Churchill - A Biography was written by Roy Jenkins, himself a Chancellor of Exchequer in Labor Government and founder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which merged with the Liberal party and are now called Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (It is gratifying to know that we are not the only ones with alphabet soup parties.)
It is an awesome book, an example of how a biography should be. For most of us Indians Churchill means "Blood, Sweat and Toil" speech and the person who called Mahatma Gandhi a half naked fakir. His role in winning the second world war is all we know about him (atleast that's what I knew about him till now). So it was surprising to know that he wasn't educated in a college but self learnt after Sandhurst, that he was always on a sticky wicket financially and many other facts.
After reading the book, what I consider as the courageous act of Churchill is his deciding to quit the Conservative Party and join the Liberal Party on the issue of protectionism. He was a first time MP, all of 30 years old and he was changing from ruling party to opposition on principle. He had declared his intentions and when he rose to give a speech, the entire ruling party along with the cabinet walked out. To face this humiliation with calmness was what defined his courage to me.
He was bombastic, arrogant, verbose but he was also the man who could take the strain of the entire nation when there seemed to be no hope. Before his secretary Eddie Marsh joined him, Marsh asked an acquaintance about Churchill. The Lady said, "In the first meeting with Churchill you will notice all his faults. Then your entire life time will be spent on noticing his virtues". The portrayal in this book is true to this assessment.
Jenkins has taken immense efforts to bring to life the background of the times Churcill lived and the ideas that shaped him. He doesn't excessively criticise him nor praise him. He has woven an interesting narrative. Any body wanting to write a biography should read this.
A word of caution - it is a big volume, and if you are not interested in history and only want to skim enough to know about the important data about Churchill, this is not for you. This book requires a lot of effort and interest in the subject to enjoy it.