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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 | [William Manchester, Paul Reid]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. 

This volume brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation’s military response and defense, compelled President Roosevelt to support America’s beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States.

More than 20 years in the making, The Last Lion presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.

©2012 William Manchester (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc

What the Critics Say

"Before his death in 2004, an ill Manchester asked former Cox newspapers journalist Reid to take his research notes and finish writing the final volume of his trilogy. The long-delayed majestic account of Winston Churchill’s last 25 years is worth the wait…. Manchester matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris, joining this elite bank of writers who devote their lives to one subject." (Publishers Weekly)

"General readers, as always, will be taken by [Manchester's] boundless abilities as a storyteller…. Essential for Manchester collectors, WWII buffs, and Churchill completists." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A big book but reads easily…. The finished book is a worthy conclusion to what must be considered one of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. An essential conclusion to Manchester's magnum opus." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Fausto Miramar, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-17-13
    Fausto Miramar, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-17-13
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    "Long but worth every word in it!"

    Outstanding description of one of the most consequential leaders of the last century. With elegance and detail, the author walks through the life of a man with will and determination in quantities denied to most mortals. Still, Mr. Reid points out the many shortcomings of a man that did not shy away from looking human, however embarrassingly it turned out at times.
    While long, this book engaged me to the point of reading a few extra pages passed my predefined reading time. It is full of details exposed through the lens of the very precarious circumstances Great Britain lived throughout the war - first during the London blitz, then during its relegation to a second class power to Russia and the US -.
    While the main goal of the book is to reflect a great man into a fair light it also gives a very interesting view into how the British government of the time worked and how sometimes political rivalries dictated national agendas beyond what one would hope democracy allows for.
    All in all, it was a great book and one i would recommend to anyone looking for abundant information morphed into fun reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois 07-17-13
    Lois 07-17-13 Member Since 2015
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    "EXCELLENT"
    If you could sum up The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3 in three words, what would they be?

    WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL LOVED HIS COUNTRY.
    I WISH OUR POLITICIANS LOVED THE UNITED STATES THE WAY
    WINSTON LOVED HIS ENGLAND!!


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

    ABSOLUTELY NO.


    Any additional comments?

    WONDERFUL HISTORY DIALOGUE

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 06-29-15
    Doug 06-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Love it!"

    This is a fantastic story told exceedingly well. The narrator is also fantastic. I've listened to it four times through and have enjoyed it immensely every time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 06-06-15
    Paul 06-06-15
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    "Splendid"

    A worthy successor to Manchester's second Churchill Volume: "Alone". The content, narrative, and Reid's elegant prose are rendered masterfully by the voice actor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TS Bernstein New York, NY USA 05-07-15
    TS Bernstein New York, NY USA 05-07-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Paul Reid is Remarkable"

    I had heard that this book was a let down due to William Manchester's untimely strokes, but Paul Reid nailed it. It's a superb book (incidentally very well performed), but more importantly, it was true to Manchester in every sense. Mr. Reid deserves tremendous credit for his ability to replicate his predecessor's voice without in any way diminishing the quality or style of the work. A climax and close to an epic trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Lyons Colorado 05-04-15
    Jim Lyons Colorado 05-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Winston Churchill man of the century"

    A must for the history buff Winston Churchill is the most important person of the twentieth century the only man who could have stopped Hitler and he knew it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 03-30-15
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 03-30-15 Member Since 2009

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If But For Churchill - Where Might We Be Now"

    OMG I listened to the complete series of the Last Lion, Winston Spenser Churchill. One hundred thirty one hours and 17 minutes. I do like history, and particularly the telling of WW1 and WWII triumphs and setbacks but this was quite an undertaking. Further, I adore Churchill and he is an inspiration. I even did this listen after last year working my way through Churchill’s own memories on WWII, itself some 45 hours. Was it worth the effort? The main stories in all three editions are about British politics. For me yes, but I would recommend it only for serious historical researchers or political science enthusiasts. I have reviewed the first two books in the series and will comment on this one alone.

    We get fact after fact after fact and then some more facts. Conclusions are drawn but it is a long way getting there. What is wonderful about The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965, is how it breaks down the myths of the war leaders. I have always been taught how magnificent Franklin Roosevelt was, how strategic Dwight Eisenhower was, etc. etc. Yes, Roosevelt although he did guide the U.S. into war with a slow ease, he still brought us to it unprepared. Then after professing friendship with the British he profaned the British and Churchill, who withstood Hitler alone for some two unfathomable years, decided he could work out more with buddying up to Stalin than presenting a unified front with the British, and the free world. We know how that worked out; the Iron Curtain came into existence – that term by the way is a Churchillian appellative. Likewise, Eisenhower did a magnificent job in preparing and executing D-Day, the day (June 6, 1944) in World War II on which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy. On the other hand instead of moving the U.S. armies east to capture Berlin, eastern German, Poland and other eastern European countries, he went chasing after some alleged redoubt of Hitler’s (which never existed) and allowed the Soviet Union to “liberate” the eastern block of European nations. Not impressive. Remember Eisenhower the president who warned us against the military industrial complex. That was nice of him to mention – but if something needed to be done why didn’t he do something about it while he was president. The book tells us like stories about other great leaders. All losing faith in Churchill, all failing in the end to give any credence to his warnings and strategies. And, in the end, though, Churchill’s theories and plans were 90% of the time superior.
    There might now be an Axis over the world but for Churchill. Maybe, but close enough to praise the man’s existence. The series of books provides the reader with all the necessary information.

    This book was written by Paul Reid as William Manchester, the author of the first two editions and who died before writing the final study, is quite good and in Manchester’s style. His presentment of facts was not bad, just not as good as Manchester.

    One last point I found interesting. Churchill longed for a union of the English speaking peoples of the world. How interesting. I now plan to read Churchill’s “A History of the English Speaking Peoples” but first a little sojourn into some Jo Nesbo, Harry Hole novel to get the kinks out of my armor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Polly SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-10-15
    Polly SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-10-15 Member Since 2008

    Pollyg

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    "A Great Man"

    I never thought I would make it through all 7 but Winston held my attention though out this remarkable account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew GAINESVILLE, GA, United States 02-09-15
    Andrew GAINESVILLE, GA, United States 02-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A Triumph"

    I am writing this review with tears in my eyes. This book, like the others in the trilogy, is a masterpiece of human history. It's quality defies adequate description, and I am left with equal parts profound satisfaction at having completed the tale, and regret that I can never again experience it's beauty anew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 02-05-15
    Matthew 02-05-15 Member Since 2013
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    "a well written, we'll narrated book"

    quiet long but very well written and narrated so easy to get through. would definitely recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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