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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932 | [William Manchester]

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.
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Publisher's Summary

Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

In political office at the end of WWI, Churchill foresaw the folly of Versailles and feared what a crippled Germany would do to the balance of power. In his years in the political wilderness, from 1931 to 1939, he alone of all British public men, continually raised his voice against Hitler and his appeasers. For over 50 years, he was constantly involved in, and usually at the center of, the most important events of his age. It was, however, his obduracy on matters of principle, his fortitude in the face of opposition, and his perseverance in standing alone that defined him.

©1983 William Manchester; (P)1990 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Manchester is not only a master of detail but also of 'the big picture'....I daresay most Americans reading The Last Lion will relish it immensely." (National Review)
"[Manchester] can claim the considerable achievement of having assembled enough powerful evidence to support Isaiah Berlin's judgment of Churchill as the largest human being of our time." (Alistair Cooke)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1004 )
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4.6 (656 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katherine Clinton, MS 01-09-15
    Katherine Clinton, MS 01-09-15

    I am an avid reader and listener. I especially love imaginative fiction when I am "brain frazzled" from heavier stuff.

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    "Amaxing !"

    This is an enthralling story of the life and times of an incomparable human being. It is well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 01-01-15
    Debra 01-01-15
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    "Excellent book and performance"

    As a churchill fan I knew I had to read/listen to this book. I have read many biographies of the great man, including Sir Martin Gilbert's glorious 8 volume tome. Still, this book offered much to me, not least of which was the fabulous performance by the narrator. He did wonderful voices, with Churchill's being, I think, one of the best to be found. I look forward to the next volume, which I'm headed to purchase presently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wes 12-30-14
    Wes 12-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "highly recommended"

    A wonderfully presented history read beautifully. Any student of this era will appreciate the thoroughness put into this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Cline Littleton, CO USA 11-03-14
    Bruce Cline Littleton, CO USA 11-03-14 Member Since 2013

    Just a Reader

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    "Fabulously detailed exploration of W Churchill"
    If you could sum up The Last Lion in three words, what would they be?

    Obstreperous unrepentant genius


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Winston himself


    What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

    While initially off-putting, Davidson's mimicking of Churchill's voice was, for the most part, an added benefit to the narrative.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Loved it--totally absorbing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alfred Cedarburg, WI, United States 07-19-14
    Alfred Cedarburg, WI, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Lots of Detail - Maybe Too Much"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is LOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG!

    It contains a lot of detail. Many interesting quotes.
    But it is too long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 03-09-14
    Robert 03-09-14
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    "Epic — Like Churchill"
    What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Davidson's narration is truly epic befitting the larger than life book and man therein portrayed. He sang the songs of Churchill's youth. He mimicked the great politicians wonderfully; I really felt as if Lloyd George were speaking, for instance. I am in awe of his ability to deal with the diversity of people and accents found in this history. Unfortunately, his performance shined to such a degree that I found the other two volumes wanting.


    Any additional comments?

    Winston Churchill has been a particular fascination for me and, while William Manchester is not Churchill's official biographer, I committed myself to the series. Unfortunately, Manchester died during the third and final part. It is not nearly as good as the first and second. Manchester's brilliantly paints a full picture of the milieu in which young Winston was born and grew up, helping us understand the towering political figure he became.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Harriman, TN, United States 03-04-14
    Brian Harriman, TN, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "More detail than I was expecting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, W.S. Churchill is revealed in a level of detail that I never expected. His brilliance and his vulnerabilities are all brought to life.


    Would you recommend The Last Lion to your friends? Why or why not?

    To some. The book has so much information and detail, that it would be easy to get bogged down. Listening help push through some of the dry parts.


    Have you listened to any of Frederick Davidson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 02-22-14
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I's a lot to take in, but I learned a lot."

    This is a history book. It's hard to fully delve into. Yet, I'm glad I listened to it. I learned a lot about European history & what an interesting man Churchill is. I can't believe all the obstacles he faced. This man had a lot of people who disliked him and had many career ruining moments, but somehow he just kept going even with bouts of depression. Makes one reflect on one's actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 10-14-13
    Andrew 10-14-13
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    "Surprisingly hilarious"

    No, seriously, the book is amazingly funny. For all I've admired and respected Churchill, the thought of him bursting out in a theater "If the donkey dies, I should leave" was just awesomely funny. Certainly the well known wit is featured, but the, very human, playfulness he showed to his wife and children made for genuine humor.

    Yes, it's a mindbogglingly thorough history of the man, and it's not all fun. Some of it is simply heart wrenching. Some reads like an adventure novel. However, if you're not laughing a good bit this book you probably should see a professional about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Denhollander 08-18-13 Member Since 2015

    Uncle Chicken

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    "Amazing reader, excellent writer!"

    Obviously, this is not a book for the casual listener. But if you are interested in the history of the Victorian period, WWI, the English Empire, or (obviously) Winston Churchill himself, you will not regret downloading this book. It is thorough, but not tedious, which in a book this length is quite the accomplishment. It is a far from a simple hagiography - we see Churchill with all his warts and poor decisions without any attempt at justifying or or explaining away incongruities. It does a good job portraying the wonderful complexity of the circumstances and personality that go into producing a great man like Churchill.

    The reader deserves a special mention - his Churchill voice is very good, his accents are very good (except his Russian one!), and his reading is simply perfect for this volume. I highly recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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