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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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  •  
    Charles N. Ward ojai ca usa 06-13-15
    Charles N. Ward ojai ca usa 06-13-15 Member Since 2011

    ward

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    "Great"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective of Churchill. As an American, the story of the Second World War is too often told through the lens of Pearl Harbor, with a nod toward Chamberlain as a cartoonish appeaser and Churchill as a bulldog in a derby hat, and not much more.

    The narration conjures up the voice of Sir Winston well, though admittedly this can be a bit tiresome. I enjoyed the touch overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Kansas City, Missouri, United States 06-11-15
    William Kansas City, Missouri, United States 06-11-15
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    "First person history brought to riveting life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is as good as it gets. Amazing content from a man in and behind the scenes of the biggest tragedy in human history.


    What other book might you compare The Second World War to and why?

    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but this is better.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Ribbentrop delaying Chamberlain from his job the eve the Nazis invaded Czeckoslovakia? Hitler testing France and Britain again and again and them not seeing the growing danger?


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Why couldn't Britain see it coming?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan kingwood, TX, United States 06-11-15
    Bryan kingwood, TX, United States 06-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "good for a serious history buff perhaps"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I sure learned alot of detail I didnt know about WWII and the history that led up to it.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    In the last quarter of the book, it got much more interesting to me with the accounts of naval battles.


    What aspect of Christian Rodska’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing...its like you were listening to Churchill himself.


    Any additional comments?

    Nothing shocking from Churchill's own account -big picture wise- that I didnt pick up at some point or another in my college history classes and/or movies/casual reading. Nice refresher though, if a bit dry esp in the first half.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donnie 06-10-15
    Donnie 06-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Impressive Leader"

    An impressive look into history by the man who lived it closer then anyone. Live it from his eyes to your ears.
    Only way to make it better would be to hear it narrated by Churchill himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nic Spaull 06-08-15
    Nic Spaull 06-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Brilliant"

    Authoritative and gripping! Narrator sounds like Churchill and reads wonderfully. Highly recommended for those interested in WW2

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Janda Czech Republic 06-06-15
    J. Janda Czech Republic 06-06-15 Member Since 2014

    jijanek

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    "Absolutely fabulous"

    Here is the Masterpiece of the Mastermind. It feels as if the author himself narrated it. Superb performance thanks to Christian Rodska and premium content which every child, every man, and every politician should listen to and learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Apozema 06-06-15
    Apozema 06-06-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Fascinating account of the foundations of WWII"

    Churchill's personality comes through clearly in this account and his focus on order and structure are clearly evident. The masterful narration by Christian Rodska is, however, the highlight of this volume. Very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grebreblis Miami, FL 06-06-15
    Grebreblis Miami, FL 06-06-15 Member Since 2015

    Nelson Silberberg

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    "Long and tedious"

    As an avid reader of history I had high hopes for this book but I found I had to force myself to keep listening until I finally gave up on the book altogether when I had only 1.5 hours left.

    This is my first negative review and I hope my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DPD 05-14-15
    DPD 05-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Well Done"

    Churchill has preserved for us his perspective on the times and the events between the two great wars which inexorably encouraged and sustained the martial adventures of dictators who acknowledged no moral constraints on their ambitions. This narration does a very good job of emulating the very recognizable characteristics of Churchills manner of speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Red Eagle's Legacy 05-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A Great Glimpse into the Time Between the Wars"

    Winston Churchill by any account must be one of the most amazing statesmen of the 20th century. His unparalleled position at the highest levels of government through both World Wars puts him in a unique position to reveal the forces at work in the interregnum between the two. In Milestones to Disaster, he does just that – not as he says as a “history” – but as an eyewitness account to be used by future historians. The fact that he is himself a masterful writer helps one not wait for some future analysis. This work is not only accessible, but it is a very enjoyable if unsettling glimpse into the European political shake-ups of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

    I was given Churchill’s six volume history of World War II by my great uncle who had the privilege to meet the then Prime Minister at Harvard. Churchill spoke to the Navy officers that were being barracked there during the U.S.’s initial involvements in the war. This work is actually an abridgment of the first volume of that set The Gathering Storm. Churchill did the trimming himself for this work, but it has been pleasant to peruse the unabridged work to see what has been removed. Mainly it is coordinating documents that help to strengthen the assertions made by the author. It also contains several appendices that contain correspondence between Churchill and other world leaders and politicians. Both the full length and edited versions are readily accessible online and make worthy additions to any library.

    In Milestones, the period after the Treaty of Versailles is examined with a brutal eye to all the failings made by the then world powers to keep Germany in check. One misstep after another is frighteningly unfolded for the reader. Even though, we all know where this story leads, it gives one a knot in the gut to see how it all may have been avoided. Churchill reveals how, to his thinking, the overwhelming liberal policies of socialism and disarmament weakened the victorious nations to a point where the defeated Germany could rise under Hitler’s cult of personality. By backing off in the critical moments again and again and capitulating to appease the Führer, the European governments doomed the world to repeat on a larger scale the slaughter of the first World War.

    Mr. Churchill is definitely not afraid to point out the mistakes of others. While I’m sure that the facts that are being recorded are all trustworthy, he has gone a fair way to frame them to cast a better light on his position during this time. Churchill was consistently sounding the warning of Germany’s re-armament, and he takes great pride in his un-involvement of the policies that allowed this to happen. He doesn’t sweep his own personal misjudgments under the rug, but he shines a hard light on the British administrations that he sees as failing to protect the world from the German threat. He believes the playing out of Hitler’s conquest of central Europe is a vindication of his viewpoints, and he perceives his rise as an appointment of destiny.

    If you’re not familiar with how Germany came a mere twenty years after being completely despoiled to conquering the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Holland with virtually no resistance, this is the book to read. It’s a tragic tale, but one that needs to be understood if but for the hope that it will not be repeated. Churchill truly is one of the great twentieth century writers, and you will not be disappointed by his recollection.

    7 stars out of 10

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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