Diagnosing Churchill

Bipolar or “Prey to Nerves”?

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SKU: 9781476675145 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

The posthumous diagnosis of Winston Churchill as manic-depressive has been drawn entirely from biographical information, which, though significant to understanding his life and mind, has often been misused or misunderstood. This book investigates how such materials have been interpreted (and misinterpreted) in relation to Churchill’s mental health, taking a particularly close look at his association with nerves or “neurasthenia.” Included are appendices on Churchill’s remedies for worry and mental overstrain and an investigation of his mental state after losing the 1945 general election.

About the Author(s)

Wilfred Attenborough is an independent scholar specializing in Churchill studies. He lives in England.

Bibliographic Details

Wilfred Attenborough
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 275
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7514-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3543-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. Posthumous Psychiatric Diagnosticians: Characterizing Their Evidence 21
2. Inherited Mood Swings: Personality or Bipolar? 41
3. The Moods of Young Winston 54
4. Nerves 80
5. 1906–1914: Ministerial Worries and Nerves 94
6. 1915: Depression or Bereavement? 107
7. 1917–1932: “Some Ups and Downs⁠…⁠” 132
8. Moods of a Wartime Prime Minister 154
9. Churchill’s Mental Flaw as War Leader? 193
10. Diary Entry of Unimpeachable ­Medico-Biographical Authority? 202
Overview 223
Appendix 1: The “Gifted American Psychologist” and Churchill’s Remedy for “Worry and Mental Overstrain” 229
Appendix 2: Churchill’s State of Mind After Losing the 1945 General Election 233
Chapter Notes 237
Bibliography 255
Index 261

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Excellent book effectively traces Churchill’s life as it relates to his mental helath and considers the arguments of previous writers on the subject”—A Blog on Winston Churchill