Behind the Iron Curtain (of the dining room)

Dinner With Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table

Culture : Books By Photo by Pegasus

If you put a book about Churchill‘s favorite sod selections in front of us, we’d read it. Dinner With Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table ($16) delves into two slightly more interesting aspects of the British Bulldog’s history: politics and social life. He was a notorious drinker, smoked cigars with an unnatural relish, and was one of the slyest, cleverest, and most entertaining politicians of the 20th century; as a new lens to view the much-covered British demagogue, this book is the definition of an entertaining home run.

Author Cita Seltzer was intrigued by Churchill’s favorite venue of politics — the dinner party — and set out to find out just how the man accomplished his incredible feats of persuasion and argument, even against powerhouses like Stalin and FDR. The result mixes hilarious anecdotes, intriguing tidbits (like notes from Churchill complaining about over-billing), a healthy addiction to fine food and wine, and a rich history of the backdoor political wranglings of WWII. If it doesn’t inspire you to put together a deviously schemed social party yourself (or just walk around smoking a cigar and crudely commenting with a British accent), check your pulse.