Winston Churchill, like his evil twin Adolf Hitler, made most of his income as a writer. (By 1945, Hitler’s book Mein Kampf had sold ten million copies.) Unlike Hitler, though, Churchill was a pretty good writer, good enough to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, and the elderly among us will recall devouring his six-volume history of the Second World War as it came off the presses between 1948 and 1954. A bit out of fashion now, the series was a mega-success for its author, who made millions of dollars from the books and, just as important, cemented his own place in history. David Reynolds, a historian, explains how Churchill did it in his own book, In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (Allen Lane). Churchill was supported by a cadre of helpers known as the Syndicate (after all, once elected prime minister in 1951, he had a country to run as well as a book to write). Much of the series was produced by these amanuenses and then tweaked by Churchill. When deadlines loomed, Churchill would swan off to a Mediterranean resort, with the Syndicate in tow, to polish off each volume. Reynolds is careful to show how Churchill massaged events to conform to the version of the war he wanted to present. Nowadays, for example, Hitler’s defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad is generally recognized as the turning point of the war, yet Churchill more or less omitted it from his account because he did not want to give any credit to the Russians, who had become the evil empire of the Cold War.