He was a lion of a man who helped shape the course of this century with his relentless ambition and fierce political instincts. Few have matched Winston Churchill's cunning or force of will. Few have seen the equal of his audacity on the battlefield or the determination with which he strove toward his own ideal of greatness. At the height of his power, he seemed to embody the ideals of the empire he helped sustain: valor, pride, and above all, tradition. His sense of personal destiny was rooted deeply in the legacy of his birthright, the heritage of his family, and the awesome responsibility of being born Churchill. In The Private Lives of Winston Churchill, John Pearson takes us behind the myth of Churchill and deep into the psychology of a dynasty that some have called the most complicated Anglo-American family of this century. In doing so, he reveals, in rich portraits, some of the family's greatest, most charismatic, and most deeply troubled members and shows us the real, private Winston Churchill. Here was a man obsessed--with himself and his dreams of glory. Yet, at the same time, he was haunted by strange anxieties and recurring depressions, by the memory of his mother, Jennie, the Brooklyn-born society beauty who counted England's most influential men among her circle of lovers, and by his father, Lord Randolph, whose extraordinary political rise was matched only by his speedy, tragic downfall. John Pearson shows how Churchill's parents and the towering achievements of his ancestor, the first great Duke of Marlborough, dominated Winston's heart and mind--just as he himself would come to dominate the fates of his own wife, son, and daughters. The Private Lives of Winston Churchill is a family saga played out against the great events and darkest hours of England's history--the world wars, the political intrigues of Parliament, the scandals that kept the Churchills in the columns, and the momentous decisions that kept them in the headlines. With Winston at the center, Pearson travels through the generations, revealing the high costs of the family's accomplishments and the suffering behind the seemingly glamorous exploits. Never before have the Churchills been observed so closely or so truly. John Pearson brings them, and their friends, lovers, and rivals, to life once more.