Author: Richard Toye
The book explores what elevated Winston Churchill to prominence and the shadows he continues to cast on British and American political culture.
In his book, Winston Churchill: A Life in the News, Richard Toye makes the fundamental claim that “Churchill would surely have had a political career in any age; but it was only the late-19th- and 20th-century media that made possible the type of political career he wanted to have,” said Kori Schake in a review for The New York Times.
Schake directs foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and is the author of Safe Passage: The Transition From British to American Hegemony.
According to the review, Toye argues that because Churchill bestrode an age deferential to “the right of the authorities to shape coverage” and focus on elite (rather than mass public) opinion, he was preternaturally effective in the first half of the 20th century.
But once the news media democratized and television became widely available, Churchill lost the ability to control the narrative and therefore to remain in power.