Manchester challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors-at one point he had to put up his home for sale-he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement.
It is a shame that Manchester was not able to complete this work (which I guess would be at least two more volumes -- World War II and then his twilight years); I understand that someone else is going to, but it probably won't be the same.