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Publisher's Summary

Winston Churchill's superlative account of the prelude to and events of the First World War is a defining work of 20th-century history. With dramatic narrative power Churchill reconstructs the action on the Western and Eastern Fronts, the wars at sea and in the air and the advent of tanks and U-boats.

Rich with personal insights, the first part of Churchill's magisterial book covers the years 1911 - 1914 and includes Ireland and the European balance, the mobilization of the Navy, the invasion of France and Turkey and the Balkans.

©1959 Winston S. Churchill (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent presentation of a classic work

This is an excellent reading of this work.(Nobody does Churchill quite like Christian Rodska.)
The work is an interesting but somewhat self serving view of the First world war from Churchills perspective. He had access to many documents denied to other historians initially and made good use of them.It is a nice contrast to listen to this in conjunction with Massies "Castles of Steel" which gives a different perspective on Churchills role as First Sea Lord.
My only real quibble is that it isn't made clear that this is an unabridged reading of the abridged version!(Which is in fact far more readable than the full edition.)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Graham
  • 02-03-10

Living History

I recently listened to Roy Jenkins' excellent biography of Churchill. This re-awakened my interest in the man (WSC) to the extent that I wanted to hear an account of his life and times in his own words. Like most people I have known him as the great statesman and warlord of popular legend and also that he had been a prolific writer. However, never having previously read any of his works I had not gathered what a brilliant writer he was into the bargain. This account of WW1 and its origins, given from WSC's personal perspective, is infomative, authoritative and utterly compelling. It practically fizzes with energy and life, thanks in no small part to a masterly reading of the text by Christian Rodska. I gained an entirely new perspective on that grim, Great War - hands up those who knew of the German Navy's bombardment Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough in December 1914 - and I was utterly intrigued by the inside account of the exercise of power in the great days of Cabinet Government and Parliamentary Democracy. By comparison with today's tawdry governance in the UK we have a vivid illustration of what we have lost in the past 100 years.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • J Edwards
  • 02-09-15

Outstanding and essential history account

Played it at 1/2 speed on device. Much more Churchillian like and easier to grasp the multitude of facts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin Feltham
  • 06-21-18

epic

super epic telling from a detailed source. completely bias, unforgivingly self-aggrandizing. but epic to the extreme

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  • R Fraser
  • 10-06-17

Everyone should read this book!

A personal account, read with great verve, giving insight into a great mind. Entertaining at times, educational at others, always interesting.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss L ttophi
  • 02-26-17

good historical book

a good historical book relaxing voice takes you back enjoyable book not yet colected all as yet0

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  • Mark
  • 01-25-15

Not as good as Dan Carlin

Would you try another book written by Winston Churchill or narrated by Christian Rodska?

Possibly but I did not get the next two volumes in this series as I intended to.

Would you ever listen to anything by Winston Churchill again?

Again possibly but not if he features as a character in the events described himself. He tells us far more about what he did and why, in spite of appearances it was a thoroughly good idea. In this book we get far too much about the navy ( which he as author finds interesting ) and far too little about the events I actually read the book to learn about

Did Christian Rodska do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

He should either go full on and do a Churchill impression or read it more naturally.

Do you think The World Crisis 1911-18 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Well there are two of them, but I haven't been tempted to get them

Any additional comments?

A far more interesting commentary on the events covered can be had for nothing on Dan Carlin's hardcore history podcast site

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  • Broken iPod owner
  • 10-09-14

MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If Williams Shakespeare had the insight of a major philosopher, and stood on the sidelines of an amazing world event, this would be the prose written

What was one of the most memorable moments of The World Crisis 1911-18?

The mastery of language by Churchill is probably the high point, but that of course runs all the way through

What does Christian Rodska bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I'm freed up to do hours and hours of other things by it being audio and not print, but the narrator's manner helps deliver the cadences of Churchill that might be lost on reading, much in the same way a professional actor helps Shakespeare digest more easily. I don't really like his voice, but it is right for the book

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

something over-flowery about the path into World War I, because that is what sells a film

Any additional comments?

this is really a great book for anyone who wants a view on a massive part of world history from a master historian's perspective, written in wonderful English, but it commands concentration to get the most from it. Not for my bedtime or normal chores - for long walks

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 01-13-14

Not as informative as hoped - not really a history

What did you like best about The World Crisis 1911-18? What did you like least?

Best thing was Rodska's superb Narration.

I least liked Churchill's constant vindiction of himself, he also doesn't seem to follow any 'rules' of the historian and presents guesses and speculation as fact.

Would you recommend The World Crisis 1911-18 to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes as it is an easy listen and gives an account of WW1, the accounts of naval strategy are relevant and interesting.

Have you listened to any of Christian Rodska’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes lots of them, him and Jayston are amongst the finest narrators.

Was The World Crisis 1911-18 worth the listening time?

On balance I think so, would have liked more history and less of churchill.

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  • Stuart
  • 08-19-13

peerless

Would you consider the audio edition of The World Crisis 1911-18 to be better than the print version?

it is better than the print version largely because of the masterly reading by christian rodska.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The World Crisis 1911-18?

the description of how the new battleships were designed.

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

almost.

Any additional comments?

fabulous. better even than his wwii.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • 04-13-13

Fascinating

Got this as part of a research programme extending to the W.W.2 recordings and so glad I did. Gets you into the mind of the man. Compulsive listening and a treasure for researchers. Best thing I have listened to in a while historians it puts you in the place the time and the issues covered come to life in the telling. A very human history take on history thorough and at times humorous. Recommended

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. A. M. O'donnell
  • 10-22-17

Full of great insights.

Fascinating and not at all staid. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this title. Churchill's narrative is engrossing and beautifully written. Being so close to the seat of power in the UK , he was able to recount events with great authority. I will be purchasing the rest of this series.

Also Christian Rodska does a tremendous job as narrator, he sounds splendidly Churchillian.

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  • Kevin
  • 10-24-16

Highly recommend

The account of WW1 from the point of view of Winston Churchill is a fascinating read/listen. Churchill's writing is excellent, keeping the listener engaged and entertained throughout the whole story. The beginning was a bit difficult to get through as you are thrown in amongst the turmoil leading up to the war, with many names and countries that were unfamiliar. Also, the political going ons are a bit monotonous, but once Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated, it becomes highly entertaining.

Christian Rodska"s narration is excellent and I have to remind myself that it isn't Churchill himself speaking.