Churchill

Walking with Destiny
Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
Length: 50 hrs and 28 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,979 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

One of The Wall Street Journal's 10 best books of 2018

One of The Economist's best books of 2018

One of The New York Times' notable books of 2018 

"Unarguably the best single-volume biography of Churchill... A brilliant feat of storytelling, monumental in scope, yet put together with tenderness for a man who had always believed that he would be Britain’s savior." (Wall Street Journal) 

In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman, and leader can finally be fully seen and understood - by the best-selling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War

When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In Churchill, Andrew Roberts gives listeners the full and definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy, as personally revealing as it is compulsively listenable.

Roberts gained exclusive access to extensive new material: transcripts of War Cabinet meetings, diaries, letters, and unpublished memoirs from Churchill's contemporaries. The Royal Family permitted Roberts - in a first for a Churchill biographer - to read the detailed notes taken by King George VI in his diary after his weekly meetings with Churchill during World War II. This treasure trove of access allows Roberts to understand the man in revelatory new ways, and to identify the hidden forces fueling Churchill's legendary drive.

We think of Churchill as a hero who saved civilization from the evils of Nazism and warned of the grave crimes of Soviet communism, but Roberts's masterwork reveals that he has as much to teach us about the challenges leaders face today - and the fundamental values of courage, tenacity, leadership, and moral conviction.

©2018 Penguin Audio (P)2018 Andrew Roberts

Critic Reviews

"The best single-volume biography of Churchill yet written.... Roberts tells this story with great authority and not a little panache. He writes elegantly, with enjoyable flashes of tartness, and is in complete command both of his sources and the vast historiography." (Richard Aldous, The New York Times)

" Terrific...By drawing on many previously untapped sources, Mr. Roberts has produced a more complete picture of his subject than any previous biography." (The Economist)

"Even if you’ve read every other book about the former prime minister and seen all the movies, expect revelations. For example: The royal family permitted the author to read King George VI’s diary notes about his wartime meetings with Churchill. That’s a first." (The Washington Post)

A USA Today Book You Won't Want to Miss; A Washington Post Book to Read in November; A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of November; A Mental Floss Best Book of 2018; An Octavian Report Essential Read for 2019; A New York Post Book That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday Gift List; A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018; A Lit Hub Best Book of 2018; Longlisted for the 2019 Plutarch Award  

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

Superb Biography

I am a big fan of Churchill. I have an extensive library of books by and about Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965). I was going to purchase this book for my library, but I found the typeface so tiny I was unable to read it. I do have reduced vision and primarily use audiobooks so I ended up purchasing this book in audiobook format. Unfortunately, I did not have access to the maps, illustrations and photographs in the printed format. This is the first major biography of Churchill since “Churchill: A Biography” by Roy Jenkins in 2001. My favorite is Winston’s own memoirs, but I do like the multiple volumes by William Manchester. Andrew Roberts is a British historian. A goal of Roberts was to write this in one volume but the tiny print the publisher had to use to achieve the goal makes it unrealistic. The book is 1152 pages.

The book is well written and is divided into two section: his life prior to 1940 and his life after 1940. Roberts has new information from newly released documents and letters including meeting notes from King George VI. It appears that the King and Churchill had a good working relationship. But the majority of information is well known to Churchill fans and scholars. In trying to keep this into one volume, Roberts did not provide extensive analytic depth. I did not find the book to be hagiographic as some reviews have stated; but, it does have a bit of a Churchillian spin to it because he quoted a great deal from Churchill. I liked the last chapter as it provided a summary of the pros and cons about Churchill. Even with the addition of the new information, I did not learn anything new about Churchill, but I always like to read about my hero. If you have not read about Churchill before, this book will provide the latest overview of him.

The book is fifty hours and twenty-eight minutes. Stephen Thorne does a good job narrating the book. Thorne is a British actor and well-known audiobook narrator. It was great listening to his beautiful voice.

32 people found this helpful

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Fabulous and compelling reading

Having heard recordings of Churchill's famous speeches since I took a course in speech in college decades ago, it was great that the narrator captured the sound and feeling of his speeches. I listened six mornings a week and odd times later in the day after my morning 3 mile walk. First book that I have actively stopped and repeated sections at important speeches to savor the moments again. Such a key figure in 20th century history. Doubt that I will find time read his books; unless I live another 20 years and reading him doesn't have the same spine tingling sensation as listening to key sections.

6 people found this helpful

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Extraordinary

Superb work of biography, performed magnificently. One of the best bios I have ever "read."

13 people found this helpful

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Don't let the length scare you

What a book! What a man!

I had trepidation about starting a book this long, but I had always admired the man and wanted the most comprehensive look at his complete life that a could find. I have a two hour commute daily and would find myself getting home and sitting in the garage listening if I was at an especially exciting part of the book. This book covers ninety of the most critical years of world history...it's a years worth of schooling on various subjects for relatively pennies. and can lead the reader in so many different directions to seek more material about the collateral characters. It just flew by and I am grateful I had the opportunity to crawl into history for a month.

4 people found this helpful

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Great biography, great performance of a Great Man

This is an important book. A balanced treatment of a man important to our world.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Churchill was an amazing man. The biography is well researched and well written, and the performance is excellent. Highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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Great

This Is a Great Book about a Great Man read by a Great Reader. Enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

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Evan Review

If you love history of the 20th century read this book. I rank churchill has one of the greatest leaders and statesman of the 20th century. He looked at past present and future of the world in decision making. Many of our world issues today he predicted. The reader of the book did a good job at reading is the English accent.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent

He was a great leader.A great man. A great human being. He was able to see the world from a farsighted view.

4 people found this helpful

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Hard to breathe.

The last syllables still hanging in the air... or was it an hour ago?
Difficult to convey a coherent message while the spell which I’ve been under, so perfectly cast by Mr. Roberts, still hangs about me.
I can see Churchill so very vividly in my eyes and in my head in a way that far surpasses I ever imagined I would. The book is a deeply satisfying read/listen. Mr. Thorne’s narration is so expert I felt as though he was the author and I will seek out other titles within my preferred subjects with him involved.
I cannot, as a lifelong FDR peep, not mention however...
it’s “rose-velt”. Two syllables, no “ooze”.
Thank you, again Mr Roberts, for another superb biography.

9 people found this helpful