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

The Holocaust

Rich with eye-witness accounts, incisive interviews, and first-hand source materials including documentation from the Eichmann and Nuremberg war crime trials, master historian Martin Gilbert weaves a detailed, immediate account of the Holocaust from Hitler’s rise to power to the final defeat of the Nazis in 1945.

This sweeping narrative begins with an in-depth historical analysis of the origins of anti-Semitism in Europe, and tracks the systematic brutality of Hitler’s "Final Solution" in unflinching detail. It brings to light new source materials documenting Mengele’s diabolical concentration camp experiments and documents the activities of Himmler, Eichmann, and other Nazi leaders. It also demonstrates comprehensive evidence of Jewish resistance and the heroic efforts of Gentiles to aid and shelter Jews and others targeted for extermination, even at the risk of their own lives.

Combining survivor testimonies, deft historical analysis, and painstaking research, The Holocaust is without doubt a masterwork of World War II history.

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

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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The First World War

They called it the War to End All Wars, but it was only the beginning of the global conflicts that rocked the 20th Century. The First World War redrew national boundaries, eliminated monarchies, and left millions of soldiers and civilians dead, and its impact has continued to shape the Western political and social landscape since.

In this sweeping narrative, best-selling historian Martin Gilbert provides a view of the conflict that’s both global and personal, drawing on eyewitness accounts, contemporary reporting, and first-hand documentation. It offers an immediate, compelling voice to familiar historical events, bringing new facets of the conflict to life and personalizing the tale with gripping survivor testimonies.

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Books By
Martin Gilbert