Dinner with Churchill

Policy-Making At the Dinner Table

by Cita Stelzer

  • Published: 09 Oct 2011
  • Price: £20.00
  • Format: Hardback
  • Extent: 304p
  • ISBN: 978-1-907595-42-4
  • Buy it now from Amazon.co.uk
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Dinners meant a lot to Churchill – a friend once said of him, “He is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.”

But meals were always more for him than just good food and fine wine. Over seventy years the dinner table became a stage for his own brilliant conversational talents, an intimate world in which both gossip and diplomatic secrets could be shared…

In this riveting, entertaining book, Cita Stelzer examines ten of the key dinners at which Churchill presided during WWII, and shows how in this crucial period he used his superlative social and rhetorical skills to bring about serious political change.

With fascinating new material on the food he ate, the champagnes he loved, as well as original menus, seating plans, and unpublished photographs, Dinner with Churchill is a sumptuous treat. It reveals the care with which Churchill planned his charm offensives against both friends, like Roosevelt, and enemies, like Stalin, on his favourite battlefield – a luxurious dining-room, primed and loaded, from soup to nuts, from cocktails to liqueurs.

“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” TLS

“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

“Delightful.” – The Sunday Times

****  – Daily Express

About Cita Stelzer

A freelance editor and journalist, Cita Stelzer majored in history and went on to work for John Lindsay, mayor of New York and Governor Hugh Carey. She is currently a reader at Churchill College, Cambridge; and a director of the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum