Author(s): David Lough
Named a Best Biography of the Year by The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London
The fascinating story of Winston Churchill's lifetime of tangled personal finances
Meticulously researched by a senior private banker now turned historian, No More Champagne reveals for the first time the full extent of the iconic British war leader's private struggle to maintain a way of life instilled by his upbringing and expected of his public position.
Lough uses Churchill's own most private records, many never researched before, to chronicle his family's chronic shortage of money, his own extravagance, and his recurring losses from gambling or trading in shares and currencies. Churchill tried to keep himself afloat by borrowing to the hilt, putting off bills, and writing "all over the place"; when all else failed, he had to ask family or friends to come to the rescue. Yet within five years of the war, he had taken advantage of his worldwide celebrity to transform his private fortunes with the same ruthlessness as he waged war, reaching 1945 with today's equivalent of 3 million in the bank. His lucrative war memoirs were still to come.
Throughout the story, Lough highlights the threads of risk, energy, persuasion, and sheer willpower to survive that link Churchill's private and public lives. He shows how constant money pressures often tempted him to short-circuit the ethical standards expected of public figures in his day before usually pulling back to put duty first-except where the taxman was involved.
'The little known and sometime heroic saga of Churchill's struggle to achieve liquidity ... [Lough] is a courteous guide, whose knowledge of the arcane world of investment enables him to explain what went wrong and how the Churchills managed to scrape through ... a fascinating read' The Times. 'You can learn a lot about someone from the state of their bank balance, as David Lough discovers in this riveting examination of Churchill's finances' Daily Mail. 'Plenty of eye-opening detail ... Churchill buffs and economic historians will find valuable insights in the light Lough sheds upon the man and his times' Financial Times. 'This excellent and entertaining work is worth reading' Prospect Magazine. 'Tells the tale of Churchill the adventurer and gambler elegantly. And for a financial biography, Mr Lough's is a surprising page-turner' Economist. 'Astonishing revelations ... Churchill as financial risk-taker, spend-thrift, debtor, reckless gambler. This book makes you wholly rethink the perceived wisdom about the icon' William Boyd, The Guardian. 'The first book that focuses on his (mainly losing) battle against borrowing ... the detail is excellent' The Times (2015 Books of the Year). 'Lough has painstakingly trawled the archives ... Lough is excellent on Churchill's getting and spending ... drawing political inferences from these personal matters' Literary Review. 'Intriguing ... Lough knows where the receipts are buried and reveals them with great relish' Oxford Times. 'The eighty pages of reference notes are testimony to David Lough's resourcefulness and persistence in research, exposing the lineaments of this personal story with an ultimately telling impact' Times Literary Supplement.
David Lough studied history at Oxford under Richard Cobb and Theodore Zeldin, gaining a First. After a career in financial markets, he founded a business that advises families on investments, tax affairs and inheritance planning.