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
"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)
New Kindle fan
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to explore the life of Winston Churchill. The book is equally valuable for its success in capturing the historic events of Churchill's times. Manchester, and later Bird, were so adept in bringing the human element to the story which is sometimes hard to do when writing about one of the giants of our times. The quality of the writing overcomes some small lapses in the quality of the narration (see comments for narrater).
Churchill, as he did in life, overshadows all the other characters.
There were some lapses in narration that proved to be off setting at timeS. There are some wonderful moments when the narrator invokes a slight change in voice tone when quoting another character and it greatly enhances the narrative. However, there are moments when the narrater seemed to have been bored and appeared to just be reading the text in a rote-like presentation. The writing itself was so fine it nearly always overcame the narration lapses...but when a narrater begins to "rote-read", and when a reader senses that the narrater is trying to "get through" a passage it becomes distracting.
The book's title would work just fine for me.
excellent audible of a great book - kept me mesmorised - not just events but able to get a really good picture of the men (hardly any reference to women!) during this period. made so much better by delving into the personalites of the people who changed the world during this time and beyond. great voices to listen to. very satisfied customer.
Yes...because I'm a Churchill fan
Winston of course.
Again, yes because I was interested in the subject matter
I always like to own the written copy of great books for my own library, for perusal and future reference.
I would put it in the same category as William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Last Lion is also a paean to great man, and Shirer's more of post-mortem autopsy, but both books are seminal works that belong in the library of any serious 20th century historian. The Last Lion adds balance to understanding the birth of the American Century and the necessary historical are revisionism of the American victors. Churchill was the quintessential stateman, a man of letters, wit, and biting humor. His should be voice of the moral victors of WWII. It is beautifully written, and the Audible recording was beautifully read.
Winston Churchill as Leonidas of Sparta: how a great man saved a nearly defeated Empire against the overwhelming forces of evil.
I most certainly would as at each listening there would be more detail gleaned from the amazing amount of material presented.
Getting an understanding for the incredible delicacy of the relationships between Britain, United States and Russia during the Second World War. Being able to see the human side of so many of the great leaders of that era.
Without a doubt Winston Churchill - such a complex yet simple man. Someone who was so dedicated to the ultimate cause and was not afraid to take the difficult steps when required.
I would have loved to but simply didn't have 56 hours available but it did make for six weeks of riveting commentary whilst walking the dog..
A great volume and it gives a detailed account for what was one of the most critical times in recent history.
The Second World War was the vital time for the West in the Twentieth Century. Winston Churchill was central to the winning of the War. This book tells a well researched and well written story of Churchill and his time during the War. Reid, drawing on Manchester's research, and on Manchester's style, brings Winston Churchill to life, warts and all. I listen on my daily commute, and at times during the book, and it is a long book, I found myself deliberately slowing down to maximize my listening time. Clive Chafer has just the right voice. He is a good reader, and he has a style - flat and cynical without being boring or expressionless - which sets off the emotion and drama of the story, rather than taking it over. This book is an essential listen for anyone interested in the central history of the West in the last century.
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.
WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL LOVED HIS COUNTRY.
I WISH OUR POLITICIANS LOVED THE UNITED STATES THE WAY
WINSTON LOVED HIS ENGLAND!!
WONDERFUL HISTORY DIALOGUE
The narrator uses the EXACT SAME pitch and cadence for every sentence which was incredibly distracting and made it hard to get lost in the story itself. That said, the book is fantastic and well worth the struggles of listening to this particular narration.
i had no idea how superficial my knowledge a out ww2 was until i read this book. long but superbly written. Highly recommend also Panzer Commander by Hans von luck. what a rare experience in these two books.
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