Cita Stelzer discusses and signs her new book detailing the women who worked with Winston Churchill throughout his life
All politicians adopt a public persona that they believe contributes to electoral success. Though they might reflect the character of the politician, they reveal only a part of the man. What we know less about are the characteristics that Winston Churchill revealed when he was out of the public eye.
Much has been written about Churchill, and of the important world leaders, politicians, high-ranking military personnel with whom he interacted. But Churchill also required a vast staff to maintain the intense pace at which he worked. When Churchill strode the world stage, the secretarial and support staff positions were inevitably filled by women. Though extraordinarily talented and valuable to Churchill and his work, these women remain unheralded. He was not an easy employer. He was intimidating, with never-ending demands who would impose his relentless and demanding schedules on those around him. And yet these women were devoted to him, though there were times in his political career in which he was decidedly unpopular. Many reflect upon their years working for him as the best years of their lives.
Intelligent and hard-working, these women were far from sycophants. Just as Churchill was no ordinary Prime Minister, these women were not ordinary secretaries. Indeed, in today's terms their titles would be much grander, as their work encompassed ultra-secret documents and decrypting and reading enemy codes.
A treasure trove of insight and research, Working with Winston
reveals the man behind the statesman and as well as brings long-overdue recognition to the "hidden army" that, like Churchill, was never off-duty.
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. She founded a public relations firm in New York City and served as special aide to Mayor John Lindsay and to Governor Hugh Carey before joining an economic consulting firm specializing in regulatory policy.
She is an Advisor to the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge, a member of the Board of Advisers of the International Churchill Society, and a former Trustee of Wigmore Hall. Her first book, Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table
, was published in 2011