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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

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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

4.5 (1407 )
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4.6 (1020 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert 03-09-14
    Robert 03-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic — Like Churchill"
    What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Davidson's narration is truly epic befitting the larger than life book and man therein portrayed. He sang the songs of Churchill's youth. He mimicked the great politicians wonderfully; I really felt as if Lloyd George were speaking, for instance. I am in awe of his ability to deal with the diversity of people and accents found in this history. Unfortunately, his performance shined to such a degree that I found the other two volumes wanting.


    Any additional comments?

    Winston Churchill has been a particular fascination for me and, while William Manchester is not Churchill's official biographer, I committed myself to the series. Unfortunately, Manchester died during the third and final part. It is not nearly as good as the first and second. Manchester's brilliantly paints a full picture of the milieu in which young Winston was born and grew up, helping us understand the towering political figure he became.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Harriman, TN, United States 03-04-14
    Brian Harriman, TN, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    16
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    "More detail than I was expecting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, W.S. Churchill is revealed in a level of detail that I never expected. His brilliance and his vulnerabilities are all brought to life.


    Would you recommend The Last Lion to your friends? Why or why not?

    To some. The book has so much information and detail, that it would be easy to get bogged down. Listening help push through some of the dry parts.


    Have you listened to any of Frederick Davidson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 02-22-14
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I's a lot to take in, but I learned a lot."

    This is a history book. It's hard to fully delve into. Yet, I'm glad I listened to it. I learned a lot about European history & what an interesting man Churchill is. I can't believe all the obstacles he faced. This man had a lot of people who disliked him and had many career ruining moments, but somehow he just kept going even with bouts of depression. Makes one reflect on one's actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 10-14-13
    Andrew 10-14-13
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    "Surprisingly hilarious"

    No, seriously, the book is amazingly funny. For all I've admired and respected Churchill, the thought of him bursting out in a theater "If the donkey dies, I should leave" was just awesomely funny. Certainly the well known wit is featured, but the, very human, playfulness he showed to his wife and children made for genuine humor.

    Yes, it's a mindbogglingly thorough history of the man, and it's not all fun. Some of it is simply heart wrenching. Some reads like an adventure novel. However, if you're not laughing a good bit this book you probably should see a professional about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Denhollander 08-18-13 Member Since 2015

    Uncle Chicken

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    "Amazing reader, excellent writer!"

    Obviously, this is not a book for the casual listener. But if you are interested in the history of the Victorian period, WWI, the English Empire, or (obviously) Winston Churchill himself, you will not regret downloading this book. It is thorough, but not tedious, which in a book this length is quite the accomplishment. It is a far from a simple hagiography - we see Churchill with all his warts and poor decisions without any attempt at justifying or or explaining away incongruities. It does a good job portraying the wonderful complexity of the circumstances and personality that go into producing a great man like Churchill.

    The reader deserves a special mention - his Churchill voice is very good, his accents are very good (except his Russian one!), and his reading is simply perfect for this volume. I highly recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam BUTLER, PA, United States 07-18-13
    Sam BUTLER, PA, United States 07-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspiring. Mr. Churchill will become your hero."
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Lion the most enjoyable?

    The book is written in very elegant prose which is at the same time easily digestible and entertaining. The pacing is superb.


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

    Winston and I both struggled with similar difficulties throughout childhood. That he overcame his is great inspiration to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GigiKBW Gainesville, TX 07-11-13
    GigiKBW Gainesville, TX 07-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fascinating!"

    Loved the information in the book. Not only was history of Churchill interesting, the history and mores of the culture were very enlightening. The narrator does an excellent job with all of the character voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JBB 06-22-13
    JBB 06-22-13

    Tell us about yourself!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
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    "Can't wait to get in the car and listen"
    What did you love best about The Last Lion?

    I loved the way Frederick Davidson embellishes the stories with dramatic voices (Winston with a lisp, the Queen, his disinterested mother's letters, his nanny) and even sings a song or two now and then. His accent is perfect, his French delicious, his pace just right. It is clear that he is interested in the book, not just processing words.


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

    His voice. His timing. He makes the humorous parts even funnier and the tragic parts even sadder.


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

    The litany of written pleas by Winston for visits or letters from his parents while away at Harrow is so effective because it is a series of direct quotes from correspondence woven deftly by the author into a narrative without it seeming like a list. Just one example of how great this author is.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an almost effortless way to learn more about culture and the politics of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 05-14-13
    Lisa 05-14-13
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    5
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    "Engrossing Story of a Great Man Brilliantly Told"

    Not only a biography, William Manchester vividly sets the stage of the Victorian England that Churchill grew up in. His young life is just as engrossing as his WWII years, and taught me so much that I did not know. Also have to say that it is BRILLIANTLY narrated by Frederick Davidson, who has a great voice and an even better Churchill impression. I am on to volume 2 and am pretty disappointed that it was not the same narrator, I loved Frederick Davidson so much. I am just getting started so hopefully it will get better, but I can't imagine anyone doing a better Churchill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-13
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    23
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    "A compelling story of the man and his times"
    What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

    He has a gift for accents, and his Churchill from boyhood into adulthood was astonishingly real.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't let the length of this volume scare you off. If you are at all interested in modern history, this is a fascinating and enlightening book. It seems like Manchester includes everything there is to be known about Churchill's early life. This is all told against the extremely rich background of the last days of Victorian England and the glory of the British Empire, upon which "the sun never sets". I found the material describing the Victorian era and the empire to be fascinating and enriching as well.

    Finally, Frederick Davidson is an extremely thoughtful and talented narrator, and this volume represents the most perfect match of narrator to subject that I have ever heard. His "Churchillian" voice is virtually indistinguishable from the original.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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