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Michael Hanley

Carlisle, PA United States | Member Since 2011

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  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (538)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (457)

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
    "Neither history nor journalism, just plain dull"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3 better?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3?

    The end.


    What three words best describe Clive Chafer and Paul Reid ’s performance?

    Chafer soldiers on through Reid dull, endless prose.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Drowsiness.


    Any additional comments?

    Read Lukacs or Jenkins instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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