I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective of Churchill. As an American, the story of the Second World War is too often told through the lens of Pearl Harbor, with a nod toward Chamberlain as a cartoonish appeaser and Churchill as a bulldog in a derby hat, and not much more.
The narration conjures up the voice of Sir Winston well, though admittedly this can be a bit tiresome. I enjoyed the touch overall.
This is as good as it gets. Amazing content from a man in and behind the scenes of the biggest tragedy in human history.
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but this is better.
Ribbentrop delaying Chamberlain from his job the eve the Nazis invaded Czeckoslovakia? Hitler testing France and Britain again and again and them not seeing the growing danger?
Why couldn't Britain see it coming?
I sure learned alot of detail I didnt know about WWII and the history that led up to it.
In the last quarter of the book, it got much more interesting to me with the accounts of naval battles.
Nothing...its like you were listening to Churchill himself.
Nothing shocking from Churchill's own account -big picture wise- that I didnt pick up at some point or another in my college history classes and/or movies/casual reading. Nice refresher though, if a bit dry esp in the first half.
An impressive look into history by the man who lived it closer then anyone. Live it from his eyes to your ears.
Only way to make it better would be to hear it narrated by Churchill himself.
Here is the Masterpiece of the Mastermind. It feels as if the author himself narrated it. Superb performance thanks to Christian Rodska and premium content which every child, every man, and every politician should listen to and learn.
Churchill's personality comes through clearly in this account and his focus on order and structure are clearly evident. The masterful narration by Christian Rodska is, however, the highlight of this volume. Very entertaining.
As an avid reader of history I had high hopes for this book but I found I had to force myself to keep listening until I finally gave up on the book altogether when I had only 1.5 hours left.
This is my first negative review and I hope my last.
Churchill has preserved for us his perspective on the times and the events between the two great wars which inexorably encouraged and sustained the martial adventures of dictators who acknowledged no moral constraints on their ambitions. This narration does a very good job of emulating the very recognizable characteristics of Churchills manner of speaking.
Winston Churchill by any account must be one of the most amazing statesmen of the 20th century. His unparalleled position at the highest levels of government through both World Wars puts him in a unique position to reveal the forces at work in the interregnum between the two. In Milestones to Disaster, he does just that – not as he says as a “history” – but as an eyewitness account to be used by future historians. The fact that he is himself a masterful writer helps one not wait for some future analysis. This work is not only accessible, but it is a very enjoyable if unsettling glimpse into the European political shake-ups of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
I was given Churchill’s six volume history of World War II by my great uncle who had the privilege to meet the then Prime Minister at Harvard. Churchill spoke to the Navy officers that were being barracked there during the U.S.’s initial involvements in the war. This work is actually an abridgment of the first volume of that set The Gathering Storm. Churchill did the trimming himself for this work, but it has been pleasant to peruse the unabridged work to see what has been removed. Mainly it is coordinating documents that help to strengthen the assertions made by the author. It also contains several appendices that contain correspondence between Churchill and other world leaders and politicians. Both the full length and edited versions are readily accessible online and make worthy additions to any library.
In Milestones, the period after the Treaty of Versailles is examined with a brutal eye to all the failings made by the then world powers to keep Germany in check. One misstep after another is frighteningly unfolded for the reader. Even though, we all know where this story leads, it gives one a knot in the gut to see how it all may have been avoided. Churchill reveals how, to his thinking, the overwhelming liberal policies of socialism and disarmament weakened the victorious nations to a point where the defeated Germany could rise under Hitler’s cult of personality. By backing off in the critical moments again and again and capitulating to appease the Führer, the European governments doomed the world to repeat on a larger scale the slaughter of the first World War.
Mr. Churchill is definitely not afraid to point out the mistakes of others. While I’m sure that the facts that are being recorded are all trustworthy, he has gone a fair way to frame them to cast a better light on his position during this time. Churchill was consistently sounding the warning of Germany’s re-armament, and he takes great pride in his un-involvement of the policies that allowed this to happen. He doesn’t sweep his own personal misjudgments under the rug, but he shines a hard light on the British administrations that he sees as failing to protect the world from the German threat. He believes the playing out of Hitler’s conquest of central Europe is a vindication of his viewpoints, and he perceives his rise as an appointment of destiny.
If you’re not familiar with how Germany came a mere twenty years after being completely despoiled to conquering the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Holland with virtually no resistance, this is the book to read. It’s a tragic tale, but one that needs to be understood if but for the hope that it will not be repeated. Churchill truly is one of the great twentieth century writers, and you will not be disappointed by his recollection.
7 stars out of 10