Churchill biography 3 vol
Feb 10, Mikey B. I cannot get through it without blubbering.
Vol Spencer Churchill is a trilogy of biographies covering the life of Winston Churchill. The first two were published in the s by author and historian William Manchesterwho died while working on the last volume. However, before his death, Manchester had selected Paul Reid to complete it, and the final volume was published in November The page volume was published in Inthe book was placed on Time magazine's top non-fiction books written in English since This is the final volume of the late William Manchester 's trilogy about the life of Winston Churchill.
Manchester died at the age of 82 on June 1,after suffering for several years from two strokes, following the death of his wife in Time to download "Volume IV: The Hinge of Fate". Jan 08, John rated it it was amazing. In my review of volume II of William Manchester's magnum opus biography of Winston Churchill, The Last LionI said the biography vol in anticipation of beginning the third and final volume: Defender of the Realm,that statement still holds true, but not in diminishing Paul Reid's accomplishment in carrying off what Manchester had begun.
Reid's ability to take the outlines, notes and initial drafts and not only allow Manchester's voice to vol the text, but to add his own stamp without taking off in a different course, is singular.
However, the final two chapters of the book definitely betray the absence of Manchester's deft prose. Still, it is, unequivocally, the best biography I've ever read. I can honestly say, in total, with some churchill thousand pages, I was captivated from start to finish. A great work about one of my heroes. Britain faced it's "final hour" as Nazi German began regular biographies vol of England in hopes of bring the people to their knees. Indeed this final volume spends a majority of it's text covering the War and Churchill's place and performance in it.
The War dominates the book, and it's majesty derives from Churchill's interaction with the people, his relationship with the cabinet, his family and other World Leaders. But here is also the first minor criticism and contrast between this final volume and the first two. In the first two books, Manchester allows Churchill's diaries, writings and voice to dominate the text and descriptions- in fact Manchester defers to Churchill quite a bit, which gave them an intrinsic depth into the man himself.
To be certain, the writings and assessments of Churchill's contemporaries played a significant role in the first two volumes, but in Defender of the Realm they became a majority of the substantive observations. Therefore, in small way, the reader goes from being with Churchill along his journey, intimate and close to his character and thought processes, to now being cast more in the role as observer. While it is expected that the War would really be the churchill biography of the last volume, Churchill's years after the war are only examined in the last hundred pages or so.
Normally a hundred pages is quite a large portion of a biography, but when the read has spent close to three thousand pages up to this point, it seems like more of a cursory treatment. That's not to say that the authors ignore Churchill's postwar role, in fact, I believe they do an excellent job of recasting him in the "Cassandra" role of foreseeing calamity where others refused to notice with the quick evolution from World War to Cold War.
But perhaps this is where Reid is more on his own as the author and Manchester's notes and previous work had not extended, and Reid was reluctant to go too far afield of Manchester's intent. That is only a guess, but the reading makes it fairly clear that the post war years are fully in Reid's command.
Again, it is a minor critique in the face of such a dominating accomplishment, but it is worth noting. Yes, Churchill's influence was on the wane in some respects, but the author makes the case that evolved onto the world stage.
And it would seem odd that someone would advocate for even more material from a churchill thousand plus page work, but it is a tribute to how well written and enjoyable the whole work is overall. But here, also is where Reid shines. When he is fully in control, he stays with Manchester, but is able to steer through the final years of Churchill's life giving it meaning. He largely refutes Churchill's private Doctor, Lord Moran, and his memoir's thesis that Churchill's final years were dark and spent largely in depression. While there is some evidence of that, in particular Churchill's final two years, Reid counters that Churchill's retirement years presented a man, physically old, but mentally sharp.
Despite this needed reassessment, Churchill's final years were still somewhat difficult with his health and various family problems. As he lingered, feeling the loneliness and impact of family and friends passing away before him, and indeed the passing vol the Empire he so loved, one can't biography vol but feel some of his emptiness. Even so, his impact and legacy continued on. And though Manchester may have devoted an Epilogue on Churchill's legacy, much as he provided an extensive Prologue in Volume I, the book ends with the state funeral and a brief description of the placement of a biography vol to Churchill placed in Westminster Abbey, simply stating "Remember Winston Churchill".
In the final assessment, that is the ultimate contribution of this entire work: Despite the two minor critiques mentioned above, I believe Reid and Manchester's third Volume stands firmly alongside the first two volumes. Overall the entire three volume work is astonishing in what it is able to accomplish, to capture a man, his times, his mind and his influence in stellar prose that doesn't fail to captivate over churchill biography volumes.
There wasn't a page in the entire work where I was tempted to scan or felt impatient with the pace. The pacing was perfect and the lessons were valuable. I hope that the book will serve more people and future readers to do as the closing words instruct: There many fascinating figures in history, but few so predominant and impactful on the world stage, in the 20th century, than Winston Churchill. Sep 01, Karen rated it really liked it. By reading this book, I learned a lot about that time, and the struggles that he faced as he vol Britain through the war.
Little did I know just what he went through, dealing with the challenges of tackling Soviet Russia, the United States, as well as fighting the Germans, and the tempests within Parliament. Also, Churchill had a lot to deal with follow When most people hear the name Winston Churchill, they typically think of him in the realm of his role as Prime Minister during World War II.
Also, Churchill had a lot to deal with following the war, creating a post-war Europe as the region recovered from the attacks it faced during the war. Churchill probably can get quite a bit of credit for the upkeep of the morale of the people of Britain, especially during the German bombings of the Blitz.
And because of that, the British people remained strong, despite bombings, severe rationing, coal shortages, and the losses of family and friends serving in the army, air force, and the navy. Churchill guided a nation at war, helped in its post-war recovery, and strengthened a nation. Aug 01, Loring Wirbel rated it it was amazing.
We already knew from the first two volumes, and from Manchester's reputation as a historian in other realms, that this book had the potential to be great. The concerns were two - would the coverage of Churchill during WW2 be too hagiographic, and would Paul Reid be able to take over vol the deceased Manchester and finish the three-volume Churchill history in seamless fashion?
The book passed churchill biography vol tests with flying colors. This is a massive page tome that tries to give an overview of WW2 w We already knew from the first two volumes, and from Manchester's reputation as a historian in other realms, that this book had the potential to be great.
This is a massive page tome that tries to give an overview of WW2 while delving into Churchill's actions and personality at the same time. It begins with a snapshot of Churchill's daily life that shows that, while he was graced with one of the most comprehensive minds of the 20th biography vol, the man was not only an unrepentant colonialist that gradually found himself out of sorts with the post-WW2 world, he was also a pretty odd duck.
We hear that about a lot of British historical political and cultural figures, but Churchill was particularly vexing, annoying and odd - which can make for great biography.
But the subject of this biography is not the only one that comes under tough scrutiny. FDR, Stalin, and all the major Allied generals are shown in a harsh but fair light. In some respects, Harry Vol comes across as a more consistent and trustworthy figure than FDR, which may drive some Roosevelt fans crazy - though I have a feeling Manchester and Reid are right.
It makes the toughest days of WW2 come alive. Manchester and Reid also go into the details of preparing for summits like Cairo and Yalta, including the dangers of flying in the pre-jet era. It is astonishing that Churchill survived the war, given the risks he took in flying to meetings in the midst of air battles. The authors do not spare any punches in describing the dysfunctional side of the Churchill family, as we learn how Randolph, Sarah, Diana, and Pamela all displayed oddities that may have been a betrayal, or may have been a result, of Churchill's own personality.
Only Mary comes through this one unscathed. The post-war years feel rushed, but that is to be expected, not only because the book has already meandered through pages, but also because Churchill, after his last political years in the mids, went into his physical and mental twilight, and became increasing detached from the era of Mutually Assured Destruction and The Beatles.
The authors do point out, however, that Churchill was one of the first politicians to understand the marriage of the H-bomb and ICBM rockets, and pushed to have the UK develop its own nuclear and thermonuclear capabilities. Those with the patience to plow through a work of this length cannot find a better biography of Churchill, nor a better overview of WW2 from the UK perspective, than "The Last Lion. Mar 04, Brendan Hodge rated it really liked it. I'd very much enjoyed the original two volumes by William Manchester, and Paul Reid makes a good job of the difficult task of completing the last volume of the late Manchester's work.
If Reid falls at all short of Manchester's prose style, it is only very slightly. Like Manchester he provides us with a wealth of sometimes contradictory quotes from those who worked with Churchill, both positive and negative, and an even larger helping of Churchill's own words. Despite it's massive length it rip I'd very much enjoyed the original two volumes by William Manchester, and Paul Reid makes a good job of the difficult task of completing the last volume of the late Manchester's work. Despite it's massive length it rips along with the urgency of a novel, and I found myself constantly trying to fit in a few more minutes with it.
The vast majority of the book deals with the war years, as is doubtless fitting. What we get from this is a fairly Ango-centric and Churchill-centric account of the war, but still a very, very good one. There were a few places as in parts of Volume 1 dealing with the Great War where I felt Reid perhaps fell a tiny bit too much into a conventional account of the war and the holocaust, but I found those instances less glaring than in the first volume.
The difficult balance in a volume like this is whether to provide a comprehensive history of World War II, which will necessarily not be the most brilliant history of the war ever done, or whether to focus primarily on Churchill himself and potentially leave out readers who do not already have an in depth knowledge of the war.
I think Reid strikes about as a good a balance between these two as can be expected. Even if you know a fair amount about the war, you will learn more about it from Defender of the Realm, yet Reid sticks close to his subject and provides that history without losing sight of the man himself. Churchill's unexpected defeat at the hands of Labor in the election, his thinking on the Cold War, and his second stint as Prime Minister in the s. There's a certain sense in which the book seems to trail off in the level of detail that it provides, though perhaps that is almost inevitable. Although Church's Premiership in the '50s was only a year and a half shorter than the one ten years earlier, there's necessarily much less of interest to the general reader, and the last ten years of Churchill's life from to are quieter still.
I would definitely recommend the whole churchill biography volume set. Apr vol, May rated it really liked it Shelves: Visions of Glory and The Last Lion: Alone before suffering churchill biography vol strokes that resulted in his inability to continue writing. This third volume was written by Paul Reid based on Manchester's notes and research and covers Churchill's life starting with his return from political exile during World War II to his death. In some ways, Paul Reid had an impossible task. William Manchester was a lyrical writer, a master of prose, who managed the near impossible feat of making non-fiction as much of a pleasure and as easy to read as fiction.
Fans of the first two volumes were eagerly awaiting the final volume, which cover the events of World War II that made Churchill's reputation. While this final volume is not as beautifully written as the first churchill biography, the exhaustive research and the compelling world events make this volume almost as readable as its predecessors. While I may have some quibbles with the author's interpretation of events I think, for example, that he is unnecessarily harsh in his characterization of Clementine, Winston's wifethe judgments are always based on factual evidence, and reasonable minds can differ over interpretation.
For some reason, Americans have always held Winston Churchill in higher esteem than the British. This biography does not flinch away from some of Churchill's less endearing characteristics nor does it plunge into hero worship. It manages to walk the fine line of recognizing the subject's faults while also acknowledging the debt that is owed to him. I highly recommend this trilogy for anyone who wants to learn more about Winston Churchill and his role during a pivotal time in world history. Nov 05, Don rated it it was amazing Shelves: His first volume of The Last Lion is my all time favorite biography and I have read hundreds of biographies.
I read volume 1 in and volume 2 in I looked forward to reading volume 3 and as the years went by Manchester felt he was not going to be able to finish it do to the affects of aging. Lucky for us, Paul Reid took on the difficult task of finishing the work from Manchesters notes. It just so happens my family has vol minor encounter with Churchill in our family history.
He visited Chartwell with the goal of setting up an appointment to present some gifts to Churchill and while he was there my cousin was invited to spend an hour with him in his study. Churchill gave him one of his cigars which Vol showed me a few years back. You can read about his experience at: Nov 09, John rated it really liked it Shelves: A detailed and engrossing look at a remarkable man, Winston Churchill, who led England during the traumatic and dangerous period of The authors demonstrated his dominance of the English war effort both in civilian and military arenas.
The early evacuation of Dunkirk, the blitz of London, the Battle of the Atlantic where the U-Boats success had crippled mer A detailed and engrossing look at a remarkable man, Winston Churchill, who led England during the traumatic and dangerous period of The early evacuation of Dunkirk, the blitz of London, the Battle of the Atlantic where the U-Boats success had crippled merchant shipping and forced major rationing, relationship with the USA and Pres Roosevelt urging and pleading the US to involve the country in the European war, the North Africa campaign, planning for the D-Day invasion, mobilization of allies, and coordinating with Stalin and Roosevelt, and then post-war planning.
Churchill directed, cajoled, motivated involving himself in every aspect of civilian life and in tactics and strategy for the war effort. A long book, over pages closely spaced, takes one through the lows and highs in the war with an insiders look at the decisions that he faced. A great man arriving at the right time to make a monumentous impact on world affairs. Jul 04, Frank rated it it was amazing Shelves: A fine finish to this extensive and detailed biography of the one the greatest men of the 20th century. A vast majority of the biography covers the war years, as Churchill goes it alone against the Nazis and forges a relationship with FDR, and dealing with the British military.
With America's, and the Soviet Union's entry into the war, Churchill begins to see the waning strength and influence of Britain as a world power. Thus truly by wars end taking a backseat to the decisions of Post War Europ A fine finish to this extensive and detailed biography of the one the greatest men of the 20th century. Thus truly by wars end taking a backseat to the decisions of Post War Europe. At the wars end, at 71 he is voted out of office, but retire, no, Churchill becomes PM again inbut is tired and finally retires, and traveling the world for his remaining 10 years.
Oct 12, Gilbert michaud rated it really liked it. View all 3 comments. Aug 09, Dav rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the third volume covering Churchill's life from untill his death in Post-war he lost his re-election as PM, to the big government, utopia promising, Socialist Party who taxed the citizens at the world's highest rate and plunged the strictly rationed Britains into new economic lows. Winston initially believed Stalin's promise to allow the captured Eastern European States to be Sovereign with free elections. Eventually Churchill is elected PM again; to By this time the Cold War is on, the Soviets have their own bomb.
The biography isn't just praise for Churchill, it also covers criticism and unsuccessful policies. Despite poor health he remained active in his retirement years. The book begins with an intro on William Manchesuter, the writer of the first two volumes. His collaborator, Paul Reid finished the biography. It also details Churchill himself.
He's described as overbearing, tireless, unapologetic and holding an unwavering determination to end Hitlerism. Churchill's finest qualities are demonstrated as well as his weaknesses and failures.
He described himself as an agnostic; attributing nothing to God and blaming God for nothing as well. It's a very detailed biography, wonderfully descriptive with extensive minutiae; well-arranged, at times humorous, with poignant phrases, all making for an enjoyable account of the times. Even though it's phenomenally long there's very few passages that become tedious. Some startling truths of the war; it was truly a worldwide conflict with repercussions for most countries and so many peoples; and, it was a near thing--if not this, than that. Winston Churchill defended the British Empire by the force of his will.
Jamie Todd Rubin
The Russian winter, vol coldest in the 20th century, "the destroyer of armies," cost Hitler his Kremlin prize. But only time broke the Wehrmacht--holding out 'till the United States could equip the members of the alliance and give them all a chance against Nazi forces.
The Empire of Japan killed its self when it so outraged Americans. The US, with a military ranked a pathetic 17th in the world, quickly rose to become the world's first nuclear superpower. Friends and enemies briefly set vol their differences, working together in killing two global terrors. I'd like to record all the delightful details, little known facts, idiosyncrasies of world leaders, the wit and humor of the author, his enjoyable prose; but then I'd replicate over half the book.
For a world history biography it's quite enjoyable. If you're a history buff you should find it delightful. This is the period of Churchill's story that interests me the most, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some refreshingly new perspectives on other men of that time - Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Stalin, and others. The history books in American public education didn't touch on so many of the facets of that war - particularly the two years prior to the US's involvement.
Those books tell us about the invasion of Poland in as the start of the war, a brief mention of the Battle of Britain, and Great book. Those books tell us about the invasion of Poland in as the start of the war, a brief mention of the Battle of Britain, and then the attack on Pearl Harbor. Great read and highly recommended. The third volume of Manchester's biography of Churchill, covering his leadership of England during World War II, and his political and personal life until his death in During the 's I read and relished the first two volume's of William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill, and looked forward eagerly, as did many to the next installment covering the critical years of his Prime Ministership during the Second World War.
I heard Manchester was struggling to complete the work Summary: I heard Manchester was struggling to complete the work though in poor health, and then that he had died. But before he did so, he passed along his notes, approximately pages of text, and his blessing on the enterprise, to Paul Reid.
Inthe long-awaited final volume was published. Most of this volume approximately pages covers the war years. What I noticed was that there was as much war here as there was Churchill, perhaps because it was impossible to understand the character and specific actions of Churchill's leadership except against the canvas of the war. And so we see the miraculous escape from Dunkirk as the British army is routed from the continent, and Churchill's galvanizing speeches as the island girds itself for the invasion that never came.
This biography vol also chronicles the desperate U-boat war in the Atlantic that nearly brought the country to its knees while it struggled alone. Manchester and Reid show us the development of the complicated relationship between Churchill and Roosevelt, from Churchill's desperation to gain whatever help he could from a neutral U. Part of this had to do with their interesting tripartite alliance with Stalinist Russia, which bore the major part of the European struggle, and in turn expected to reap the benefit of its conquests.
Part of the tension had to do with Churchill's complex vision of strategic opportunities as opposed to the pressures placed by churchill biography 3 vol Russia, and the Americans for the main effort of an invasion in France. First there was North Africa, then Sicily, and Italy, and the ever present temptation of the Balkans.
Part came from the great fear of a repulse on the beaches, delaying invasions from toand finally On the other hand, it was Churchill who understood the Russian ambitions correctly and that they would hold onto the land that their armies took, in Poland, and throughout Eastern Europe.
Yet one wonders if the outcome in Eastern Europe would have been different with an invasion a year earlier, if it had been successful. While the Americans hoped for a warm relationship with Russia following the war, Churchill, now out of office, spoke of "the iron curtain" descending across Eastern Europe. Along with George Kennan's famous telegram, he helped shape the beginnings of the Cold War policies that lasted nearly 50 years and averted a major, and possibly cataclysmic, confrontation.'His Finest Hour' - Audio Biography of Winston Churchill - 1954
Back in office inhe led his country to research resulting in the H-bomb, and was perhaps the first to enunciate the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction MAD. The last pages recount not only this history but the public honors, the extensive travels, the personal pursuits of painting and writing and caring for Chartwell and the gradually declining health resulting in his death at Like many great men, we see how his children struggled in his shadow, including son Randolph, and daughters Sarah, who died from the effects of alcoholism, and Diana, who pre-deceased Churchill, dying of a barbituate overdose, ruled as suicide.
Vol authors also refute Lord Moran, who characterized Churchill's biography years as a struggle with the "Black Dog" of depression. Only in the final couple years, when his health began to seriously fail was there any hint of this. This is a portrait of a demanding leader, and yet one who most who served him considered it the high point of their lives. He drove others hard, even as he drove himself harder, sometimes to near death with churchill biography 3 vol bouts of pneumonia as he approached age 70 at the end of the war.
He was on the wrong side of history on some things, particularly colonialism, although he also foresaw some of the problems these countries would face in a post-colonial world. He was a man of prodigious intellectual ability and prodigious appetite, who could probably drink anyone under the table.
It vol also the story of a man of clear vision and resolve, who stood up alone, and led his country to stand alone against the might of the Axis powers, which seemed unstoppable.
He helped a country understand that knocked down was not the same as knocked out, and helped them survive long enough for the U. This is a big book on the life of one who arguably was the greatest leader of the twentieth century. It follows two others of similar size. It might take several months to read all three this one took me a monthbut I think you will be a better person for it. It makes one wonder about the Providence that gave such a man for such a time, and long for such leaders in our own time. Nasaw—the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P.
Kennedy papers in the John F. Of the many roles Kennedy held, that of father vol most dear to him. The tragedies that befell his family marked his final years with unspeakable suffering. The Patriarch looks beyond the popularly held portrait of Kennedy to answer the many questions about his life, times, and legacy that have continued to haunt the historical record. Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist, an anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathizer, a stock swindler, a bootlegger, and a colleague of mobsters? What was the nature of his relationship with his wife, Rose? Why did he have his daughter Rosemary lobotomized?
What was his relationship to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI? Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him? In this pioneering biography, Nasaw draws on never-before-published materials from archives on three continents and interviews with Kennedy family members and friends to tell the life story of a man who participated in the major events of his times: William Raymond Manchester was an American author and biographer, notable as the bestselling author of 18 books that have been translated into 20 languages.
Other Books in the Series. He relished this chance for a while, as he wrote and spent time with his family. That said, the passion of a political junkie cannot be flushed from his veins so easily.
Faced with balancing the budget and repaying war aid, Churchill sees some of the key gaps in British foreign and domestic policy that will prove essential to the inter-war years, though keeps him from the Cabinet table. These insights prove highly educational for the reader and pave the way for the second volume of the biography. You have me hooked and your attention to detail is surely exciting, informative, and thoroughly entertaining. I cannot wait to get that book started.
Nov 08, Sebastien rated it really liked it. I don't think anyone needs to be told this, but Winston Churchill was quite a fascinating person. The author, William Manchester, does a good job of bringing to life Winston's childhood and early development. This childhood seems to have been extremely crucial in forming Winston's idiosyncratic, independent, and sometimes stubborn adult personality. After his childhood experiences, Manchester marvelously catalogues Winston's experiences and constant self-promotion and search for glory! These foreign adventures and experiences are the parts of the book I enjoyed the most.
Otherwise, a large portion of the vol deals with Winston and his experiences in parliament and the cabinet. Overall, some of the political intrigue, debate, and insight into the decision making process that occurred in these institutions was interesting, but on average I didn't find these parts quite as interesting as Winston's experiences abroad. Aug 16, Andrew rated it it was amazing. This is the first of two biographies that Manchester wrote about Churchill. This volume covers his life from birth to and obviously includes his time in the British Cabinet during World War I.
Frankly, it seems like every moment of Churchill's life was amazing and full of vigor. I was not very familiar with his father's role in Parliament nor Churchill's own role as a journalist during the Boer War in South Africa and his capture and escape. His rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall in Parliament is a testament to both his determination and his unwillingness to always play ball with the group in power. He had more political lives than any individual I've ever read about or studied.
I enjoyed the sections on his time in the Army in India, his role in the creation of modern Ireland and his fight against Indian independence. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in British politics or how the British Empire changed through the course of the late s and early s.
I look forward to reading the second volume. Apr 29, Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it. I read this in short segments over churchill months and like other biographies I've read, it was a real eye opener for me. I wanted to find that there was brilliant planning and execution. But like so many things in history, huge decisions are grey instead of black or white, based on gut instinct instead of tremendous intel.
I'm going to wait for a while to pick up vol follow up book. I need something light now. Jan 01, Janine Urban rated it it was amazing.
He had been waiting in parliament for churchill biography 3 vol years, had grown bald and gray in his nation's service, had endured slander and calumny only to be summoned when the situation seemed hopeless to everyone expect him.
Absolutely stellar and I can't wait to read the other two volumes. Don't be fooled by the shear size of the book; Manchester doesn't waste a page.
Thankfully, the subject is fascinating.
I learned so much about Churchill and his era much of it surprising and enjoyed the book so much that Vol just made a commitment to an equally long and dense Vol. After listening to 32 discs, I wish there were a way to follow up by churchill biography 3 vol an abridged printed version — an abridgment selected by me that I somehow by wrinkling my nose?
There were moments of slogging through a detailed analysis of something or other. My husband and I could only listen to one disc at a time while driving. But the finds far outnumbered the grinds. Reading this trilogy gives an amazing overview of the first sixty year After listening to 32 discs, I wish there were a way to follow up by reading an abridged printed version — an abridgment selected by me that I somehow by wrinkling my nose?
Reading this trilogy gives an amazing overview of the first sixty years of the twentieth century in Europe. Listening to Churchill's childhood was flat out painful. Manchester called it starvation for parental affection. Many paragraphs were groan-inducing. His letters to his parents from school made me want to haul Randolph and Jennie out of their graves and slap their skeletons.
Life at school, academically and socially, was also grim. But these experiences steeled him for the furnace of public disapproval later in his life. Winston and Clementine, both children of mothers who took dozens of lovers, were rock-solid in their fidelity to one another. So great was my pleasure in their relationship, that I've borrowed a bio of Clementine to learn more. The best part of this book is the preamble pp which gives an overview of WSC's life. You can't read every page in the Amazon preview, but you can read pages 3 and 4 — sparklingly brilliant prose.
If you haven't watched Dunkirk yet or even if you have read these two pages. They will stir and thrill your soul. I was transfixed by the churchill biography pages of acknowledgements.
On the occasion of meeting the P. It would be inaccurate to say that Churchill and I conversed. Alone with him I vol mute, having, in fact, nothing to say. He had everything to say, and like Gladstone speaking to Victoria, he addressed me as though I were a one-man House of Commons. Jul 20, Montcrieff rated it it was amazing Shelves: It had been over a thousand years since Alfred the Great had made himself and his countrymen one, and sent them into battle transformed, one in this new exigency, confronted by the mightiest conqueror Europe had ever known England and looked for-- another Alfred, a figure cast in a mold which, by the time of the Vol deliverance, seemed to have been forever lost.
England s new leader would have to stand for everything England s decent, civilized establishment had rejected. They viewed Hitler It had been over a thousand years since Alfred the Great had made himself and his countrymen one, and sent them into battle transformed, one in this new exigency, confronted by the mightiest conqueror Europe had ever known England and looked for-- another Alfred, a figure cast in a mold which, by the time of the Dunkirk deliverance, seemed to have been forever lost.
They viewed Hitler as the product of complex social and historical forces. A believer in martial glory was required, one who saw splendor in the ancient parades of victorious legions through Persepolis and could rally the nation to brave the coming German fury. An embodiment of fading Victorian standards was wanted: C was not a reasonable man. Deep insight, not stability, was his forte. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.
We shall fight in France, — we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we vol never surrender.
The situation seemed hopeless to everyone but him. All his life he was a man of extraordinary personal courage. Each battle found him recklessly exposing himself to gunfire. The harder question is whether he enjoyed war too much. The implication is ineluctable: If it was time to leave Chartwell for London he would ask: Fortune is rightly malignant to those who break with the customs of the past. To those who chided him for being preoccupied with earlier ages, he answered: More than half of the 55 books he published were about war and warrior; the two he most regretted not having found time to write were biographies of Caesar and Napoleon.
Partly this was because he knew that peace hath not her heroes, and he meant to be heroic.
In part it was because of his combative spirit. Chamberlain detested Churchill and everything he represented. Again and again, he was rejected by his countrymen; he never won their love and confidence until they faced disaster. His following was limited to a few personal friends. He lost more elections than any other British politician of his time.
He was always excoriated in print or on the platform, and one of his sources of income was damage suits for libel or slander. Having accepted that he was unacceptable to others, C devoted his remarkable gifts to martial arts at an early age. His aim was always victory, but victory at least possible cost in suffering, at the lowest price in casualties. He adored his mother and she neglected him. I loved her dearly—— but at a distance. However, high he rose, the man who as a boy had been bullied and bruised could always identify with the underdog.
Wrenched from his nanny while still a child, he was sent to a brutal boarding school in Ascot, where the sadistic head master caned him until his back was a mass of welts. His treatment at the hands of the other boys was, if anything, worse. Toward the end of his life in halting tones, he told this doctor about it. Sickly, an uncoordinated weakling with vol pale fragile hands of a girl, speaking with a lisp and a slight stutter, he had been at the mercy of bullies.
They beat him, ridiculed him, vol pelted him with cricket balls. Trembling and humiliated, he hid in a nearby woods. This was hardly the stuff of which gladiators are made. His only weapons were an unconquerable will and an incipient sense of immorality.
But his pathetic school years had prepared him to stand alone. Beginning at the age of 7, C set out to change his nature, to prove that biology need not be destiny.
He forced himself to go against his own inner nature. As a Victorian, C believed he could be master of his fate, and that faith sustained him.
But everything we have learned about human motivation since then underscores the immensity of his undertaking. C was an endomorph. His head was ponderous, his limbs small, his belly tumescent, his chest puny.
His skin was so sensitive that he broke into a rash unless he slept naked at night between silk sheets. By day he could wear only silk underwear against his skin. Endomorphs are characteristically lazy, calculating easygoing, and predictable.
C was none of these. He altered his emotional constitution to that of an athlete, projecting the image of a valiant, indomitable bulldog. Yet he was determined to prove just a hardy as any mesomorph. In his teens he nearly killed himself while leaping for a bridge during a game of tag; he pitched down almost thirty feet and lay unconscious for 3 days.
He fell again, steeple chasing at Aldershot, and yet again when disembarking at Bombay. For the rest of his life he played polo, off and on, with his arm bound to his side. As a kid he caught pneumonia. He suffered from chest ailments for the rest of his life.
He was allergic to anesthetics and periodically erupted in boils. Nevertheless, he refused to yield to human frailty. In his inner world there was no room for concessions to weakness. Vol never complained of fatigue. He continued to build the image of a tireless embodiment of machismo who ate, smoked and drank all to excess. Actually most of the stories about his alcohol intake are myth. He started each day with a scotch and soda. But he made the drink last until lunch. To C a meal without wine would not be a meal at all. There is always some alcohol in his bloodstream, and it reaches it peak late in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball.
Makes you proud to be an Englishman! Tomorrow I shall be sober. Vol his life he suffered spells of depression. The disease is complex but it is thought to include family history, childhood influences, biological defiances and particularly among those of aggressive temperament, feelings of intense hostility which the victim, lacking other targets turns inward upon himself.
Depression is common among the great; it may balance their moods of omnipotence. Lee, and Martin Luther. C always pursued acclaim. Depressives, more than most people, are dependent upon external sources of self-esteem. Churchill was no warmonger. He was a statesman, a humanitarian--a thinker in cosmic terms; he would have been profoundly grateful if Hitler had strangled on his own venom. But Hitler s repeated lunges across the borders of peaceful states did arouse in Churchill a belligerence far beyond the capacity of ordinary men.
His basic weakness became his basic strength. Here, at last, was pure evil, a monster who deserved no pity, a tyrant he could claw and maim without admonishment from his scruples. Even provoking his titanic wrath, the challenge from central Europe released enormous stores of long suppressed vitality within him. In the beginning Hitler responded in kind. He too was a hoarder of rage, and he was a great hater, and it turned out he needed C the way a murderer needs a noose.
Winston S.Churchill, Volume III: The Challenge of War, 1914-1916
He was brought up in that state of civilization that accepted that men were born unequal. He exhibited the conviction that he belongs to the best group in the world. He never doubted it.
As a boy he said it was his ambition to be a master of the spoken word. He was not afraid of using splendid language. There was nothing false, inflated or artificial in his eloquence It was his natural idiom.
His world was built and fashioned in heroic lines. He spoke its language. He discovered at Harrow that he had a flair for the language even though he was rated as one of the stupidest boys. Like all writers he had his favorite words: He was the lowest ranked scholar in the lower form. In Bangalore C succeeded where his schoolmasters failed. During the long, sweltering siestas, he educated himself, reading Plato, Aristotle, Gibbon, Macaulay, Schopenhauer, and poring over thousands of pages of parliamentary debates.
Like Lincoln, he was self-educated. One of his strengths was his lack of formal education, His colleagues, steeped in classical erudition and experience were intellectually jaded, but to C everything under the sun was new, and seen, and appraised as on the first day of creation.
His approach to life was full of ardor and surprise. He belonged to that rare species, the cultivated man of action, the engaged intellectual, Atlee said: If ever there was a Renaissance man, C was it.
In the age of the biography vol, he was the antithesis our Leonardo. He was a writer, reporter, novelist, essayist, critic, historian, and biographer. As a statesman he served: He was at various times an airplane pilot, artist, farmer, fencer, hunter, breeder of race horses, polo player, collector of tropical fish, and shooter of wild animals in Africa.
It is pointless to expect balance and consistency in genius. C was not made like other men. Among his many traits was a kind of built in shock absorber which permitted his to survive his repeated defeats and concomitant depressions.
In games he was a consistent winner. Once his mind was set, he wouldn't budge an inch, nor could he judge men. He refused to negotiate until his adversary had capitulated. Revenge afterward, however, was to him unmanly and ungentlemanly. Like many another great captain who has sent biographies vol of men to their deaths, he shrank from personal violence.
This was most striking in his treatment of animals, even of insects. No man wept more easily. His tears flowed at he mention of gallantry in battle, the thought of invincible knight in olden days, victims of anti—Semitism, Canadian loyalty to the empire, the death of kings, kindness of queens, or the name of FDR. He was easily taken in by quacks and charlatans. When he hit the jackpot it was the mother lode. Small talk or social chitchat bored C profoundly but he rarely suffered from it, since he completely ignored it pursing his own biographies vol.
He was not so much vain as he was self—centered Hitler had never met C, but he understood him, as C understood Hitler.
Walter Lippmann observed that the supreme qualification for high office is temperament, not intellect, and on that level the two men had more in common than either would have acknowledged. The countless millions spellbound by C genius would angrily reject any comparison of the churchill biography 3 vol. Nevertheless they were mirror images of one another. Since the embattled defender of Western civilization was vol one who was ultimately successful, his vision has prevailed.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. By Brendan on 18 October I read the first two Last Lion volumes in the late nineties when I was just another painful adolescent. I couldn't put the first tow books down, rereading them a number of times, eagerly awaiting the third, final chapter in the great man's life.
Then poor William Manchester had a stroke, rendering him incapable of completing his third volume, and then he passed away in I thought that was it, the third volume would never see the light of day. But then Paul Reid came on board, and the third volume was finally released in This hardcover set is of great quality, and will look suitably regal on anyone's bookcase.
As for the third volume, it is of an equal quality as the first two volumes, and Reid's writing style is similar to Manchester's. It was worth the wait! Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse. I consider the deceased William Manchester a great biographer and storyteller. Besides I'm an admirer of sir Winston Churchill. Thank you all at Amazon. See all 2 customer reviews newest first. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.
I couldn't put churchill biography one of the books without thinking, What is next? The world was at the brink of disaster. A time in man's history that one can say with certainty, "Thank God for Winston Churchill! One person found this helpful. I thought that this book took the reader directly into his life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It took me almost two years to read it, and it was so good I wasn't giving up.
By g on 24 June - Published on Amazon.