Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
October 2016 Indie Next List
“No one was more certain that he was destined for greatness than Winston Churchill and he let nothing deter or discourage him from achieving that goal. The young Churchill saw his path to prominence and power through fearless exploits in the British Army and as a war correspondent. England's brutal war with the Boer rebels in southern Africa would prove to be his crucible. Millard's exciting chronicle of Churchill's experiences there, both daring and humbling, is a fitting tribute to a man whose early dreams of glory proved to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.”
— Alden Graves (E), Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England. He arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels and jumpstart his political career. But just two weeks later, Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape—traversing hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.
Bestselling author Candice Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom Churchill would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an extraordinary adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect twentieth century history.
Chosen as a Washington Post and New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2016
"A thrilling account...This book is an awesome nail-biter and top-notch character study rolled into one...Could someone be persuaded to make a movie about this episode of his life? I’d watch."
—New York Times Critic Jennifer Senior's Top Ten Books of 2016
“Gripping…tremendously readable and enjoyable…”
—Alex von Tunzelmann, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] truly fascinating book."
"A gripping story...It's a thrilling journey and Millard tells it with gusto."
“Millard’s tome is a slam-bang study of Churchill’s wit and wile as he navigates the Boer War like [a] proto-James Bond.”