What was it in the psyche of Winston Churchill that led him, from time to time, to display an alarming degree of recklessness and disregard for his own safety?
Dr Andrew Norman approaches Churchill’s state of mind from an entirely new medical angle, disproving the commonly held views of medical experts. Lord Moran, Winston’s doctor, who was a physician not a psychiatrist, admitted to being powerless to help his patient, who understood all was not well, not understanding his mental condition.
The book also looks at the relationship between Winston and his father, Lord Randolph, and sheds new light on his Lordship’s death and the attached controversy.
Winston Churchill was an extraordinary person – a politician, a statesman, a man of letters and a soldier; but it was for his wartime leadership during the Second World War that he is chiefly remembered. In a study of his life, certain bizarre character traits become discernible. He had excessive energy and required little sleep. His mind would either flit from one idea to another with bewildering speed, or focus obsessively on one particular goal. He was impulsive, and his attention was easily drawn to irrelevant or unimportant matters. He enjoyed taking risks almost to the point of self-destruction. He lacked inhibition and was eccentric in the extreme. Yet at other times, when he was afflicted with what he called his ‘Black Dog’, he became depressed, irritable, aggressive, and preoccupied with death and thoughts of suicide.
By closely and painstakingly examining the statements of Churchill’s doctor; of Winston himself, his family, his friends and acquaintances, Dr Norman, as a medical man, has been able to ascertain the true nature of Winston’s disorder. The diagnosis having been made it is now possible, for the very first time, to understand the man himself and what made him ‘tick’.