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Dinner with Churchill

A friend once said of Churchill 'He is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.' But dinners for Churchill were about more than good food, excellent champagnes and Havana cigars. 'Everything' included the opportunity to use the dinner table as a stage on which to display his brilliant conversational talents, and an intimate setting in which to glean gossip and diplomatic insights, and to argue for the many policies he espoused over a long life. In this riveting, informative and entertaining book Cita Stelzer draws on previously untapped archival material, diaries of guests, and a wide variety of other sources to tell of some of the key dinners at which Churchill presided before, during and after World War II - including the important conferences at which he used his considerable skills to attempt to persuade his allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, to fight the war according to his strategic vision. With fascinating new insights into the food he ate, the champagnes he loved, as well as original menus, seating plans and unpublished photographs, Dinner with Churchill is a sumptuous treat. The next best thing to being there yourself.
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About the Author

Cita Stelzer is a freelance journalist and research associate at the Hudson Institute. She has worked for John Lindsay, Mayor of New York and Governor Hugh Carey. She is currently a reader at Churchill College, Cambridge, and a member of the Board of the Churchill Centre (UK).


"A delightful and delicious tribute to Churchill's heroic appetite for wining, dining and politicking" - Ben Macintyre, author of Operation Mincemeat. "What a wonderful repast Cita Stelzer has served us. History as it was consumed: Roosevelt sipping, Stalin gorging, Churchill quaffing - the best (and not so good) cuts and the great vintages are all on the table. Another bottle, please!" William Shawcross " Cita Stelzer's delightful book... makes for hugely enjoyable reading, but there is a serious thesis lurking not too far behind the stories... The Churchill industry has been so productive in the decades since his death, and such libraries of books have been published, that an original take on his exceptionally well-documented life might seem impossible. However, with this readable "gastrobiography", Stelzer has succeeded brilliantly in producing one." --Sunday Times "A must-read for Churchill connoisseurs, but general readers will find it vastly entertaining too." --Standpoint "Acutely revealing" --Times Literary Supplement "Amusing and unpretentious... [an] entertaining assortment of Churchill anecdotes" --Evening Standard 'Nobody could be better qualified to have written this book than Cita Stelzer.' Andrew Roberts This charming book takes a new approach to the wartime prime minister... Wonderful details bring the leaders alive... The book also brings alive the food of the period... extraordinary --Literary Review "Delightful" - New York Times **** - Daily Express

It's well known that Churchill loved eating, drinking, and smoking, and that he transacted a great deal of business while doing all of the above. Therefore, it's surprising that this is the first book focusing on this aspect of his vastly overwritten life. Stelzer, a Reader at Churchill College, Cambridge, has turned up a great deal of material on the prime minister's legendary "zest for life," but readers anxious to learn how he turned his occasions for repast to his political advantage will find thin pickings. Stelzer sketches the historical background, and while three chapters discuss Churchill's preferences in food, drink, and cigars, the author concentrates on menus, seating arrangements, guest lists, toasts, bills, thank-you notes, gossipy diary excerpts, and reports from servants. The nearest Stelzer comes to attacking a historical question is an analysis of accusations that Churchill was an alcoholic, which she concludes he was not. Despite the title, this is not an account of the great man's dinnertime political exploits but an admiring series of anecdotes on his social life that will please collectors of Churchilliana. 80 b&w illus. Agent: Georgina Capel, Capel and Land Literary Agency (U.K.). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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