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The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster Audiobook

The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

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Audible Editor Reviews

History, as Winston Churchill famously predicted, has been good to him. His exalted place in the 20th century annals has been cemented through his Noble Prize-winning memoir, A History of the Second World War. In this audiobook version of the four-volume, 45-hour memoir, British actor Christian Rodska conveys the triumphs and tragedies of WW II with a voice as august and buoyant as we know Churchill's to have been. Consistently riveting and rich in historical insight, Churchill's memoir puts the listener in intimate audience with the powerful oration and defiant eloquence with which Churchill led a continent through its darkest hour.

Publisher's Summary

Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction. Please note: This book was originally published in six volumes:

1.The Gathering Storm
2. Their Finest Hour
3. The Grand Alliance
4. The Hinge of Fate
5. Closing the Ring
6. Triumph and Tragedy

Churchill then condensed these into four volumes, which have since been released as one, rather hefty, publication. Audible has published the unabridged recordings of Churchill's condensed volume, divided into four parts, as follows:

1.Milestone to Disaster
2.Alone
3.The Grand Alliance
4.Triumph and Tragedy

©1959 Cassell and Co. Ltd; ©1990 the Esate of Winston Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Mark Toney, AL United States 12-07-10
    Mark Toney, AL United States 12-07-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Exceptional"

    This is one of those rare instances when both the book and the narration are exceptional. The details are fascinating. I had read another of Churchill's books and he is a very good writer - far better than most historians. If you enjoy history then you will love this book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher J. Albertyn Toronto, Ontario 10-01-10
    Christopher J. Albertyn Toronto, Ontario 10-01-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Milestones to Disaster"

    This is a magnificent book, describing the many errors made by the British government (and to a lesser extent its allies) in the period after the Treaty of Versailles to Churchill's becoming prime minister in April 1940, at the time of the invasion of Holland and Belgium. It tells in detail the many decisions taken in the 1930s that served to strengthen Hitler's regime and military preparedness and weakened British military capacity to respond. It is marvellously read, a grim subject made exciting and inspiring.
    Christopher Albertyn

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Highland, UT, USA 07-16-08
    Grant Highland, UT, USA 07-16-08 Member Since 2010
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    "Incomplete Series"

    I really liked the book, and immediately downloaded and listened two the next two books in the series. I didn't find out that the last book wasn't available on Audible. Ouch!! I find myself waiting to listen to a book that was written many years ago, about a war that happened many years before that. Definitely listen to the books. I just wish I would have waited until they were all available on audible. Now I am in the dark on whether the war will be won or lost:) I just hate waiting!

    19 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    harry PLEASANTON, CA, United States 01-30-11
    harry PLEASANTON, CA, United States 01-30-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic at all levels!"

    Though a student of history and WWII it never occured to me to read any Churchill. This is a masterwork that is wonderfuolly rendered with Christian Rodska narration. Listen to this book and it may well change your thinking regarding today's world events!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14 Member Since 2017

    I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!

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    "Classic Churchill."

    So this is actually, the second half of the auto biography of Sir Winston Churchill. It's a good read, I'll recommend it. You get what you can expect from him, a semi biased personal account of the second world war and the events leading up to it. I really enjoyed reading history from this colorful author ;)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCIA, Mexico 02-05-14
    Alan SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCIA, Mexico 02-05-14 Member Since 2015

    out of college I found myself hungry for knowledge and no teachers, so I got into books fast and soon was addicted

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    "Its like hearing your father tell you a story"

    Just that in this case its Winston Churchill and its all the events leading to WWII. You'll finish this up from beginning to end and be wrapped up because its not like those boring books about history were its only facts and figures. This guy was living that, and living through it, all the events and decisions being taken. Who else could tell you a better story about it but Adolf himself I suppose.

    It makes you wonder: if I was living in that time and watching events unfold like that, what kind of decisions I would be taking... and then you realise, well, there are things unfolding right now, so WHAT STAND ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Portland, OR, United States 12-28-12
    Frank Portland, OR, United States 12-28-12 Listener Since 2005

    fporegon2

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    "WWII direct from the source"
    Where does The Second World War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Half of the books I've listened to are non fiction, with the greater part of that being history. I would rank this audio book in the top half of these.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second World War?

