Outstanding description of one of the most consequential leaders of the last century. With elegance and detail, the author walks through the life of a man with will and determination in quantities denied to most mortals. Still, Mr. Reid points out the many shortcomings of a man that did not shy away from looking human, however embarrassingly it turned out at times.
While long, this book engaged me to the point of reading a few extra pages passed my predefined reading time. It is full of details exposed through the lens of the very precarious circumstances Great Britain lived throughout the war - first during the London blitz, then during its relegation to a second class power to Russia and the US -.
While the main goal of the book is to reflect a great man into a fair light it also gives a very interesting view into how the British government of the time worked and how sometimes political rivalries dictated national agendas beyond what one would hope democracy allows for.
All in all, it was a great book and one i would recommend to anyone looking for abundant information morphed into fun reading.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
The first 2 instalments of this trilogy-were, for me 2 of the most beloved books I have ever read/listened to. The writing was an utter revelation for me and that level of stunning art has been achieved by perhaps 5 or so other books out of the 1100 titles I've listened to over the last 5+ years of audible books AND all the other books I have read in book form. Robert Caro's works come to mind as those that are at least equal in brilliance.
Like so many other frothing fans of these first 2 books, I learned that Manchester had died leaving the 3rd books research and start to paul reid to finish. I like so many other fans followed any sign we could find ( for years) that would indicate when our Manchester "fix" would be released. When the time finally arrived for the audible release I noticed that there was no sign audible was aware of it. I called audible and they thanked me for the heads up and released it. I've just bored you with this blurb so you might understand my emotional involvement.
When I started the book I was horrified. I have NEVER EVER heard worse narration. This was someone who was not only reading the text without being prepared, this was like listening to a 8yr old read. Luckily Reid was responsible for just reading the lengthy "preamble" Clive Chafer's narration of the rest of the book was for me annoying because his intonations were exactly like a BBC news anchor or reporter. Despite all this I listened carefully to every word.
Before I get into my review of the writing of the book itself, I must first make it understood that I think, feel and want to acknowledge that poor Mr. Reid had a hurculean task in writing this book as we can imagine after reading his introduction which explains the huge piles of disorganized research and indecipherable piles of notes he had to contend with.And of course he was put in the position of trying to write in a style that at least compliments the first 2 books- and that style is one of very high standing. Imagine you had to write the 3rd book of lord of the rings for instance (for lack of a better analogy) All of this being said ,we still have to judge the book on its merits alone.
I think by now you can infer that Im not enthralled with the book but if you hang in there you may find it interesting why.
The task laid before Reids feet was to finish a BIOGRAPHY of Churchill and what has been written is a history of ww2. Ironically if you want a better version of this book with more about Churchill read Churchill's amazing 6 vol THE SECOND WORLD WAR. As I have read his ww2 there was nothing at all new for me, So I thought well at least I'll get his biography post ww2. I was astounded to find that his last 10 yrs were given just 17 pages out of 1053! and titled "postscript" in the book form. This would have been fine if the intended purpose of the book was a ww2 history but its NOT- its supposed to be a biography. His last ten yrs should not be BESIDE the point- THEY ARE THE POINT.
Beyond this huge flaw, this isn't even very well written and certainly doesn't come even close to Manchesters standard. I wondered how the New York Times rated it so I looked it up and was heartened to find they found this book just as I did. Of course You can check for yourself. I thank those that hung in to the end of this very long review and hope you got something out of it.
This book could have been twice as good if it had been half as long.
Reid could not make up his mind; sometimes the book is a biography of Churchill, at other times it attempts to be a military history of WWII.
As a biographer, Reid makes Churchill sound like a bore who ate too much, drank too much, slept too little and monopolized every conversation. The Churchill in this volume bears little resemble to the man described in the first two volumes of this trilogy or in the books by Lukacs, Jenkins and others.
On the military side, Reid's relies far too much on Churchill's memoirs and Brooke's diary, both of which were far from objection. In particular, Reid fails to grasp that Churchill was a poor tactician and even worse strategist, but lacked any insight into his limitations. Reid fails to grasp that one of Roosevelt's greatest strengths was his willingness to defer to Marshall on military matters and not "play solider." Reid's portrait of Roosevelt is absurd and has no basis in fact.
