Winston Churchill and George Orwell preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike in their own very different ways. Although they came from vastly differing backgrounds, the similarities in their life course during the 20th century is amazingly similar. Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930's—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them since at this time both men were isolated from the world. In the late 1930's democracy was a maligned form of governmen: some decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini "men we could do business with," if not in fact saviors. and others saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace to be resisted. However, it is in the 1940's that Churchill and Orwell reached their zenith in the triumph over freedom's enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell's reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. This a fascinating dual biography that I learned a lot from and would recommend to 20th century history buffs.