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 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.
Unfortunately, the readers performance diminishes the story. Hearing "idear" spoken instead of "idea" becomes nails of the chalkboard, and the story becomes unlistenable.
Reading was exceptional with all the right accents. What an incredible
Man who unbelievably made his 90th birthday despite poor health over
Many years and constant cigars and brandy, champagne and fighting
In wars. A true giant .
Excellent. The story and presentation were worthy of the man. I would highly recommend all 3 volumes. The readers for all 3 volumes were good with volume 1 outstanding.
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