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Publisher's Summary

Churchill: A Life follows Winston Churchill from his earliest days to his moments of triumph. Here, the drama and excitement of his story are ever-present. Martin Gilbert gives us a vivid portrait, using Churchill's most personal letters and the recollections of his contemporaries, both friends and enemies, to go behind the scenes of some of the stormiest and most fascinating political events of our time.

Part 1 takes us from Churchill's birth to the end of the First World War. Christian Rodska reads the first part of Martin Gilbert’s epic, definitive biography of Winston Churchill.

©1991 Martin Gilbert (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Henrik
  • Crown Point, IN, United States
  • 10-27-13

Amazing

Christian Rodska is simply amazing narrating this book - as always, and must certainly rank in the elite voices. He does many accents, and a very good American accent, which is actually rare, and so well done. The book itself is superbly written and moves at a good pace. Good job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great

This is a fascinating book, though it may not be a unbiased account of his life it is none the less well worth a listen. hope part 2 is added soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Engaging biography of a great man, part 1

Although rather long, this is well worth listening to. It is quite straightforward and has no hero-worship. Today one does not hear enough about this great man, and such books redress that somewhat. The author is Churchill's authorized biographer, an eminent historian. The narration is well done.

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Entertaining and virtuoso performance

The two parts of Martin Gilbert's tome are OK: a rather matter-of-fact recounting of Churchill's life. I sometimes missed some interpretation of events and decisions.
The performance by Rodska is wonderful. Dramatic, but not over the top, well paced and intelligent. And the way he switches between accents is virtuosic, going seamlessly from "Winstonesque" to South African to posh or whatever else the text throws at him (though it is somewhat disconcerting to hear a quote from an 8 year old Winston with the intonation we're all familiar with).

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This is an abridged version

The book is magnificent and the narration is great also. This, however, is an abridged version of the book. They should make that clear.

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Wonderful

Wonderful performance, candid portrayal of an enormous personality. A great way to enjoy this novel

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A "great read" . Filled in many gaps my knowledge

Great additions to my knowledge of Winston, Turkey, S. Africa, WWI, etc. Knew little of WC''s changes from conservative to liberal. Had never known all beligerants in WWI used mustard gas. Looking forward to Vol. 2.

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really tough to listen to

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

no. I find myself less focused when I listened to this one vs. other audible books

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  • R
  • 03-22-12

Fascinating account of Churchill's early days

I chose this book because I knew little of Winston Churchill other than his role in WWII. This book covers his childhood, early days in the Army and as a writer and his days as a Liberal MP through to the end of WW1. It is beautifully read and this defintely adds to the experience. The writer had full access to the full archive of letters from the time and the extensive quotes from these and other contempary accounts give you confidence that the book is primarily based upon objective fact rather than subjective opinions. It is astounding how much one person can cram into their first 40 years and who knew what a succesful writer he had been prior to the move into politics ? The book covers some parts in quite a bit of details e.g in fighting during WW1 and leaves you with the feeling Churchill was defibitely a marmite type character.

I throughly recommend this for anyone who wants to understand more about not just Churchill but this this period in history.

Just one complaint, come on Audible where's part 2 !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • VAL G.
  • 12-24-11

Churchill

An excellent book which gives a real insight to the character, strengths and weaknesses of the great man. The naration is also very good and keeps you hoping for more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jodie
  • 04-11-13

Eager for the next

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am eager to listen to the next part of Churchill’s life. A good insight into this great man’s early years and his climb up the political and military ladder, placing emphasis on how relationships and how these made him who he was. The narrator attempts to mimic Churchill’s voice making readings from his letters/diary more authentic . I was disappointed when the book ended, didn’t seem 10 hours long.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-04-17

Loved it!

It was a fantastic book! Really enjoyed seeing Churchill's point of view on things. Also the first biography I read but definitely will not be the last. Can't wait to go through part 2.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-17-17

great book

time went by ,great book, well read .Can't wait to read second part of biography

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-13-16

An account of an extraordinary life

Where does Churchill: A Life, Part 1 (1874-1918) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well, hard to say as I rank the titles between genres. In biographies it is somewhere between first 20. Not the best but nicely put.

What about Christian Rodska’s performance did you like?

I liked his change of voices, it helped in this kind of book with so many references. I would definitively give young Winston a different voice, however. It felt as if he had been an old guy since childhood.

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

The way Sir Winston addressed his wife was very cute and I think that many women might envy Clementine such an affection. I definitely do.

Any additional comments?

Not being familiar with details from Sir Winston's youth and his early involvement in politics this book brought me a welcome insight. I was a bit taken aback by sometimes overwhelming details of particular political issues and, not being really into this topic, I would appreciate less digging into them. When comes to Great War, I expected a bit wider view but I respect author's focus on the events immediately involving the main protagonist and the role he played within their course.<br/>I do not think I would listen to this again, at least not in full, but I will at some point purchase the second book.

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  • Marines
  • 04-23-15

A great account

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this biography of Sir Winston. It was very well written and read.
I would highly recommend it.

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  • rikki
  • 03-18-15

Captivating read

Where does Churchill: A Life, Part 1 (1874-1918) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Great book, it's my best so far

What was one of the most memorable moments of Churchill: A Life, Part 1 (1874-1918)?

Passing he's tests to gain entry into the British army

Which scene did you most enjoy?

He's visit & conflict in India

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

He's childhood and relationship with father