The Spring issue of the Claremont Review of Books includes an essay by Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, on the official biography of Winston Churchill. The Hillsdale College Press is republishing the entire 8-volume biography, written by Randolph Churchill (vol. 1-2) and Sir Martin Gilbert (vol. 3-8), along with the associated document collections (current at 5 volumes, through 1914). Arnn on Churchill is always worth reading, both for the substance and for the pleasure of reading good writing. Larry introduces the first two volumes by considering one of the most famous escapades in Churchill's early life, that of his defense of the armored train during the Boer War, which led to Churchill's capture and internment by the Boers, followed by his his escape.
Larry's essay brings to mind several of Churchill's earliest writings, which were based on his highly unusual simultaneous careers as military officer and newspaper journalist --
The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
The River War (1899)
London to Ladysmith (Via Pretoria) (1900)
We are still waiting for the long-promised republication of the full original text of The River War, edited by James Muller of the University of Alaska and the Churchill Center, which is still pending from St. Augustine's Press. The River War has been out of print in its original, unabridged version since it was shortened to one volume in 1902. The listed price is steep -- $150 -- but Churchill scholars and admirers will find some way to place it on their shelves.