Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
This is a surprisingly good book; surprising because it is written by a feature writer that became friends with William Manchester. Paul Reid manages, after the great author’s death, to assemble William Manchester’s prodigious collection of notes about Winston Churchill to write a highly interesting, third and last, book of “The Last Lion” series. Reid does not have the story-telling polish of Manchester but his clever assembly of Manchester’s research opens history’s door to one of the most fascinating characters of WWII’s beginning, its evolution, its finish, and its aftermath.
One is left with the abiding belief that Great Britain needed Winston Churchill to survive WWII. It seems the circumstance of war, Churchill’s incredible physical stamina, his political acumen, and his extraordinary oratorical skill were Churchill’s late-in-life source of effectiveness and fame. The politics of war perfectly fit Churchill’s experience and qualification to be Prime Minister of Great Britain.
In contrast, Reid infers Churchill’s military strategy could have lost the war. It is not that Churchill could not learn from his mistakes but the magnitude of error and the paucity of resources (soldiers and equipment) increased Great Britain’s danger of defeat with even one, let alone several, tactical military mistakes. On the other hand, mistakes or not, Great Britain’s active military opposition forestalled German victory long enough for Russia and the United States to join in an Allied command that defeated the Axis powers. One wonders if any other leader could have done a better job under the circumstances.
Paul Reid provides a balanced picture of a great man in Volume 3 of “The Last Lion”. The surrounding cast of characters, though great in their own right, play their parts but Reid clearly shows Churchill is the man of the hour in the “sturm und drang” of WWII.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
This was the last book in the series and William Manchester died before it was finished. Paul Reid took over and it shows that there was a different author. This was the book I was so looking forward to listening to and it just didn't match the quality of the first two books. There is a lot of repetition from the previous books and it really drags in a lot of spots. They also had a new narrator and he just didn't get the Churchill voice as well as the other guy.
That being said, this book is mostly about Churchill and WWII. Since he played such a large part in the war it is very engrossing. Sad to say once he was able to get the United States in the war he lost most of his control of the Allied Forces and it began the loss of world leadership for Great Britain.
He was one of those remarkable men that come when the world needs them and does what needs to be done. He was not a perfect person, and woe be it to anyone who worked for him, but he hardly slept and was constantly working on a book, a picture or the war strategy and his people were expected to keep the same pace with him.
I consider him one of the greatest people to have ever lived on this earth and I am glad I read all three books of his life.
I have a theory for biographies: if they don't bore you in at least a few sections, they are not worth reading. That being said, this volume was my favorite of the series. The book maintained a good pace with a grounded view of Winston from a variety of sources. After ~125 hours of hearing of his life, I feel like I know him now.
After listening to this biography, I am amazed at his genius, strength of will, ability to overcome obstacles and faith & love in humanity.
I cried at his death.
Yes, I suppose. I've only listened to vol I and I thought that did a wonderful job of making WSC the center of WWI. I didn't get the same sense from this book - it was interesting but not as clearly focused.
WSC Vol I was a perfect biography- making the case that he was the most interesting character in this century.
This performance was OK but not as good as volume I. I didn't get as strong a sense of WSC'c voice.
I didn't actually finish this book, I got tired of listening to the end of the empire.
I think V3 is not as strong as V1 (didn't read V2). It doesn't center everything in WSC so I felt it turned into another history of WW2.
This giant is captured and displayed with great style, attention to detail, and depth. The writing is superb. The reading is incandescent.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
Very exhaustive read due to all the great details Reid was able to get from Manchester's research. The right man at the right time during the war years for sure. The strategizing and politicking on a global stage at the big three fought through their own needs and ambitions to fight the axis menace. Reid closed by focusing on the mental struggle of losing influence as Churchill's twilight faded and he fought loneliness.
Sometimes you have to club a seal with a kitten
Yes and no. I listened to part I + II of this 3 volume set, so I wanted to listen to III. The voice acting is horrid. The actors pronunciation of German, as well as English, words is woeful. The books get progressively worse in this respect. Book I was excellent, Book II not so much, and this book is the worst.
Churchill. He was a master of the English language and the strongest leader of his century.
Nice and sympathetic. Even if you're prejudiced against the SOB. But that's all right. There's something here for everyone to like. You like birds? Winnie had a budgie named Toby, whom he lost while staying at the George Sank (George V Hotel) in Paris in the late 50s. Heartbroken. You get the ups and downs of a guy who lives almost a century and screws up more often than not. That's not too bad.
I will not listen to The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3 again - simply because of Clive Chafer's miserable performance. Mr. Chafer has a very cultured voice and is most likely well educated. However, he read this volume in almost a complete monotone. Most sentences are read as open-ended phrases rather than complete thoughts. The convention of dropping one's voice at the end of a sentence seems to have escaped him. I hate to be so negative - but I eagerly waited decades (literally) for this work to be completed and purchased the audio version simply because waiting until I had time to go to the store was an unacceptable delay in finally hearing the completion of this masterful work. Reid did his job superbly. And Chafer ruined it.Let me add that the portions read by Mr. Reid were well done and enjoyable. I wish he had chosen to read the work himself.
I can't answer this because I was only able to tolerate listening to the first download portion (approx 8 hours). I will purchase the book and read it for myself and then review the written work.
I will NEVER listen to anything Clive Chafer reads again.
No way to accomplish this, but yes - the content is riveting - even though Chafer's reading makes it frustrating to listen.
Yes, to try to capture all the momentus history of which he was a part.
I usually do not like it when the narrator tries to imitate the voices but he nailed Churchill's and it helped in knowing when he was quoting Churchill directly.
yes. But it drove me to distraction the way he (Chafer) or he (Reid) felt he had to define every single direct and indirect object. If HE said he was going to Chartwell for dinner I damn well knew that he was talking about Churchill, not the Archbishop of Canterbury
First were the years of 1940 and 1941, when Churchill and the Europeans were dealing with the Nazi and Axis push through Europe and we did not even seem to notice there was a war going on. The second - When Churchill was dealing with Roosevelt and Stalin - - It was so obvious that Churchill was right and that the world might have been in much better shape if Roosevelt had listened to Churchill rather than winging it with Stalin.
This really give us Americans a good idea of the war years we missed - when things seem so bleak.