From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself. Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood (writing) as well as his professional life (politics), how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other - with its changes of allegiance (from the Conservative to the Liberal and back to the Conservative Party), its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks - and for decades, especially the crisis years of the late 1930s and the terrifying 1940s, when at last it was clear how vital Churchill was to the very survival of Britain. He evaluates Churchill's other accomplishments, his writings, with equal authority.
Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.
©2001 Roy Jenkins; (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A first-class, well-sustained work of history and a masterpiece of biography." (The Sunday Telegraph)
"This is far and away Churchill's best one-volume biography." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.)
My favorite of all the Churchill bios. Jenkins admirably steers clear of the high-perspective generalizations we are usually exposed to. He has a keen knowledge of Parliamentary minutiae, and sticks to his knitting. This is the Churchill biography for the political junkie and those who have read everything else in the field.
I have not read the print version, so I cannot compare the two.
Whitfield's Churchill accent was spot on (at least for my American ear). I also liked the unique perspective that Roy Jenkins is able to add - unusual that a very talented historian and writer can write a biography on a world famous figure with whom he simultaneously served in public office and who also held similar high office as his subject.
FDR, just because it was interesting to hear someone with a British accent try to do an American accent - he was pretty believable.
The audiobook is g*d-awfully long. I plodded along for several months (typically listening during long walks), but at times it felt more like homework than entertainment. As an American, I sometimes found it hard to understand all the details of the British Parliament and British electoral process, but I never felt completely over my head.
I had read very little about Churchill previously and I'm very glad I made it through the audiobook. The narration is fantastic (different accents for different characters); without the strength of the narration, my rating would have been lower.
Comprehensive bio of a monumental figure is ruined by poor narration that is dry and monotone. Gave up on it partway through but came back and finished it.
I learned a great deal about British politics and was very impressed with the amount of research that went into the book. The were lost of details and explanations from the author why he assumed certain things happened the way they did.
Some might say this is too long, but considering the topic I don;t think it could be much shorter. If you have the time and enjoy History, this is a great book.
Yes, I could never sit there and read through 56 hours.
Winston Churchill obviously.
No, but he is a fantastic narrator, he does accents and everything.
Not that sort of book, the whole thing was a great eye opener into high level politics.
You certainly get your moneys worth with this one.
A biogriphy is difficult to compare when it is about a persons life and no man have ever lived the same life.
Churchill himself due to the books caracter.
The narration in this book was fantastic, and the material -while very lengthy and sometimes a bit prosaic- was insightful and well-researched.
Great stuff about one of England’s most famous. It was a real pleasure reading another Churchill biography. And maybe that shouldn’t have not have surprised me. What else could be expected when an experienced, articulate politician writes about an experienced, articulate politican?
This book is long, but not too long. I enjoyed particularly the description of his early life. The writing is interesting, and it's read in a lively voice. But then, how could Churchill's life not be interesting.
Brilliant book that charts the life of a great statesman. The twist & turns, the near things, the web through which our history is created.
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