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4.0 out of 5 starsMarlborough, the war with France and Britains leadership of the European Allies.
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2019
Another great Churchill read. Wonderful prose, giving a very detailed account of the Duke of Marlborough, his wars and the life and times of this late 17th /early 18th century period in British history. Researched in detail, Churchill debunks many earlier accounts of Marlborough written less favourable terms. I am more than happy to accept Churchills account of this great General who won every battle over a ten year period and brought Britain to its status of "Great". One must have an interest in History to enjoy the level of detail. Much original letters between Marlborough, his wife and principals of the period. My only reason to reduce to 4 stars rather than 5 is the detail at times is sometimes a little heavy even for me.
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2017
I'm not done reading it yet, but WSC is an amazing writer...so far a very interesting story! The idea that C became a war leader and statesmen during his wilderness years when he wrote Marlborough, is very believable when you read this book and take note of the similarities between his life and his ancestor's life. Great stuff!
If you like detail, excruciatingly fine detail, insightful analysis, orders of battle and elegant prose, then you'll love this. Churchill's analysis of the Duke's life is painted with a critical eye, but it was often difficult to tell how much of the laudatory narrative was due to the Duke's accomplishments or filial loyalty. If you're a student of history you'll enjoy it. If you're looking for something to read at the beach, it's a pass.
This is the full text as written by Churchill bound in four beautiful red leather volumes. A must read for true history buffs. I have several Folio publications and this set lives up to their high standards. My only regret is I didn't do this sooner and had to wait months for another set to come on the market.
Production is terrific. I dig the narrator's voice. The book itself is four stars - well written, but definitely slanted in favor of the Duke. I liked the presentation of William III. Churchill is more balanced towards William III, presenting good and bad and even presenting a comprehension of the motivations behind William III's decisions, even when Churchill doesn't agree with those decisions.
Later - just started the 4th volume. Production still fantastic. Churchill's accounts of the battles (both on the field and in the courts) are clear and engaging. As far as Churchill's conclusions and historical analysis, I have no other source to compare to, so when he states that Marlborough's actions here and there were the best possible (which always seems to be case) well, I can't gainsay, but I can't just accept blindly. The story is wonderfully told, although that puts me on guard a bit - I don't fully trust clear historical accounts.
But I certainly intend on finishing the work, and I've enjoyed the trip.
5.0 out of 5 starsI enjoyed his recounting of the Second World War and am ...
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2015
Warning, I believe we owe our freedom to Churchill, so there's no pretense of objectivity here. A second warning, I'm <10% into the book and liking it already. It's a detailed opening, yes, but he's establishing bloodline, something very important to an imperialist. I enjoyed his recounting of the Second World War and am continually inspired by listening to his speeches. I've watched all the biopics and read plenty biographies. I enjoyed his Early Childhood. I've visited Blenheim Palace, the War Rooms, and hope to visit Chartwell one day. I've started listening to the History of English Speaking Peoples and thought Marlborough would make good companion listening. The Narrator has a comforting bass and pace in his delivery, sounding like Churchill in the more calm and deliberate radio addresses. His writing is style superb in stark contrast to Mein Kampf. You could do worse on your bucket list than reading the works of Winston Churchill. Call it hyperbole, but after Shakespeare, why not?