How Winston Churchill Changed the World

Narrated by: Michael Shelden
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: History, Europe
5 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Great Britain’s most celebrated statesman, Winston Churchill, didn’t just live history - he made it. In these 24 lectures that unfurl like a great story, enjoy a thorough, multifaceted exploration of Churchill’s life, accomplishments, complexities, and legacies. 

Guiding you chronologically through the life and times of this master statesman, Professor Shelden takes you from the dawn of Churchill’s political career to his final years in a much-changed geopolitical landscape. You’ll examine Churchill’s beginnings as a young liberal statesman, his rise to the Admiralty and his relentless push for an imposing naval force, his fight against the Nazis, his equally dramatic postwar career suspended between two different cold wars (against the Soviets and Britain’s Labour party), and more. 

You’ll also get fascinating insights into Churchill’s iconic public speeches, his philosophies of freedom and history, and his early realizations of the dangers of both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. But these lectures never shy away from examining how Churchill’s preference for the backward glance of history occasionally distorted his view of the future, leading to missteps and disasters, including his failure to understand the rise of independence movements in the British colonies and his controversial World War II bombing campaigns in German cities like Dresden. 

Poet, historian, statesman, soldier, prime minister, husband - Churchill played many roles throughout his life. And these lectures bring them all together to create a fascinating, multilayered biography. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

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

A Sweeping, Fascinating Life

Has anyone ever lived as full a life as Winston Churchill? Soldier, adventurer, statesman, historian, journalist, novelist, painter, raconteur, quipper, bricklayer, visionary, hero, pariah--all aspects and skills forged as much by failure as triumph. Michael Shelden brings the great man to life in graceful, forceful prose, with many humorous asides and quotes. He did the same with his lectures on George Orwell.

Highly recommended!

8 people found this helpful

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love the man even more.

very informative except for over-the-top narration. Some of the facts were spine-chilling but astonished by the way sir Winston handled situations.

6 people found this helpful

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A Great, Great Couse

These lectures were some of the best history lectures I heave ever heard. The professor clearly loves his subject but can give you an unvarnished picture of Churchill. I also doubt you can find one source with so much information about Churchill short of reading his definitive biography, something I now intend to do. Totally loved it and plan to listen to it many times over!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic perspective and informative

WINSTON was one of the pivotal figures in securing our present configuration of world nations.
He bridged the gap between two world wars as we entered the modern age of politics and war.
Sheldon does a stupendous and entertaining telling of this engaging tale of a man committed to men and freedom. It is a great read and good for listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Perfect !

Highly recommended - excellent presentation of a most interesting, relevant subject and period. If you want to know about Churchill without reading his multi volume autobiography, this is he place to go.

2 people found this helpful

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Well worth it

In a lecture format, the info came across as well as any narrated biography. Shelden does a good job holding your attention through the lectures and passes along a great deal of information on this historic icon. I have listened to a few of the Great Courses and this was my favorite in the biography genre. Great job!

2 people found this helpful

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Churchill, what a leader!! What a great course

Churchill is one of the greatest leaders to have ever lived and this course does not disappoint. very well written (even Churchill would have approved, I have no doubt) and equally well presented.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 05-19-19

Good, but too adulatory

Professor Shelden is an engaging narrator and his biography is always interesting, but is too hagiographic for my taste. He addresses the revisionist histories which have pointed out more of Churchill's flaws, but dismisses these critiques as paling in comparison to his single greatest achievement, keeping England in the war and ultimately defeating Hitler. He is an English professor and not a historian, and I think that is why he doesn't have a broad historical perspective. He also seems to be a bit too enamored of his subject.

2 people found this helpful

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GREAT FOR STUDENTS 👍👍👍

Great overall I wouldn't compare to any of his own biography's nor others , but its a different format and worth the purchase.....👍👍👍

5 people found this helpful

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A love letter to Churchill

It’s a nice story, but it I got really tired at the end of the ‘how great Churchill was’ and ‘How terrible the rest was’
The guy is just too much in love with him.