Churchill: The Indispensable Man

The 2011 Kemper Lecture was held on March 6 during Churchill Weekend celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the Iron Curtain Speech and given by Sir Max Hastings, author of Winston Churchill: The Indispensable Man.



Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist, and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now contributes regularly to The Daily Mail, Sunday Times and Financial Times. He has published twenty-two books, of which the most recent are Did You Really Shoot the Television?: A Family Fable (2010); Finest Years: Churchill As Warlord 1940-45 (2009); Armegeddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 (2004) and Nemesis: The Battle For Japan 1944-45 (2007).

The son and grandson of writers, he was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, from which he dropped out to become a journalist. In 1967-68 he worked in the US, after winning a World Press Institute Fellowship, an experience which inspired his first book America 1968: The Fire This Time, published when he was 23. Thereafter, he spent most of his early years as a foreign correspondent for BBC TV and The London Evening Standard, reporting eleven conflicts, notably including Vietnam and the 1982 South Atlantic war, which inspired Battle for the Falklands, the 1983 best-seller he wrote with Simon Jenkins. He was editor, then editor-in-chief, of The Daily Telegraph from 1986-1995, and of The Evening Standard 1996-2002. He has described his journalistic career in two memoirs, Going to the Wars (2000) and Editor (2002).

He has received awards both for his books and journalism. Bomber Command (1979) won the Somerset Maugham Prize, and both Battle for the Falklands (1983) and Overlord (1984) were named as Yorkshire Post Book Of The Year.

“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill