I first got this Audible title many years ago, and I'm now going through it again. The reading is excellent, and the material is authoritative, entertaining and well balanced.
There are enough twists and turns for good fiction, though this is all true history.
Churchill was a complex character, and every nuance is examined, not least from the political experience of the author who held senior office in later British governments.
Recommended to anyone with an interest in one of the great figures of the 20th Century (the greatest, according to the author). This is a fairly thorough, but readable personal history. With the exception of some digressions into the day-to-day grind of parlimentary politics (the rules of which may be a source of confusion to some non-British readers, such as myself), the book remains thoroughly enjoyable until the end.
Roy Jenkins may be the ideal person to effectively conjure Churchill's legacy. Although their time in government overlapped but little (and at very different ends of their careers), Jenkins was (I believe) a Labour minister, with a very different set of political beliefs than had Churchill. Nevertheless, it is clear that Jenkins holds Churchill in the highest esteem. This high esteem, coupled with a tendency to deflate Churchill at various points, makes for a compelling picture of a brilliant, difficult and (at times) transformative individual.
The narration is exceptional.
For someone who thought that he knew a great deal about Winston Churchill, I soon found out that I barely scratched the surface. Roy Jenkins does a wonderful job filling in the details of the life of one of the greatest men of the 20th Century, but it is the expert narration of Robert Whitfield who made the story come alive with a near perfect rendition of Churchill's iconic voice together with reasonable impersonations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and others. Although 37 hours makes for a long listen, every stage of his life had noteworthy insights into the man and the times. I was particularly impressed with the wisdom and skill with which Clementine, his wife, helped to temper his moods and provide him with good counsel (when he would listen to her).
As might be expected, the events leading up to and the beginning of World War II were the most interesting. But I would recommend this book to a listener who is willing to make the effort learning about Churchill as a person and not just eager to hear about the high points.
A long, thorough and insightful biography of a fascinating and charismatic British politician, though when compared to the multiple tombs completed by Martin Gilbert and Randolf Churchill this is a brief summary of Churchill?s life.
Jenkins? insights are particularly fascinating for his own experience of later British Government.
I would agree with those, presumably American who find this dry. Much of his life is tied up in the UK parliamentary system, so unless you have a keen knowledge of the subject, the terminaology and characters can appear obscure.
As a Brit, I find this absolutely fascinating, and I believe that I will return to this book once every five years or so. A wonderful book!!!
Generally, this book is considered one of the better biographies of Churchill. Having read a number of them I would agree. The recording itself is well done, though the part that deals with Churchill?s life between the wars is a bit slow and dry. This, however, seems to be the case with any book of this larger-than-life man.
Jenkins' account of Churchill's life is strongly influenced by his own career as a Labour MP, and if this biography is anything, it's a political life. We hear about every one of Churchill's many campaigns for office and much of the party intrigues that helped get him in and out of positions of power. For those with the stamina to hang in through dozens of hours of reading, this is a fine listen, one that will certainly leave you in awe of Churchill's own stamina and drive.
An intelligent flowing account of the life of the greatest politician of the 20th century. The late author, himself a British politician of note, narrates his work effectively, with colour and vigour. The narrative is a little spoilt by the electronic editing, which leaves only minimal gaps between sentences, resulting in an unnecessarily hurried atmosphere. I was a little bemused by the author describing Jan Smuts as having been ?house-trained? by Churchill ? clearly Jenkins did not have a clear understanding of the formidable intellect and will of Smuts. That aside, a really excellent work.
Great stuff about one of England’s most famous. It was a real pleasure reading another Churchill biography. And maybe that shouldn’t have not have surprised me. What else could be expected when an experienced, articulate politician writes about an experienced, articulate politican?
A thorough narrative of Churchill's personality and politics marred by pretentious, Byzantine, antiquated prose. Most annoying: one needs their French and Latin dictionaries within reach. Happy slogging.
My favorite of all the Churchill bios. Jenkins admirably steers clear of the high-perspective generalizations we are usually exposed to. He has a keen knowledge of Parliamentary minutiae, and sticks to his knitting. This is the Churchill biography for the political junkie and those who have read everything else in the field.