Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) was a leading British historian and the author of more than eighty books. Specializing in 20th century history, he was the official biographer of Winston Churchill and wrote a best-selling eight-volume biography of the war leader’s life.


Born in London in 1936, Martin Gilbert was evacuated to Canada with his family at the beginning of World War II as part of the British government’s efforts to protect children from the brutal bombings of the Luftwaffe. He was made a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1962. He is the author of several definitive historical works examining the Holocaust, the First and Second World Wars, and the history of the 20th century.


In 1990, Gilbert was designated a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was awarded a Knighthood in 1995. Oxford University awarded him a Doctorate in 1999. Gilbert was a sought-after speaker on Churchill, Jewish history, and the history of the 20th century, and traveled frequently to lecture at colleges, universities, and organizations around the world.

Featured Books By Author

Auschwitz and the Allies

 

"An unforgettable contribution to the history of the last war." –Jewish Chronicle
Why did they wait so long? Among the myriad questions of what the Allies could have done differently in World War II, understanding why it took them so long to respond to the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps—specifically Auschwitz—remains vital today.
In Auschwitz and the Allies, Martin Gilbert presents a comprehensive look into the series of decisions that helped shape this particular course of the war, and the fate of millions of people, through his eminent blend of exhaustive devotion to the facts and accessible, graceful writing.
Featuring 20 maps prepared specifically for this history and 34 photographs, along with firsthand accounts by escaped Auschwitz prisoners, Gilbert reconstructs the span of time between Allied awareness and definitive action in the face of overwhelming evidence of Nazi atrocities.

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Winston S. Churchill: The Prophet of Truth, 1922–1939 (Volume V)

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This fascinating volume opens with Churchill’s return to Conservatism and to the Cabinet in 1924, and, as the story unfolds, presents a vivid and intimate picture both of his public life and of his private world at Chartwell between the wars.
As Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1924 to 1929, Churchill pursued a humane and constructive social policy, including the introduction of pensions for widows and orphans. The controversial return to the gold standard is examined here on the basis of new evidence; so too are Churchill’s efforts after the General Strike to bring peace to the coal industry. In 1927 Churchill planned and fought for a massive attack on unemployment.
In this volume Martin Gilbert strips away decades of accumulated myth and innuendo, showing Churchill’s true position on India, his precise role (and private thoughts) during the abdication of Edward VIII, his attitude toward Mussolini, and his profound fears for the future of European democracy. Even before Hitler came to power in Germany, Churchill saw in full the dangers of a Nazi victory. And despite the unpopularity of his views in official circles, for six years he persevered in his warnings.
This book reveals for the first time the extent to which senior civil servants, and even serving officers of high rank, came to Churchill with secret information, having despaired at the extent of official lethargy and obstruction. Within the Air Ministry, the Foreign Office, and the Intelligence Services, individuals felt drawn to go to Churchill with full disclosures of Britain’s defense weakness and kept him informed of day-to-day developments from 1934 until the outbreak of war. As war approached, people of all parties and in all walks of life recognized Churchill’s unique qualities and demanded his inclusion in the government, believing that he alone could give a divided nation guidance and inspiration.

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Israel

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Fleeing persecution in Europe, thousands of Jewish emigrants settled in Palestine after World War II. Renowned historian Martin Gilbert crafts a riveting account of Israel’s turbulent history, from the birth of the Zionist movement under Theodor Herzl through its unexpected declaration of statehood in 1948, and through the many wars, conflicts, treaties, negotiations, and events that have shaped its past six decades—including the Six Day War, the Intifada, Suez, and the Yom Kippur War. Drawing on a wealth of first-hand source materials, eyewitness accounts, and his own personal and intimate knowledge of the country, Gilbert weaves a complex narrative that’s both gripping and informative, and probes both the ideals and realities of modern statehood.
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Books By
Martin Gilbert