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Publisher's Summary

Dealing with war on a giant scale, The Grand Alliance focuses on events as Britain, after fighting a desperate battle alone, was joined in the struggle against the enemy by Soviet Russia and the United Sates.

Hitler's invasion of Russia brought to an end a period of almost exactly a year during which Britain and her Empire had stood alone. Six months later, the United States, attacked by Japan, joined the war and the Grand Alliance was born. It was a momentous turn in the course of the war and Sir Winston Churchill noted, 'United we could subdue everybody else in the world. Many disasters, immeasurable cost and tribulation lay ahead, but there was no more doubt about the end.'

©1990 The Estate of Winston Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • John M
  • Lafayette, CA USA
  • 11-21-08

Fascinating and Insightful

During this third volume of the four volume set Churchill continues his wonderful (if occasionally self-serving) narrative. This volume roughly covers the time period of late 1941 through early/mid 1943. This was a rough period for Britain and the military engagements during this period almost always go against the Allies. Though at the end of this volume the tide of war has definitely turned and would usher in a period of practically unbroken victories.

Any casual Churchill fan knows of his affection for the United States. But it was still very interesting to hear first hand his reaction to Pearl Harbor and the official entrance of the US into the War. At that point, as he tells it, he felt the War was won - he was jubilant - it was just a matter of time. His regard for Roosevelt was just shy of worship.

It was also very interesting to see his dealings with the Russians as they shifted sides to the Allies and began immediately insisting on a second front in the West. Churchill alternates between extreme patience and unconcealed exasperation at Stalin's single-mindedness here all the while conveniently forgetting he was Hitler's ally less than a year before.

He has a masterful wit and I literally laughed out loud several times during the narrative.

A must for any fan of military history and World War II.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Just a great listen. Like the other reviewers I can assure you - its like listening to Churchill read the book. I have listened to three of books and just downloaded the fourth. It is compulsive listening.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 01-16-09

Superb very well done

Really enjoyed this listen. Highly recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Harold
  • SCOTIA, NY, United States
  • 11-05-12

Very informative and entertaining

If you could sum up The Second World War: The Grand Alliance in three words, what would they be?

From the beginning to the end of this all encompassing novel I was thoroughly engaged in the drawn out personal, political and military battles leading up to and through WW II. Churchill's account of the war can hardly be questioned considering his complete immersion in all the major events of the war years. He seems balanced in his views relative to the strengths and weaknesses of all the major combatants and his wry humor is evident throughout. His meetings with Stalin were particularly informative and entertaining. Christian Rodska's vocal impersonation of Churchill was spot on and yet he was equally persuasive as he switched from character to character.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second World War: The Grand Alliance?

Churchill's personal meetings with Roosevelt and Stalin were both poignant and heroic. The interactions between the old English Warhorse and the Russian revolutionary were combative at times and yet is was obvious that there was a certain warmth and mutual respect that could be seen throughout.

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

No, this was my first opportunity

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

No, it is a very long enterprise.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wish the 4th installment was available.

I was ready to go to the end of Mr. Churchill's account of WWII but it is not there yet. Please hurry!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett
  • Jacksonville, AR, USA
  • 08-10-08

All Great but.......

I loved this seris, from milestones to disaster to the grand alliance. However the fourth installment triumph and tragedy is nowhere to be found. I hope it will be available soon. If you enjoyed this you will enjoy the Last Lion and American Ceasar by William Manchester.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Nothing Short of Remarkable

This review really could cover the whole four-part series. With no hyperbole, I can say that this was an eye-opening view of the point on which the whole 20th century pivoted. Churchill was a phenomenally gifted writer and having access to his insights and involvement gave me a view into WW II that was surprising, enlightening and very entertaining. One is struck by the prescience of Churchill's insights into both the Nazi regime and the Stalinist regime. I was also struck, particularly in Alone (the volume immediately preceding this) the level at which Britain really was by itself and one cannot help but come away with a renewed admiration for this island and her remarkable people.

I have devoured the entire series and will definitely return to these volumes in the future. Yes, there are places where the narrative seems a bit self-serving on the part of Churchill but he is also able to point the finger at himself when he read things incorrectly or made a judgment that, in light of what happened, he might have thought better of so it isn't really obnoxious.

Christian Rodska hits precisely the right place between sounding like a passable Churchill while not seeming like he is trying to imitate him. At several points over the course of the books, I had to remind myself that while the words were Churchill's the voice was not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Must for Lovers of WWII History!

It wasn't until I was sent to England in early 1978, that I developed a love for history. On the BBC you could still watch WWII documentaries every day and almost all day long in those days. Out of that love for history came a bit of an obsession with WWII and Winston Churchill. The Right Honorable Sir Winston Churchill is regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. He was also an officer in the British Army, escaping from a POW camp in South Africa during the Second Boer War and participating in what has been described as the last meaningful British cavalry charge, at the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. Churchill is also a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States (by JFK). Winston Churchill was very fond of the United States and highly regarded his friendship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Firstly, Churchill earned his living as a writer, NOT as a politician. PMs in his day were paid very little and most politicians came from the wealthy upper classes - meaning they could either financially support themselves or were very well educated and had established other means of financial gain. Churchill's income was almost entirely made from writing books and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. He was a prolific writer of books, writing a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, and several histories. The two of his most famous works were his six-volume "Memoirs of The Second World War" and "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples".

