After the mammoth attempt of his master's biography of Winston Churchill, Andrew Roberts relaxes with this short collection of essays - possibly modeled on Churchill's own series "Great Contemporaries". The volume, which was created as a series of lectures, gives the impression of a light snack that is torn away before Roberts begins the main meal of his next big book.
His choice of topics is varied, if not eccentric. He avoids ancient titans like Alexander and Caesar and begins with Napoleon - about whom he has already written an admirable biography - and closes with Margaret Thatcher. Given that Thatcher's only experience in warfare was to send a task force to the Falkland Islands, frankly, their inclusion here is absurd.
Another strange choice is the American ...
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