    While not what I originally chose this book for, I found Churchill's perspective on the home government rather illuminating. All taken with a pinch of salt as he was a politician.


    What about Christian Rodska’s performance did you like?

    Reading history with verve is tough. Since this book is written in the first person it gives the narrator some leeway to embellish. Rodska does this just enough to heighten the intimacy of the read.


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

    Not at alll.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend for those who already have a good knowledge of WWII. The book's value lies more in giving the reader the perspective of one individual who among very few who can lay claim to having been a principal player in shaping its outcome.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Fort Worth, TX, United States 05-19-12
    Craig Fort Worth, TX, United States 05-19-12

    Military history, Contemporary sci-fi/fantasy, Classics and Sport biographies ... in that order!

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    "Best History Book I've Ever Read"

    I have never enjoyed learning about history as much as this! I recently listened to another performance by Christian Rodska (Fear Index) so I was worried that the narration may not have a big impact on me. I was wrong! He is perfect to read Churchill in everyway.
    The greatest thing about reading non fiction is how easy it is to relate to 'characters' because you know they're real people making real life decisions. Not only is Churchill a real person but he was THE person in a perfect position to give an amazing overview of one of the most important events in modern history. Being able to follow his path through so many extraordinary situations and visualize his process of making national decisions that shaped the world today is a privilege.
    I lived in the UK for most of my life so I am well schooled in WW2, or so I thought. So many details, both big and small, are brought to light in Churchill's personal account of the build up to the war. After I finished this book, I immediately got the 2nd book to carry on the experience ... and I'm looking forward to finishing the complete series!
    This is definitely one of my favorite non fiction books/series of all time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 03-25-12
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2017

    I love books!

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    "A must read for WWII buffs"

    I didn't realize this was book 1 of 4 until I got to the end of it. But, it was still a good listen and I guess I'll have to do the other 3 at some point. This one went from the end of WWI until Churchill was named Prime Minister a few months into the war. You almost feel like it's Winston himself reading his feelings to you about what is go0ing on from his and the British perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Lexington, KY, United States 12-06-11
    Brian Lexington, KY, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2012

    Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.

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    "very interesting book, excellent audio performance"

    Churchill's history of WWII has long been one of those books I wanted to read but hadn't gotten around to. I wasn't sure what to expect but I anticipated that it would be well-written, extrapolating from Churchill's oratory skills. I was not disappointed.

    A good bit of the book is a memoir of Churchill's own experiences, rather than a third person account of political and military events. This first volume of the whole history primarily deals with the period leading up to the outbreak of war, so listeners expecting a play-by-play account of violent clashes between the warring nations will find that there is actually very little of it in "Milestones to Disaster." Presumably, the later volumes in Churchill's history of WWII will be more in that vein.

    The narration by Christian Rodska is very good. He doesn't quite go so far as to try to embody the author in a fully theatrical sort of way, but there's a touch of that. When another person is quoted at length, such as Neville Chamberlain, Rodska alters his voice and does a creditable job of not only bringing that person to life but also of conveying perhaps Churchill's opinion of the man in doing so. In all, I think Rodska does a great job of adding just a bit of that theatrical quality without being ridiculous. I often forgot that I was listening to a modern reader and I would fall under the spell that I was hearing Churchill himself narrate his own book, even though it did not seem that Rpdska was trying to actually mimic Churchill's voice.

    Perhaps the best compliment I can give "Milestones to Disaster" is simply comment that I plan to spend my credits on the rest of the volumes to finish out the entire history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Liam Paul Robinson
    4/4/08
    Overall
    "Somewhat incomplete"

    A great audiobook and well read, as well.
    Unfortunatley, it ends in 1941, as it is only a part of a 4 part volume!

    When can we expect the rest, or do we have to live under the delusion that the war only lasted 2 years!

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Dodger
    1/11/08
    Overall
    "Great but what happened after 1942"

    Great but what happened after 1942. Audio downloads were in two parts which I assume med was the original two volumes Churchill wrote. It appears to finish in 1942 did Churchill write it this way or has something gone wrong ? otherwise very good.

    0 of 9 people found this review helpful

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