"The Second World War: Grand Alliance" is the third part of an unabridged recording of Churchill's condensed volume, broken up into four parts. It stands alone very well, meaning there is no need to read/listen to the two previous volumes nor the last remaining volume. Admittedly, this one is my favorite, I consider it the most fascinating and informative of the four. However, if you enjoy history as much as I do, you will WANT to read/listen to the whole set. Churchill takes unvarnished history and gives it a personal setting, adding plenty of the tiny details that are left out in the broader histories that have been written about WWII. Sometimes you will laugh out loud while at other times you will suffer the anguish over difficult decisions that had to be made, that were made and that cost many lives.

All this being said, perhaps some will consider Churchill's "Memoirs of the Second World War" as being self serving. I just don't see it. Why would a man, who was already seen as a great wartime leader and national hero, have to resort to self aggrandizement? I want to believe that due to his extraordinary intellect and wit, his sense of honor and duty, all mixed in with some truly amazing life experiences, that Churchill had to have had a great respect and reverence for history. Besides, all one has to do is read other author's works on WWII and Churchill and you will quickly see that Churchill did NOT write a self serving book on WWII. Don't take my word for it, download it and listen to it, you will see what I mean here.

I clearly remember reading this book for the first time many years ago in a library in Cambridge (I couldn't afford the book at the time). I am now the proud owner of the hard cover book and this audible book. I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to the audible version, I read along with my book. Christian Rodska does an exceptional job at narration! This is not easy material to read, listen to or digest, so you will find yourself listening to it in portions. I am absolutely certain that I will listen to this book again. Truly a five star listen, worth every credit and every single minute of my time.

Highly Recommended!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Eugene
  • Vienna, VA, USA
  • 09-07-08

Excellent work

Enjoyed the first three volumes very much. I hope they're working on the final volume -- I can't wait for it. The narrator is excellent and sounds just like Churchill.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grant
  • Highland, UT, USA
  • 07-16-08

What now?

This is the third of a 4 volume series. I enjoyed it, but was surprised to find out that the 4th volume is not done yet. What??? I wish I would have known that before I started the first book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 09-28-11

Another engrossing instalment

I've been riveted by the first three parts of Churchill's mastery story of the Second World War of which this is the third. Even though much of the narration relates to the strategy behind and execution of battles I found this book gripping, filling me with awe over Churchill's stamina and single-minded dedication to his tasks. In retrospect it's frightening to think of the risks he took flying hither and thither to speak face to face with Roosevelt, Stalin and various other leaders as the war raged. I am struck by his patient diplomacy, humility and willingness to admit mistakes, but at the same time being fearless in his quest to save Western Civilization. This book tells the stories of the USSR's heroic struggles and of disaster and then triumph in North Africa when, at last, the Allies started to have successes. I've down-loaded the fourth and final part of this monumental work and will start listening right away. It's a testament to Churchill's fine writing (and Christian Roska's outstanding narration) that such a wealth of detail about war should be so engrossing.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 10-06-11

A mind Boggling and inspirational listen

His diaries are probably the most evocative books I have ever listened to. A absolutely awesome man who thrived in the most complex and terrible period of our worlds history. Incredible stuff.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • KevinMc
  • 04-07-13

A really worthwhile read

Winston Churchill is a great writer besides being a great Prime Minister. Really good to hear it form his point of view rather than from others writing about him or the war. You definitely realise this was a man ahead of his time, and one of the few to really get Hitler.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 03-11-12

History at it's best.

I have listened to all of the books in the series now. They are some of the best history I have every listened to. Christian Rodska could not be better, at times you think you are listening to Winston Churchill him self. If you want to know what happen during the second world war from someone who was at the centre of world affairs, then listen to The second world war By Winston Churchill. I can't wait to listen to them again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 01-19-12


This is as a whole a fascinating account of the Second World War, and this volume is itself no less than that, dealing as it does with the momentous entry of the US into the war. Very comprehensible, it makes the events and the thinking behind them accessible to any alert listener: it is of course told on a vast scale, even in this abridged version, but one really starts to feel one has a grasp of the totality of events. Rodska narrates beautifully: at times one quite loses track that it is not Churchill speaking. Undoubtedly the best large-scale narrative I have ever read, in terms of it being a ripping yarn, excitingly written, by a man who was at the centre of it all, and here it is excellently presented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill
  • 01-17-18


I found these series most interesting
Sorry to not read ( listen to) all the background
story regarding his approval of the ‘dirty warfare’ by so many clever and wonderful people that worked so hard for the end of the war. Eg Sticky bomb etc
I found that he is a great “self promoter “ in all the war decisions but accepted that as I don’t know any better.
It seems that all the right decisions were effectively his!
Regardless he was a great man and for that he should be remembered!
What would we have done without him!!!

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  • Greer Gosman
  • 05-07-17

Real first hand history

Brilliantly written and brilliantly narrated. To be able to listen to Winston's own words with his excellent turn of phrase and description is a joy for any one.

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  • M. R. Kemp
  • 03-21-17

Some classic Churchill quotes and good insight

This series of books are a fantastic insight into the war from Churchill's perspective. There are some classic quotes and some light moments to enjoy as well.

Well worth a read if WWII is on your interest list.

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  • Julian
  • 03-12-15

A must read perspective

Churchill is such an icon of ww2 that it is useful to hear his words (well spoken) and experience first hand how he saw the main issues.