This is one of those rare instances when both the book and the narration are exceptional. The details are fascinating. I had read another of Churchill's books and he is a very good writer - far better than most historians. If you enjoy history then you will love this book.
This is a magnificent book, describing the many errors made by the British government (and to a lesser extent its allies) in the period after the Treaty of Versailles to Churchill's becoming prime minister in April 1940, at the time of the invasion of Holland and Belgium. It tells in detail the many decisions taken in the 1930s that served to strengthen Hitler's regime and military preparedness and weakened British military capacity to respond. It is marvellously read, a grim subject made exciting and inspiring.
I really liked the book, and immediately downloaded and listened two the next two books in the series. I didn't find out that the last book wasn't available on Audible. Ouch!! I find myself waiting to listen to a book that was written many years ago, about a war that happened many years before that. Definitely listen to the books. I just wish I would have waited until they were all available on audible. Now I am in the dark on whether the war will be won or lost:) I just hate waiting!
I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!
So this is actually, the second half of the auto biography of Sir Winston Churchill. It's a good read, I'll recommend it. You get what you can expect from him, a semi biased personal account of the second world war and the events leading up to it. I really enjoyed reading history from this colorful author ;)
out of college I found myself hungry for knowledge and no teachers, so I got into books fast and soon was addicted
Just that in this case its Winston Churchill and its all the events leading to WWII. You'll finish this up from beginning to end and be wrapped up because its not like those boring books about history were its only facts and figures. This guy was living that, and living through it, all the events and decisions being taken. Who else could tell you a better story about it but Adolf himself I suppose.
It makes you wonder: if I was living in that time and watching events unfold like that, what kind of decisions I would be taking... and then you realise, well, there are things unfolding right now, so WHAT STAND ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE?
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
If you want an unbiased history of the build-up to World War II, look elsewhere. This book is Winston Churchill's interpretation of the momentous events culminating in his coming to power in the early stages of the conflict.
But it is all the more interesting because it tells the story from his personal perspective. He is never shy of pointing out, time and time again, how his political colleagues could have avoided or delayed the war by standing up to Hitler. After the devastation of World War One the political climate in Britain was dominated by a desire for peace, and successive British governments stood back and watched while Hitler built a powerful military machine, a policy of appeasement which Churchill opposed vocally and consistently for many years. When Hitler invaded Belgium and Holland, the folly of the appeasers became undeniable and they stood down, making way for the one man who was ready for the fight.
Churchill's command of the English language is, of course, legendary. His radio speeches stirred and galvanized the British people and motivated them to make the necessary sacrifices in Britain's darkest hour. Although the subject of this story is a sombre one, it is a joy to hear it told in Churchill's own words.
Military history, Contemporary sci-fi/fantasy, Classics and Sport biographies ... in that order!
I have never enjoyed learning about history as much as this! I recently listened to another performance by Christian Rodska (Fear Index) so I was worried that the narration may not have a big impact on me. I was wrong! He is perfect to read Churchill in everyway.
The greatest thing about reading non fiction is how easy it is to relate to 'characters' because you know they're real people making real life decisions. Not only is Churchill a real person but he was THE person in a perfect position to give an amazing overview of one of the most important events in modern history. Being able to follow his path through so many extraordinary situations and visualize his process of making national decisions that shaped the world today is a privilege.
I lived in the UK for most of my life so I am well schooled in WW2, or so I thought. So many details, both big and small, are brought to light in Churchill's personal account of the build up to the war. After I finished this book, I immediately got the 2nd book to carry on the experience ... and I'm looking forward to finishing the complete series!
This is definitely one of my favorite non fiction books/series of all time.
I love books!
I didn't realize this was book 1 of 4 until I got to the end of it. But, it was still a good listen and I guess I'll have to do the other 3 at some point. This one went from the end of WWI until Churchill was named Prime Minister a few months into the war. You almost feel like it's Winston himself reading his feelings to you about what is go0ing on from his and the British perspective.
Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.
Churchill's history of WWII has long been one of those books I wanted to read but hadn't gotten around to. I wasn't sure what to expect but I anticipated that it would be well-written, extrapolating from Churchill's oratory skills. I was not disappointed.
A good bit of the book is a memoir of Churchill's own experiences, rather than a third person account of political and military events. This first volume of the whole history primarily deals with the period leading up to the outbreak of war, so listeners expecting a play-by-play account of violent clashes between the warring nations will find that there is actually very little of it in "Milestones to Disaster." Presumably, the later volumes in Churchill's history of WWII will be more in that vein.
The narration by Christian Rodska is very good. He doesn't quite go so far as to try to embody the author in a fully theatrical sort of way, but there's a touch of that. When another person is quoted at length, such as Neville Chamberlain, Rodska alters his voice and does a creditable job of not only bringing that person to life but also of conveying perhaps Churchill's opinion of the man in doing so. In all, I think Rodska does a great job of adding just a bit of that theatrical quality without being ridiculous. I often forgot that I was listening to a modern reader and I would fall under the spell that I was hearing Churchill himself narrate his own book, even though it did not seem that Rpdska was trying to actually mimic Churchill's voice.
Perhaps the best compliment I can give "Milestones to Disaster" is simply comment that I plan to spend my credits on the rest of the volumes to finish out the entire history.
The voice of the narrator is similar to some audio that I've hear from Mr. Churchill so the experience of listening to this work is almost like Mr. Churchill his telling you a story. I've been alternating between audiobooks of ancient history (Roman, etc.) and more modern history and this book reads like one of the classics (i.e. Caesar's "Commentaries"). How remarkable that this book allows someone who lived so much of these events to record his experiences. How much more so that he is a first class mind with access to innumerable documents and sources to flesh out those events which he did not personally attend or know about at the time. The pure historian may want to be cautious as he was an actor in the tale and may have bias in his recollection. Still, this is an engrossing work and I highly recommend it.