David Lough’s No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money contributes to the Boston Athenæum’s impressive collection of biographies, including several on Winston Churchill. The volume also deepens the Athenæum’s collection of books that offer multiple perspectives on United States and European history.
The popular image of Winston Churchill is of a life of champagne and cigars but, behind the scenes, he struggled to prevent his personal financial problems from engulfing his political career. Only fragments of this story have previously emerged, but Lough has now pieced it together with the help of unprecedented access to the private records of Churchill and his associates.
Lough will discuss Churchill’s personally expensive lessons on the American economy and body politic. Churchill’s American financial losses almost brought his political career to an end in Britain and required several rescues. Yet they also gave him a unique perspective on the country’s resources and resilience, which helped him shape his strategy when he was handed Britain’s wartime leadership in 1940. In one of his greatest financial successes, Churchill shielded most of his proceeds from tax authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing him to fund his extravagant lifestyle and leave his heirs a valuable legacy.
David Lough won an open history scholarship to Oxford University where he gained a first class degree. After an early career in financial markets, Lough founded a private wealth management business. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute, a member of the London Stock Exchange, and acted as a “blind trustee” for government ministers during their period in office. Following the sale of the business to an international bank, Lough has returned to the world of history, using the experience gained in his private banking career to spend five years researching and piecing together the previously untold story of Winston Churchill’s precarious personal finances.