to his mother at the age of twenty-three before heading into battle.

Based on his private letters and war reportage, Winston Churchill Reporting intertwines young Winston’s daring exploits in combat, adventures in far-flung corners of the word, and his rise as a major literary talent—experiences that shaped the world leader he was destined to become.

Praise for Winston Churchill Reporting:

Paul Reid, national bestselling coauthor of The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm
“Simon Read has captured the indomitable spirit of young Winston Churchill, his breathtaking courage in combat, his raw political ambition, and the power of his writing as a war correspondent on three continents. All before the age of twenty-seven. Winston Churchill Reporting takes its rightful place on my shelves next to Churchill’s own account of his youth, My Early Life.”

Dean King, national bestselling author of Skeletons on the Zahara
“With pen, rifle, and polo mallet, the youthful and headstrong Winston Churchill takes no prisoners as an army officer and war correspondent, racing fearlessly to the front lines of war zones in Cuba, Asia, and Africa, not to mention London, where he steeps himself in the arts of war, wit, and politics. Simon Read’s thrilling Winston Churchill Reporting charges ahead at breakneck speed with the indomitable young Churchill, capturing the making of this great and eloquent leader in vivid prose and hair-raising scenes. You won’t put it down until Churchill is safe at home once again.”

Wade Davis, national bestselling author of The Serpent and the Rainbow
“In 1965 a nine-year-old girl in Colombia posted a birthday card addressed simply to ‘the greatest man in the world.’ Without a stamp it arrived in London at the home of Winston Churchill on the eve of his ninetieth birthday. He was indeed the greatest man of our era, the savior of civilization. Any book on Churchill is a joy, but this one is especially moving for it reveals the great man as a youth, eyes full of wonder, soul already certain of a great destiny, ambition glaring in all directions just ready to pounce.”

Martin Dugard, national bestselling author of Into Africa, and coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O’Reilly
“Highly researched and fast-paced, Read does a marvelous job of bringing young Churchill to life.”

Kirkus Reviews
“Read draws on Churchill’s newspaper pieces, books, and letters for this fast-paced biographical and historical narrative…A richly detailed look at Churchill’s early ambitions and triumphs.”

Library Journal
“Of all the books about Winston Churchill, this is the first dedicated to his years as a war correspondent…Read introduces this work with ‘Winston Churchill as Indiana Jones,’ a line that becomes reality within the first few pages…A worthy purchase for fans of Churchill who are unfamiliar with these stories as well as those interested in late 19th-century history, military history, and a case study of writing as a journalist.”

San Jose Mercury News
“Illuminates Churchill’s early years as a journalist and war correspondent.”
“In this edge-of-your-seat, slice-of-life biography, author Simon Read skillfully weaves Churchill’s earliest wartime adventures with his lively reporting from the battlefield…Not to miss!”

San Diego Book Review
“Churchill is an enthralling subject, and the few years covered in the narrative are filled with danger, courage, conflict, death and deliverance…Churchill was in the epicenter of history, and readers will devour this delicious narrative about the young rising star.”

January Magazine
“With material from personal letters as well as his reports from the front, Winston Churchill Reporting is a visit with a future leader during his formative years. It’s an extraordinary, eye-opening book.”

Hudson Valley News
“A great read indeed!”

Military History, January 2016
“Read draws from private letters and papers relating the combat experiences that helped shape Churchill into an exemplary statesman. The narrative is more an adventure tale than a straight biography.”

Roanoke Times 
“An absorbing book that fairly illustrates the means by which a green subaltern of the 19th century at length became one of the towering figures of the 20th.”

The Economist
“Investigates how Churchill went from a young army officer cadet to being Britain’s highest-earning war correspondent by the age of 25, getting the journalism bug for the rest of his life…Tell[s] the tale of Churchill the adventurer…elegantly.”

Midwest Book Review
“The true-life story of a lesser-known period in the life of British statesman Winston Churchill…Extensively researched, rich in detail, and enhanced with notes, a bibliography, and an index, Winston Churchill Reporting is worthy of the highest recommendation for public and college library biography collections.”

Internet Review of Books, 11/18/15
“I have read several books about Churchill and thought this book would be a rehash. I was so wrong. I learned a great deal about a courageous, pushy young man who was becoming a writer.”

CapX, 11/27/15
“A cracking narrative…This is not just a gripping account of the adventures of a young soldier who could never decide whether he was an army officer or a war correspondent (nor could higher authority). It brings into focus some of the themes which were to dominate Churchill’s career. Above all, it is a study in courage…A rollicking read, it is an ideal Christmas present for anyone interested in war, history, Britain and greatness.”

“A book that covers the great man’s adventurous early life.”

Portland Book Review
“One of the only books (out of nearly 700 books about Churchill) dedicated to that period of his life. Rather than a general overview of his experiences, it is a detailed recounting of the events using his own writings as well as a plethora of contemporaneous sources of those individuals who were also present. The writing brings to life what he experienced and his behavior…This book provides the reader with a sense of the core of this man and of the impact these events had upon him.”

Washington Times
“Read recounts this early journalistic career in prose that reveals Churchill’s descriptive skills.”

Buffalo News
“Churchill’s copy from the war zone electrified London and author Read makes the most of it to spin an exciting tale…This is a gripping story, easy to read in the style of a mystery thriller…thoroughly researched and fully annotated with endnotes.”

San Francisco Book Review
“Explores a fascinating lesser known part of Churchill’s life that significantly shaped the future leader he was to become.”

Foreign Policy
“People tend to forget that Winston Churchill spent several years in his youth writing about wars in Cuba, India, the Sudan, and South Africa. If you need reminding, check out Winston Churchill Reporting. It hadn’t occurred to me until I read this book that his war correspondence brought him his first success in life, after years of being criticized by his father and others.”

The Weekly Standard
“[A] highly readable account of Churchill’s adventures as war correspondent…As Read conclusively proves, Churchill was incapable of writing a boring sentence.”

Military Heritage, March 2016
“By taking the reader back to a time before Churchill became famous and successful, the author shows a young man with all his dreams and desires before him. He shows what is perhaps the most formative time in the future Prime Minister’s life and explains how his experiences contributed to the traits he later exhibited leading Great Britain during its greatest test of survival.”

Military Officer, April 2016
“[An] exciting blend of biography and history, vividly describing Churchill’s combat adventures.”

The Churchill Project
“A comprehensive review of young Winston’s first four wars…Read’s book shares qualities with John Kelly’s Never Surrender: It is a well-written and organized account.”

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
“[A] lively, action-packed account…Read conveys it all through the unusual style of an action novel instead of the usual academic history book, a gutsy move that could’ve badly backfired on him; but in this case it works perfectly…A lively and incredibly fast-paced book, this will be a revelation to people…who only knew Churchill as the balding, stogie-chewing curmudgeon of 1940s fame…Strongly recommended.”

Where to buy:


Books a Million

Barnes and Noble


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