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)
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 narrators are excellent . The material itself is interesting but not as insightful as the original Manchester material of the early life but still a useful historical view.Given the breadth of material and particularly the narrators strengths it is very good value.
I loved the first 2 volumes, not the least because of the wonderful narrative voices.
Unfortunately, the author was allowed to narrate the first section of the book. Big mistake!
While Paul Reid is a wonderful writer, he should never be given a microphone.
I gave up after hearing 'idea' pronounced 'idear' for the fifth time and skipped ahead to Clive Chafer who like the narrators of the first two volumes speaks beautifully.
The first section is mostly a rehash of the first two volumes, so you don't miss much.
Anyone but Paul Reid.
This is an excellent audiobook. The one caveat is the narration of the first few chapters, they're painful to listen to. However, if you can survive, you'll be rewarded with a better narrator and hours of enjoyable listening.
If you just want someone to "read" a book to you, with no story-telling ability, then this will be the book for you. Read it yourself as a book rather than suffer through these readers.
For a much better experience try volume one of this series, read by Frederick Davidson -- he's a story-teller, not just a reader.
Easiest way is to hire better narrators for this fascinating story. If the narrators don't know the proper pronunciation of names of writers and characters, someone should be listening to check the correct pronunciation. It's just not true that anyone who knows how to read is an appropriate narrator for audible books. With Davidson as a superb example of a wonderful story-teller for Volume One of this Churchill series, and with scores of books to his credit, why are you fooling around with people of lesser talent?
Evaluating narrator quality is evidently more difficult than it would seem to be. Maybe you should focus-group various narrators before letting them hurt sales of audible books. We like the authors, we like the stories -- but amateurish narrators are a definite deal-breaker.
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