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This volume, “Alone,” of the Manchester series on Winston Churchill, tells the story of his life and its interlacing with the (Second) Boer War, WWI and WWII. This is part of a trilogy of editions of the man, referred to in the series title as, “The Last Lion.” The books are, “Visions of Glory,” “Alone,” and “Defender of the Realm,” a magnificent study of Churchill and the eras. They are though a true history, an effort to acquire knowledge about the man and the wars from a British perspective. Nevertheless, this is a well endeavored read or listen but only for those who are history buffs. That is not to say it isn’t a page turner, and hard to let it sit on the bed table. It is such a well done analysis of the epic failures of what lead to the rise of the Nazis and the oncoming of WWII. The book is an artistic compilation of history in the nature of Shelby Foote’s “The Civil War,” although the House of Commons fights are not as dramatic as the Civil War confrontations.
The same subject, as this title, Alone, can also be read in a more scintillating series by Winston Churchill himself, his four part series the Second World War. That was a more exciting tale. Yes, Churchill has a way not only with governing, giving speeches but writing as well.
This volume, Alone, is the most complete study into Neville Chamberlain, and the popular British post WWI concept of Appeasement, I have ever come across. I have seen the Newsreel film of Chamberlain holding the treaty in his hand and waiving to cheering crowds in triumph and because I have the advantage of hindsight knew Chamberlain was a fool, and a fool to Hitler. I had no idea how dominant a postulate non-violence was for our forefathers in the 1930s. This book does teach its malfeasance demonstratively well – a probable results of the horrors of WWI’s trench warfare according to this study. Manchester reveals appeasement, at least on the part of Chamberlain, and his predecessor Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, to be a factor of their dedication to capitalism; the appeasers were actually more concerned with unfettered commerce than the growth of the Nazis and the horrors and enslavement National Socialism cast onto others. The continuation of commerce was all the appeasers were concerned with. Thus, how vile the appeasers truly were.
There has been a lot of criticism about Richard Brown’s reading. (The super great Frederick Davidson read the Visions of Glory telling of the early life of Churchill.) Actually, Brown is a very good reader. His depiction of Churchill though is awful. I remember hearing Churchill in the original (on Newsreels) and his voice was most distinctive. Brown’s depiction doesn’t come close and is actually dreadful. (Unfortunately for Brown, Davidson’s re-depiction was magnificent.)
. . . and yes I will be listening to the final series, Visions of Glory (which was completed by Paul Reid, as Manchester passed before he completed the war years.
yes! for anyone who could appreciate good story-telling and good prose
1. a balanced mix of history and drama
2. Churchill's charm
I do not like the narrator's style..V1 and V3 are both good!
as a churchillian buff..I just listen to everything...had finished the book long before..just try ears
Extensive and detailed the Manchester volumes cover Winston Churchill with accuracy and you are left thinking that this could happen again
Highly engaging. This is a book to encourage and inspire as well as to educate. I hope that any person who wants to learn from history will listen.
Just a Reader
Absolutely -- An absolutely amazing story about an absolutely amazing man and the times in which he lived
Winston Churchill (duh!)
Winston Churchill (duh redux)
This is a must read for anyone interested in WWI, WII, or the British Empire generally.
The book is an outstanding account of Churchill in this period. The author has thoroughly researched his subject. As an American he is sometimes a bit out of touch with ordinary England of the period, but otherwise the picture is very complete. However the audible version is intolerable. The narrator is totally incompetent. Apparently he never listened to any of Churchill's recordings, or maybe he is so inept that he shouldn't have tried to imitate the master. I found it impossible to complete listening to this version. Audible needs to organise a new and much more competent narration of this important work.
Absolutely not. I will never again buy anything narrated by him.
This volume urgently needs a replacement narration.
The gentleman reading the book sounded just like Winston.
I got to share it on a trip with my brother and we both were glued to the story.
He was the best.
Yes but there was no sitting. I listened to the second book on a trip to Ga. and the third one entertained me while painting my laundry room. A great series that I am sure I will listen to again.
I will never listen to another book narrated by Richard Brown. After enjoying the 1st volume I was looking forward to a continuation of the next volume but I cannot stand listening to this narrator.
Bad quality audio and a truly awful narrator. The guy is effete, simpering and very annoying. Add low quality poorly digitized audio and it turns even a Churchill fan away.
Both the biography itself and the performance are excellent. However, the book includes a lot of French, and the reader doesn't speak it well; these frequent moments in the book make for difficult listening.