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Churchill's American Network

Winston Churchill and the Forging of the Special Relationship

Published by Pegasus Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A revelatory portrait showing how the famed British statesman created a network of American colleagues and friends who helped push our foreign policy in Britain’s favor during World War II

Winston Churchill was the consummate networker. Using newly discovered documents and archives, Churchill’s American Network reveals how the famed British politician found a network of American men and women who would push American foreign policy in Britain’s direction during World War II—while at the same time producing lucrative speaking fees to support his lavish lifestyle.

Stelzer has gathered contemporary local newspaper reports of Churchill’s lecture tours in many American cities, as well as interactions with leaders of local American communities—what he said in public, what he said at private meetings, how he comported himself. Readers observe Churchill as he is escorted by an armed Scotland Yard detective, aided by local police when Indian nationalists threaten to assassinate him, while he travels in deluxe private rail cars provided by wealthy members of his network; and as he recovers from a near-death automobile crash—with the help of liquor prescribed by a friendly doctor with no use for Prohibition.

The links in Churchill’s network include some of fascinating American figures: the millionaire financier Bernard Baruch; the railroad magnate, Averell Harriman, who became an FDR-Churchill go-between; media moguls William Randolph Hearst (and wife and mistress); Robert R. McCormick—who attacked Churchill’s policies but enjoyed his company—and Charles Luce, who made him TIME’s Man of the Year and later Man of the Century; and bit players such as Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, and David Niven.

It is no accident that Churchill was able to put these links together into an important network that served to his, and Britain’s, advantage. He worked at it relentlessly, remaining in close contact with his American friends by letter, signed copies of his many books, and by attending to their needs when they were in Britain. Many of these colleagues were invited to dinners at Chartwell and, later, Downing Street. Perhaps most importantly, Churchill’s network of American allies had Franklin Roosevelt’s ear while the president was deciding how to overcome opposition in congress to helping Britain take on the threat from Germany.

About The Author

Cita Stelzer received a BA degree from Barnard College, with a major in history, worked in educational publishing, and has been a stringer for the Financial Times. Cita served as special aide to New York’s Mayor John Lindsay and to Governor Hugh Carey, specializing in energy policy. She founded a public relations firm in New York City specializing in business development for law firms before joining an economic consulting firm specializing in regulatory policy.

She is a former member of the Churchill Archives Centre US Advisory board, President of the Arizona chapter of the International Churchill Society, a former Trustee of Wigmore Hall, the venerable chamber music venue in London, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice Chairman of the Aspen Musical Festival and School. Cita is also a Churchill Fellow of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri.

She is the author of three books on Winston Churchill, Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table (2013), Working with Winston: The Unsung Women Behind Britain’s Greatest Statesman (2019), and Churchill’s American Network: Forging the Special Relationship (2023)

Product Details

  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (February 6, 2024)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781639364862

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for Cita Stelzer’s Working with Winston:

"Working with Winston is a wonderful tour behind the scenes of history and its vignettes portray a very human and attractive man."

The Times (London)

"They say that no man is a hero to his valet. The people who knew Winston Churchill most intimately outside his own family—his secretaries and personal assistants—did think him a hero. Cita Stelzer explains why and floods fresh light on the man and his working practices. A well-researched, well-written and hugely enjoyable book, which I highly recommend.”

– Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

"Stelzer offers a unique and specific perspective by providing biographical profiles of the group of young women who played a great service to the British war effort. It is truly a pleasure to meet these dedicated women and to herald the arrival of a new, worthwhile, lens-widening addition to the shelf of Churchill biographies."


"Cita Stelzer has found an intimate way to reveal the secrets of this great man's life with exceptional skill and flair, giving voice to the silent army that helped him to lead the nation.”

– Sarah Baxter, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times (London)

"Stelzer offers up a revealing behind-the-scenes view of Winston Churchill. Churchill devotees will delight in yet another view of the British leader."

Publishers Weekly

"A gripping read that tells the story of the extraordinary women, and one man, who were Churchill's secretaries. A brilliantly original and at times deeply touching account of Winston in all his multiple moods, colors, and breath-taking accomplishment.”

– Julia Boyd, author of Travelers in the Third Reich

"A sure bet for Churchill aficionados. Readers interested in the role of women’s work during World War II might also find much intriguing information here."

Library Journal

"An absorbing, intriguing, and utterly fascinating study of the women who supported Churchill during the most challenging of his endeavors. A masterful work!”

– General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and US Central Command, and former Director of the CIA

"In his darkest hours Winston Churchill depended on his supporting cast: those who took down his words, managed his affairs, and provided the machinery to channel his prodigious energy to maximum effect. They were far more than secretaries, and Cita Stelzer has done us a great service in bringing them out of the shadows and putting them centre stage.” - Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives, Churchill College, Cambridge "That was what it was like working for Churchill, as Cita Stelzer’s glorious new book shows. You'd be summoned to the Presence—and if it was the morning, he'd be sitting in bed in his brocade dressing-gown, lighting his cigar from a candle, with his cat as a hot-water bottle, all nine daily papers strewn over the eiderdown and a whisky and soda to take him through to lunchtime."

The Daily Mail

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