His friend, colleague, and esteemed political foe Clement Attlee once memorialized Winston Churchill as "the greatest Englishman of our time - I think the greatest citizen of the world of our time." More than a half-century later, Churchill's life remains proof that a single individual can change the course of history for the better and make of life a blessed and noble thing, despite public and private trials too numerous to name.
Who was this extraordinary man who rose up at an hour when freedom and right stood in mortal peril before tyranny and terror to rally the British people? To say with courage, genius, and eloquence, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"
Moreover, how did he accomplish this amazing feat? And how was it that this achievement was just a single part of a long and fruitful life in a stunning array of endeavors?
In these 12 inspiring lectures, Professor Fears presents a well-balanced portrait of Churchill that does not whitewash his flaws. Yet he also draws on the most recent historical scholarship and material from Churchill's writings and speeches to make the case that Churchill belongs with Pericles of Athens and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest statesmen in the history of democracy.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
This is more than a lecture. This is a biography of a great man an it is superbly told. It doesn't matter if you know nothing about Churchill or if you've already read a lot about him because Professor J. Rufus Fears does a superb job with his own perspective.
Professor J. Rufus Fears lecture's are the best of the best. He doesn't deliver them, he performs them; he knows his subject and he is always, always, passionate about it.
Thanks to this lecture I found out that Churchill was a very sensitive guy capable of crying like a child, in the middle of the war when he found out that people were forming a long line just to buy food for their birds.
The delivery is very conversational as a lecture series would be, but there were some points in the audio where his inflection and volume spiked and was painful to listen to. Aside from that, it was very good.
The subject matter was very interesting.
A number of years ago, before I joined Audible, I listened to a biography of Winston Churchill. I had heard all my life what a great man he was and I decided I wanted to know the details. To my amazement, this biography revealed that Churchill wasn't a great man at all. He was rather stupid and petty and got a lot more credit than he deserved, etc., etc. I was quite confused. I wasn't totally willing to give up my idea of him at a great man, and I wondered why the author of that biography would put in so much time and effort writing a book about a man he despised.
Toward the end of THIS biography, the author mentions that there have been a couple of biographies in recent years that basically set out to make Churchill seem a failure at everything. I liked this book much better.
Yes, Winston Churchill was a flawed personality. Maybe this had something to do with the way he was raised. His mother was promiscuous and his father died of syphilis. Both his parents neglected him terribly as a child. He was sent off to boarding school at the age of seven, and when his father traveled to the city where the school was to give a speech, he didn't bother to visit his son, even though the school was just across the street.
He was also highly intelligent and he was a true hero on many occasions. I really liked this biography. While the author mentioned where he fell short occasionally, he spent more time detailing Churchill's many positive attributes.
I finished this book in only two days, which shows how gripping it was. I didn't want to turn it off for sleep.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Professor Fears is an excellent speaker and held my interest to the end. I have over the years watched DVD's from The Great Courses and have never been disappointed. Since I was in elementary school Churchill has fascinated me. I have read/watched/listened to every thing I could get my hands on about or by WSC. Professor Fears managed to provide me with a few pearls of information I was unaware of. Professor Fears reviewed WSC life and his place in history. He covered Churchill's forefather's more in-depth than many other books on Churchill. One of the things I liked best was Dr. Fears reviewed some of the negative books written about Churchill and pointed out the flaws in thinking or agreed that Churchill made a mistake. Like many great men people either hated or loved Churchill. Professor Fears tried to show him as a man, a great statesman, strategic thinker, orator and author. The key items Fears points out about Churchill was he was a Statesman not a Politian and he goes on to define the difference. He also points out Churchill never avoided the difficult jobs he was given, he was honest, studied the situation carefully and acted. He also demonstrates how WSC was a great administrator. Most people know he was a great speaker but he also won the Nobel prize for literature in 1953 for his collection of writing.
The very best
Fears was clearly an A+ professor. His passing is very sad.
I was engaged from beginning to end.
Tell us about yourself!
Well written. Very enlightening and entertaining. Highly recommended. Would be great for teenager. They will learn great lessons.
I've enjoyed all of J Rufus Fears presentations on The Great Courses. This is a good intro to Churchills life but should be considered the briefest of overviews. Churchill could not be covered thoroughly in a 100 hour course. Highly recommend this as a starter.
The professor obviously enjoys the subject matter and you hear it as he seems excited at times.
There is a mixture of personal and professional information given and churchills humour is injected throughout
The professors obvious enjoyment gives an energy to the book
Never have so many owed so much to just one
Americans always try to insert themselves into stories, Dunkirk was a massive achievement by thousands of army, navy and airforce professionals of the armies of Europe not to mention the efforts given by civilians who put themselves into the front to save the withdrawing troops, but the professor twice mentions a lone American on a yacht. Every American historian seems to have an over inflated idea of their countries involvement in any incident no matter how small
I'm a simple man learning more and more through reading.
i've listened to other "great courses" and really enjoyed them. prof. fears was amazingly dry...
i would not recommend this course, i'd probably direct people towards a simple biography instead.
passion about the subject you're teaching is always a plus.
Churchill's is certainly a life worth studying, and this course does a pretty good job of presenting it and explaining some of the interesting history of his times. But I didn't get the feeling that the lecturer was either a great scholar or a great lecturer, and his field of scholarly study seems to be ancient Greece and Rome, not 20th century Europe. At times, his unabashed adulation seemed like a tween girl's fan letter to a boy band. But I believe the lecturer means well, and he did teach me much about Churchill's life and times in a reasonable amount of time. For that, I am indebted to him.
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