This first of three projected volumes of a monumental biography of Winston Churchill is an account of Churchill's political life and times rather than a personal portrait. He was the son of a beautiful and affectionate mother, and a prominent and distant father whose good opinion he nonetheless pathetically desired. His biographer demonstrated how his early career was decisively influenced by the spectre of his father's sudden and political fall. After Sdhurst, Churchill spent three years in the army in India, where he sent his first dispatch as a war correspondent -- a capacity in which he later earned notoriety in the Boer War. Entering Parliament in 1900, within five years he had changed parties and won minor ministerial office. Soon he was President of the Board of Trade and then Home Secretary, struggling with suffragettes and strikers. This volume ends when Churchill is only thirty-seven, when the constitutional quarrel over the House of Lords has just been resolved, and when, with a Moroccan crisis and portents of a war with Germany, Churchill becomes First Lord of the Admiralty. It is obviously too early for a definitive biography of Churchill, but this soberly-written, ambitious book chronicles the life of the greatest parliamentarian of our time with conscientious thoroughness.