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Young Winston Churchill’s ‘Daring Escape’

Candice Millard on the ‘Hero of the Empire’ at Boswell Book Co.

Sep. 27, 2016
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If asked to conjure an image of Winston Churchill, many of us would fondly remember him as the British prime minister who faced down Adolf Hitler in World War II. But in 1899, years before becoming prime minister, a 24-year-old Churchill traveled to South Africa on assignment as a war correspondent for The Morning Post to cover the Boer War. His subsequent capture and daring prison escape form the centerpiece of bestselling author Candice Millard’s new historical account, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill.

In Hero of the Empire, Millard tells the epic tale of Churchill’s brave and dangerous prison break and the harrowing journey he took by himself through hundreds of miles of enemy territory. If that wasn’t enough, following his escape, Churchill returned to South Africa as an enlisted soldier, where he fought bravely in many battles and ultimately helped liberate the men with whom he was captured. Hero of the Empire provides readers with a revealing portrait of a young, entitled Churchill and the early political lessons that would influence much of the world throughout the 20th century. 

Millard is the author of The New York Times’ bestselling books River of Doubt, a thrilling adventure story of Theodore Roosevelt’s expedition down the uncharted Amazon River in 1913-14, and Destiny of the Republic, which won an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Book. She is a former writer and editor for National Geographic. Millard will speak at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Book Happening:

Tom Wilmeth

6-7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3

U.S.S. Liberty Memorial Public Library

1620 11th Ave., Grafton

After a lifetime listening to rock, country, folk and jazz, Tom Wilmeth has assembled his memories and observations into an essay collection called Sound Bites. Personable in tone, Sound Bites is a patchwork of career appreciations along with album, book and concert reviews—“concert commentaries” he calls them, since some are reflections on shows he recalls from years earlier. Catholic in taste (despite teaching at the Lutheran Concordia University), he opines on everyone from Lou Reed to Louis Armstrong. Some of the most interesting comments are in the essays least expected, including a sympathetic remembrance of Mitch Miller, the much-derided producer who hated rock ’n’ roll but was committed to delivering “quality music to the people.” (David Luhrssen)

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