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The Last Lion Audiobook

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940

This second volume in William Manchester's three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles.
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Publisher's Summary

This second volume in William Manchester's three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, and dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the pusillanimous British and French policy of appeasement.

Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history, without ever losing sight of Churchill the man - a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.

©1988 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

4.6 (741 )
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4.3 (514 )
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Performance
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  •  
    PROF ROBERT C VAUGHAN University Park, PA United States 10-14-14
    PROF ROBERT C VAUGHAN University Park, PA United States 10-14-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Dreadful narration"
    What did you like best about The Last Lion? What did you like least?

    The book is an outstanding account of Churchill in this period. The author has thoroughly researched his subject. As an American he is sometimes a bit out of touch with ordinary England of the period, but otherwise the picture is very complete. However the audible version is intolerable. The narrator is totally incompetent. Apparently he never listened to any of Churchill's recordings, or maybe he is so inept that he shouldn't have tried to imitate the master. I found it impossible to complete listening to this version. Audible needs to organise a new and much more competent narration of this important work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The detail


    Would you be willing to try another one of Richard Brown’s performances?

    Absolutely not. I will never again buy anything narrated by him.


    Do you think The Last Lion needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This volume urgently needs a replacement narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Handyjan 04-26-14
    Handyjan 04-26-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Lion the most enjoyable?

    The gentleman reading the book sounded just like Winston.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Lion?

    I got to share it on a trip with my brother and we both were glued to the story.


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

    He was the best.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but there was no sitting. I listened to the second book on a trip to Ga. and the third one entertained me while painting my laundry room. A great series that I am sure I will listen to again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 04-01-14
    Mark 04-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book Horrible narration."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I will never listen to another book narrated by Richard Brown. After enjoying the 1st volume I was looking forward to a continuation of the next volume but I cannot stand listening to this narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Mangrum 03-28-14
    Jim Mangrum 03-28-14

    Jim Dandy

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    "Terrible recording, worse narrator"
    What disappointed you about The Last Lion?

    Bad quality audio and a truly awful narrator. The guy is effete, simpering and very annoying. Add low quality poorly digitized audio and it turns even a Churchill fan away.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Watson 03-23-14
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    "Excellent (except for French accent)"

    Both the biography itself and the performance are excellent. However, the book includes a lot of French, and the reader doesn't speak it well; these frequent moments in the book make for difficult listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-21-14
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    "Fascinating - IF you can tolerate the narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Absolutely - the narrator. I've listened to audio books for years. I've never before had a problem with a narrator. Sometimes it takes a little while to adjust to their speech but it's never been a big deal - but this is really bad. So bad that I've bought the companion book and will read as often as possible instead of listening.


    What other book might you compare The Last Lion to and why?

    I'm not sure. This is an exceptionally good story. Maybe Berlin Diary but mainly because of the time frame.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Brown?

    Anyone!


    What else would you have wanted to know about William Manchester’s life?

    All set with that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 02-18-14
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 02-18-14

    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.

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    "On his own, he warned the nation of Hitler!"

    I liked this book even more so than the first! This is the story of Winston Churchill outcast and on his own. Most people would quit politics and find something else to do, but not Churchill.
    He certainly wasn't a perfect person. He was a notoriously bad boss, treated everyone that worked or him as servants but they still loved him. He was a chauvinist pig but he also was in awe of women. He was a man of his generation and did not trust blacks but did champion Jews. He had such a superior attitude that if he encountered a traffic jam, he would drive on the sidewalks to get past it.
    With all that said, he was one of the only men to see the threat of Hitler and kept speaking his mind even when constantly booed and accused of warmongering. Knowing what we do now, the reader can't help but wonder what was His Majesty's government thinking with appeasement? Again and again they gave in to Hitler's demands and more countries disappeared into the German Reich. According to this book it was the fear of Communism and the fact that a lot of people in the British government liked what Hitler was doing in his country. Anti-Semitism was the norm in Europe and only after the war when they realized what Hitler had done with the Jewish people did they realize it could go to far.

    This book takes Churchill to his being asked to form a government in 1940 by the King. It was a long listen but so interesting the time went by quickly. The narration by Richard Brown was well done and added to the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Mendota Heights, MN, United States 02-03-14
    Adam Mendota Heights, MN, United States 02-03-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent part 2, a must listen for continuity"
    What did you love best about The Last Lion?

    I listened to all three parts of the Churchill biography and following the fabulous volume 1, as others have said, the narration of this volume was a bit of a letdown. But I don't think it was a huge issue that would prevent me from recommending it. I think I read some reviews that listeners went from volume 1 to volume 3, but I think you'll appreciate Churchill's rise to the PM role so much more after you go through volume 2 and realize how great the odds were against him in the 1930's. I know I did, and as with volume 1 and 3, the storytelling and accounts of his personal and public deeds made for excellent material. The whole series is highly recommended, volume 2 no less so than the first and third volumes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edith 01-29-14
    Edith 01-29-14
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    "Completely engrossing"

    If you've gotten through Volume I, I don't need to encourage you to continue. The story just gets more and more interesting. Manchester writes quite well and and did an extremely thorough job of researching these years, providing rich detail from the diaries and letters of many of Churchill's contemporaries, as well as the great man himself.

    Some may find R. Brown's Churchill impersonation tiresome as Churchill is quoted so frequently in the text, but I did not since it let me know immediately that Churchill was being quoted. Brown wisely did not do dramatic impersonations of the other individuals quoted, and the narration flows very smoothly.

    By the way, these volumes represent one of the best bargains to be found on Audible, with many, many hours of listening per credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james California's Central Coast 01-08-14
    james California's Central Coast 01-08-14

    Pepperink

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    "Agonizing narration!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No. Incredibly bad narration.


    What other book might you compare The Last Lion to and why?

    The other two parts of this work are just as good. Also, Churchill's own history works are fabulous.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    1. The narrator's voice is harsh and lacking emotion.
    2. Worst of all, when he quotes Churchill, he sounds like a male version of the Wicked Witch of the West! Incredible.


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

    This period of Churchill's life is fully explained, especially how the rejection hurt him.


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid this volume if you can get a print version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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