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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940 | [William Manchester]

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 (622 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 03-11-13
    Amazon Customer United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Collossal"
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Lion the most enjoyable?

    The era in which Churchill lived, with its penchant for daily journals, allows historians to paint a true picture of Churchill in every aspect of his career viewed from multiple angles (friends, foreigners, enemies, etc). The three volumes pack an incredible amount of history, politics, international relations into an very interesting story about a very interesting man.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The contrast between Churchill and Neville Chamberlain was stark.


    What about Richard Brown’s performance did you like?

    Mr Brown has Churchill's accent down pat and makes the story so much more vivid.


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

    No one can listen to his in one sitting (unless you have terminal insomnia), but shutting it off is difficult. Once I finished each volume, I could wait for the next.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Burgess 03-02-13
    C. Burgess 03-02-13
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    "Amazing story - incredibly boring performance"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Lion to be better than the print version?

    No, but then I haven't read the print version.


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

    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - incredibly long


    What aspect of Richard Brown’s performance would you have changed?

    It was boring. So, a more energetic and interesting reader would have been nice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great series of books; Manchester has shown what an incredibly dumb bunch were running HMG in the 30s. Looking back on it now, I wonder how they could have been so blind to what was happening to them. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is pretty valuable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Salt Lake City, Utah, United States 01-30-13
    Richard Salt Lake City, Utah, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Winston Churchill Biography"
    Where does The Last Lion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well told story. Good mix of intimate details and broad political and cultural context.


    What three words best describe Richard Brown’s voice?

    The direct quotes from Churchill's speeches were better rendured by the narrator in Vol. I


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

    It is a very long book which I very much enjoyed. This is not a book you could possibly listen to in one sitting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray United States 01-16-13
    Ray United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    "An Eagle Who Never Stopped Talking"

    Churchill once said, "When the eagles stop talking, the parrots begin to jabber." He kept talking even when drowned out by the parrots and cowards of his day until eventually he was ALONE as the sole voice of wisdom and action. Copiously detailed. Integrally insightful. A political masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 12-28-12
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 12-28-12 Member Since 2013

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "In England There Was Such a Man"

    This is William Manchester’s masterpiece. Like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, or Mozart composing the Requiem, the theme elevates and inspires the artist to express himself in ways only a great virtuoso possibly can. Manchester’s subject is Winston Churchill at the height of his powers, displaying, for good, his grand stand against the forces of evil. And he is standing alone, abandoned by his party as a gadfly excluded from the halls of power that might have forearmed the world against the evil Axis, Churchill is relegated to forewarning England of the impending doom even as his contemporaries are rushing headlong into the breach of disaster. This is the stuff of legend. This book shines with the indomitable spirit of the human will you wish every man possessed. But, gladly, one man did possess such a will at precisely the time in history when it was most sorely needed.

    The narration by Richard Brown is adequate. Sadly, it is not up to the class of Frederick Davidson in the first volume in this series and so the change in narrator takes a little getting used to. But the book by Manchester is so grand that the narration is not a distraction. The book transcends the voice, making this volume the best of the three.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold Ziffle Oklahoma City, Oklahoma U.S.A. 11-05-12
    Arnold Ziffle Oklahoma City, Oklahoma U.S.A. 11-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A truly great biography with a truly great subject"

    I read the book when it came out many years ago and remembered it fondly. I had forgotten though how truly superb it is. Epic and lush with its evocation of the Empire in the late Victorian era, it is also a superb portrait of the British political situation in the first three decades of the 20th century and a magisterial presentation of the coming of age of perhaps the last century's greatest figure. The narration is tremendous. Outstanding all the way around!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 07-29-11
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 07-29-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent, but wordy"

    Wonderful recounting of the life and development of Winston Churchill. Engrossing. My only criticm is excessive detail, resulting in a flood of words. Masterful scholarship. While recognizeting that the focus was on his warlord personage,,I would have liked more coverage of his years out of the limelight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Tucson, AZ, US 07-08-11
    Amazon Customer Tucson, AZ, US 07-08-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Very Disappointing Narration"

    After thoroughly enjoying Volume I, narrated by Frederick Davidson, I was very, very disappointed in the narration of Richard Brown.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fergus Dover, NH, United States 05-13-11
    Fergus Dover, NH, United States 05-13-11
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    "Tough narrator"

    This was a tough narrator to spend so much time with. I'd be very hesitant to get another book read by him. As for the book, the trouble with spending so much time considering Churchill's wilderness years is that not much happened during them. His political rehabilitation and ascent is fascinating, but it's like watching a baseball game where all the scoring happens in the 8th and 9th innings.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 12-23-10
    Catherine 12-23-10
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    "looking forward to volume III"

    Loved the first two volumes of this biography I hear the third volume is due out in 2011. Something to look forward to in the new year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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