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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932 Audiobook
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932
Written by: 
William Manchester
Narrated by: 
Frederick Davidson
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932 Audiobook

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

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Publisher's Summary

Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

In political office at the end of WWI, Churchill foresaw the folly of Versailles and feared what a crippled Germany would do to the balance of power. In his years in the political wilderness, from 1931 to 1939, he alone of all British public men, continually raised his voice against Hitler and his appeasers. For over 50 years, he was constantly involved in, and usually at the center of, the most important events of his age. It was, however, his obduracy on matters of principle, his fortitude in the face of opposition, and his perseverance in standing alone that defined him.

©1983 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

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  •  
    Sebastian United States 02-28-13
    Sebastian United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even anglophobes can't help but like Churchill."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Though i am an unapologetic Anglophobe I just finished and thoroughly enjoyed the 1st volume of The Last Lion on audiobook


    What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He Delivers, with the right tone and cadence, the withering sarcasm of Churchill with gusto, and like Winston speaks abysmal French.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John s Woodall Mclean, VA United States 02-20-13
    John s Woodall Mclean, VA United States 02-20-13
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    "Overwhelming in detail, but an enjoyable listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Lion to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book goes into great depth for Winston's life, and his childhood is especially sad in that his parents never spent much time with him. He treats his own children much better.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are sever scenes which I enjoyed, Churchill had a very interesting life and the story is compelling enough to get me to listen to all 41 HOURS of the first volume. Looking forward to the second volume.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saul Kravitz 02-11-13
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    "Fantastic book. AMAZING performance"
    What did you love best about The Last Lion?

    Churchill was an active participant in much of the 'action' of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One learns about oth Churchill and these events. Remarkable times and a remarkable man. Manchester provides the cultural and historical background to make the story engrossing and entertaining. The duration of this audiobook seems daunting but it flies by.

    The performance is the best I've heard in an audio book. More like a one man stage show. The figures in the book each have a distinct and convincing voice. The example ones provided to illustrate the period are sung.

    Listen to this book!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The entire book end o end.


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

    Gret story, great writing, incredible performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norm Frink 02-05-13
    Norm Frink 02-05-13
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    "Regarding both volumes."
    Any additional comments?

    Regarding both volumes there is much to like: they are superbly written and, of course, the subject could not be more interesting. However, in answer to the question by a prior reviewer of "what's not to like?," there are some very questionable historical assertions, particularly in volume two.

    One example is characteristic of Manchester's sometimes reckless scholarship. He states as fact that had Hitler not entered into the Munich agreement and ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia that Hadler had in place coup plans that he was about to order. This assertion relies for the most part on post-war trial testimony by German generals who were trying to get out from under the charge of agreesive war. It is very questionable. As most historians show (read Evans and Kershaw for example) there was a lot of plotting and talking going on in some elements of the German military but there is no hard evidence that a coup had reached a final organizational stage and would have be successful it it had. In fact, it wasn't until German was partically on its knees and the war was clearly lost in July of 1944 that they finally did something and even then it didn't work.

    Another example of many in volume two is the assertion that the offensive plan for the May 1940 was Hitler's original idea. Of course, he later claimed it was and he certainly gets credit for going with a great plan, but most historians agree the idea did not originate with him. I could go on.

    It really got so I had to fact check constantly in volume two. Any there was some of it In volume one. For a much for convincing discussion of Churchill's relationship with Fischer, which Manchester presents as inexplicable, see Gallipoli by Robert James. It's kind of like what Manchester did with The Death of a President where he took something that was true (that there was a climate of right wing hate in Dallas) and connected to Kennedy's killing. In fact there was no connection between the two because Kennedy was killed by a left wing activitist who had just tried to kill a leading right wing figure in Texas 8 months before killed Kennedy. Or what Manchester did with what people thought were his Pacific War memiors where he just made things up. Having said all this, they are very enjoyable books. I just hope (particularly in volume one) that there aren't too many errors I didn't caught.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Calgary, Alberta, Canada 01-15-13
    Tom Calgary, Alberta, Canada 01-15-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Engaging and well read."
    Would you listen to The Last Lion again? Why?

    Maybe, I'm a big fan of Winston Churchill and I found this book to be a very honest biography that provides tremendous insight into his incredible life. The reader of this book is outstanding with terrific command of the various characters.


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

    I was really unaware of the challenges Winston had in his early years and the disconnect between him and his parents. It was inspiring to see how much he had to overcome and the fierce determination that appeared very early and would be evident throughout his life.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very entertaining and informative book that provides real insight into Winston Churchill and the events that shaped his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Pearland, Texas, United States 01-03-13
    Chris Pearland, Texas, United States 01-03-13 Member Since 2012

    I teach high school physics and read/listen to books in my free time. My favorite genres are history, sci fi, fantasy, and science writing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb Narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Winston Churchill is a fascinating historical figure and one that was pivotal to how the 20th Century turned out. To know more about him and his life and times is to better appreciate where we are now.


    Which character – as performed by Frederick Davidson – was your favorite?

    Davidson mimics Churchill's voice very well and makes it very entertaining to listen to this monumental work of history.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What do you mean its not possible, do you know who I am, I'm Winston S. Churchill.


    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).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In England There Was Such a Man"

    You know that you are in for a long effort when the title is that long; fortunately this is a great book that will keep any listener, with even a modicum of interest in the grand designs of history, enthralled. Winston Churchill was such an important historical figure that any account of his exploits must, necessarily, seem to be larger-than-life. This first volume is an anecdote-filled story that has the plotting of a novel taking Winston from early childhood to influential member of the government. It is the most playful of the three volumes of this biography and as such is great fun. William Manchester’s mastery of the English language is evident on every page.

    The narration by Frederick Davidson is astounding. His voice has great expressiveness and emotion. The effect is like a one man play. Each character is given their own unique voice, and they are spot-on. Frederick Davidson portrays the young Winston with eagerness and sincerity and gives just the right inflection for a young insecure school-boy. Later, when Davidson speaks the words of Winston as a mature man, you hear Churchill as you might imagine him delivering one of his famous invective barbs. Davidson deserves top marks for his rendition of this book from print to voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray United States 12-11-12
    Ray United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    "It Feels Like Churchill IS Telling His Life Story"

    Riveting. Revealing. The pathway to greatness is through adversity. Being a child of privilege is not necessarily a road to an easy life. Churchill almost never had it easy and there is so much to learn from his endurance and faithfulness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew Clovis, CA, United States 12-02-12
    Drew Clovis, CA, United States 12-02-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Churchill"

    This is a very long book, but a worthwhile investment of time. Churchill is a 20th centry icon, well known for his WW2 war time leadership, but not so much for his early years. Understanding how me was raised and matured gives insight into his strengths and weaknesses. Churchill had to overcome personal disabilities, a distant father, financial and political ups and downs, and an empire at it's zenith and in decline. The narration is quite good, and keeps you engaged. There are times when, especially describing blood lines, this book gets a little dry, but that is the advantage of audio. I would have skipped those pages out of boredom, but missed some important information that I would need later to understand this man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Hile Evans, GA United States 11-04-12
    D. Hile Evans, GA United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2007
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    "History of the 20th century though Churchill"

    The audio quality and narration is quite good. The young Churchill voice is a bit annoying.

    This book is a fantastic look at the early 20th century. The prospective on England's upper class society is very interesting. All in all, this is a great history book that is heavy on Churchill. Then judging by the influence he had on events in that time it isn't a stretch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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