Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) was a leading British historian and the author of more than eighty books. Specializing in 20th century history, he was the official biographer of Winston Churchill and wrote a best-selling eight-volume biography of the war leader’s life.


Born in London in 1936, Martin Gilbert was evacuated to Canada with his family at the beginning of World War II as part of the British government’s efforts to protect children from the brutal bombings of the Luftwaffe. He was made a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1962. He is the author of several definitive historical works examining the Holocaust, the First and Second World Wars, and the history of the 20th century.


In 1990, Gilbert was designated a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was awarded a Knighthood in 1995. Oxford University awarded him a Doctorate in 1999. Gilbert was a sought-after speaker on Churchill, Jewish history, and the history of the 20th century, and traveled frequently to lecture at colleges, universities, and organizations around the world.

Featured Books By Author

The Holocaust

Rich with eye-witness accounts, incisive interviews, and first-hand source materials including documentation from the Eichmann and Nuremberg war crime trials, master historian Martin Gilbert weaves a detailed, immediate account of the Holocaust from Hitler’s rise to power to the final defeat of the Nazis in 1945.

This sweeping narrative begins with an in-depth historical analysis of the origins of anti-Semitism in Europe, and tracks the systematic brutality of Hitler’s "Final Solution" in unflinching detail. It brings to light new source materials documenting Mengele’s diabolical concentration camp experiments and documents the activities of Himmler, Eichmann, and other Nazi leaders. It also demonstrates comprehensive evidence of Jewish resistance and the heroic efforts of Gentiles to aid and shelter Jews and others targeted for extermination, even at the risk of their own lives.

Combining survivor testimonies, deft historical analysis, and painstaking research, The Holocaust is without doubt a masterwork of World War II history.

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The Roots of Appeasement

World War II and its attendant horrors arguably began in the British policy of appeasement of the Nazi rise to power between the First and Second World Wars.
In this compelling telling, Martin Gilbert walks the reader through several decades of behavior that, in retrospect, is hard to accept. Gilbert’s incisive focus on primary sources uncovers the real reasons for the appeasement policy, from the search for a just peace to attempts to avoid another war at all costs—illuminating the historical underpinnings of a fatally flawed policy, and its tragic consequences for the Jewish people.
The book also contains a chronology of appeasement policy as well as five specially drawn maps and five appendices—including a transcript of British statesman and politician David Lloyd George's conversation with Hitler at Berchtesgaden in 1936.

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History of the Twentieth Century

The 20th century has been one of the most unique in human history. It has seen the rise of some of humanity’s most important advances to date, as well as many of its most violent and terrifying wars. This is a condensed version of renowned historian Martin Gilbert’s masterful examination of the century’s history, offering the highlights of a three-volume work covering more than 3,000 pages.


From the invention of aviation to the rise of the Internet, and from events and cataclysmic changes in Europe to those in Asia, Africa, and North America, Martin examines art, literature, war, religion, life and death, and celebration and renewal throughout the world, and throughout this turbulent and astonishing century.

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Books By
Martin Gilbert