Chafer soldiers on through Reid dull, endless prose.
Read Lukacs or Jenkins instead.
I have been a follower of all things Winston Churchill for a long time. This book was another must read for me. It was a bit long on the war and short on the life afterwards but worth the effort. I bought the book and followed along with the audible narration. I must admit I would have stumbled in the comprehension a bit without the narration. At 1050 plus pages it was a good audiobook to purchase because of the shear volume and mass of the subject material.
The inner workings of the mind of WSC were most interesting.
The least interesting was the minutiae of some of the lesser war time battles and encounters.
No, I have not listened to any other performances of these men before.
The affirmation of facts previuosly known about the great man. Also, WSC's big ideas were sometimes both hairbrained and interesting at same time
Good Book....Long Story
Its a pity that the American Author reads the prolog - could not imagine a Brit reading the pro log of a book on Washington.
Having said that Paul Reid has done an excellent job at re-creating the events that shaped the World we currently enjoy.
Suggest you skip the prolog (I did) and sit back and enjoy.
The Lion Roars
Check out my reviews of five versions of DRACULA. Next: Michael Behe's THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION.
This was written by William Manchester and Paul Reid. Manchester died before he could complete his biography of Churchill. And Churchill’s life story must be told. Reid was Manchester’s hand-picked co-author for this capstone to the biography and this book has a character all Reid’s own. The second volume takes us to the brink of war, Hitler is rampaging through Europe. Britain is standing alone against the Axis powers. We all know how it all came out, but at the time the end result was far from certain. Winston Churchill must be given his due: he must be allowed the fight he was built for. Events at this time of history are moving swiftly and Churchill is at the center of them all. He is the architect of the Allied victory but not even he can be said to deserve all the credit. In this third volume, the events of WWII take center stage so this volume becomes more history at times than biography, but that is to be expected. You must first understand the times before you can understand the man. This capstone of the biography trilogy is essential. Without it Winston Churchill would be like the Flying Dutchman, forever poised on the brink of cataclysm, never victorious. It is necessary that Churchill be vindicated, in print at least. Any listener of the first two volumes will be compelled to see Churchill through to the end.
The first two hours of this book, covering the prologue, are narrated by the author Paul Davis; who has a pleasant and decidedly American voice. The remainder of the book is narrated by Clive Chafer who has the appropriate British accent and does a yeoman’s job in delivering the over one-thousand pages of print material to the spoken word. His voice has a pleasant tone which is mandatory for such a weighty tome.
I have a hard time reading/listening to true fiction books. I think this is because my main reason for reading is to learn and not necessarily just for enjoyment, although I do read many historical fiction books. Favorites history/biography books and science/tech info books.
I have never read the print version so I would not know. Check it out for yourself.
This is a dumb question.
Don't know, but they did a very good job.
No, it is very long. But was well worth listening to. Learned a lot about World war two in general. This book shows to me the difference in the amount of humanity the leaders had of the allies compared to the axes powers. Winston could be a jerk but this book shows that he truly cared about people and his country not just power.
Paul Reid has done a masterful job with the herculean task of completing volume three in this trilogy. For my taste, there was perhaps a bit too much detail on the war maneuvers and not enough on the politics but it is a minor complaint and I'm sure others will disagree. The narrators do an admirable if not great job, and the introduction by Paul Reid is in my opinion quite nice. Clive Chafer, however, is not my favorite narrator, with the somewhat perfunctory affect of a BBC news reader. Still, the story and the man are so compelling that these minor details can hardly distract from the terrific conclusion to the sweeping saga that was Churchill's life.
The story was riveting; the narrator ended each sentence with an upward inflection - as if asking a question. It became tedious and tiresome.
As an admirer of Winston Churchill, I have been waiting for the final volume of the Manchester series for many years. It is a shame that Manchester couldn't complete it himself but Paul Reid did an excellent job under the circumstances. Even for a history buff, however, this book is very long and very tedious in spots. It took me more than a week to complete it. I would only recommend it to a reader who is into history.