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Publisher's Summary

This volume of Churchill's history ofWorld Ward 2 recounts the dramatic months as the war drew to a close - the normandy landings, the liberation of western Europe, the bombing of hiroshima and Nagaski, and the surrender of Germany and Japan.
©1990 The Estate of Winston Churchill (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Always good, occasionally great

This is the concluding volume in Winston Churchill's incomparable history of World War II. As in his previous three volumes it provides remarkable insight and an unparalleled "you are there" view of the events. It is an absolute must-read for anyone that has had the pleasure of completing the previous books.
However, it suffers in comparison to the other books. This first-person view of history worked incredibly well in the first three volumes because Churchill was, quite literally, in the middle of much of the significant action and decisions from 1938 to 1942. His insight, speeches, decisions, and influence on diplomacy literally made history and changed the course of the war. Having a front-row seat to that power and thought process is a treat.
However, starting in 1943 and certainly in 1944 the United States and the Soviet Union became the primary players on the Allied side and Great Britain (and thus Churchill), exhausted and smaller than the others, became a junior partner. Churchill had less and less influence in the conduct of the war and it is not surprising he was greatly frustrated by it, though he certainly knew that only through the combined efforts of the USA and USSR could complete victory be achieved.
In this volume he spends most of his time on things he had direct impact over (which were smaller scale) or talking about his frustrations about not being able to prosecute the war as he saw fit. For example, we hear much more about a small invasion of Italy he tried to coordinate than we do about D-Day. And we hear practically nothing about the treatment of Jews or concentration camps.
But Churchill really comes through in the end as he chronicles the Soviet transformation in 1944/5 from ally to adversary. And there is an epilogue where he discusses the transformations of the geopolitical situation from 1945 to 1957 that is remarkable in its anticipation of many of the issues we continue to face.

44 people found this helpful

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Winston Churchill knew more about WW2 than anyone.

Would you listen to Triumph and Tragedy again? Why?

And he wrote about it with an excellence no one else has equalled. I would certainly listen to it again. I am amazed at how candid yet diplomatic Churchill is, and how beautifully he writes. Imagine a great world leader, also a brilliant journalist, who knows first hand the course of the most important war in history describing events and the personalities of the principal world rulers with penetrating insight and great humor. There is so much to be learned by this book, listening to it twice would only be good for starters.

What other book might you compare Triumph and Tragedy to and why?

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a brilliant book and I loved it. However, the account of a journalist who lived through the war and observed it first hand pales in comparison with Churchills authority and intimate knowledge of events.

What about Christian Rodska???s performance did you like?

I thought of him as Churchill. I felt Churchill was telling me about the war.

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

Triumph and Tragedy. The birth of the world today.

Any additional comments?

This is one book I am going to get a hard copy and take notes.

7 people found this helpful

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This series is the ABRIDGED version

FYI - there are hundreds of missing chapters, particularly containing specific details about the battles. Otherwise, a fabulous condensed version of one of the world's most important and unique human beings. A+ narration by Christian Rodska.

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Class Dismissed

I enjoyed listening to all 4 books. This one was the hardest. Mostly because I'm ADHD:-). But, also it was hard to hear some of history that was so sad & could've been prevented. Still glad I learned of so many things I've never heard before, though. Mr. Churchill was an excellent history teacher!

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

What did you love best about The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy?

The historical, behind-the-scenes events revealed in this book helped me better understand the motivations behind the principle characters and nations.

What about Christian Rodska’s performance did you like?

His voice was stable, and expressive of controlled resolve and emotion which I found believable in replicating Winston Churchill. I was easily "absorbed" into the story as it was read and never felt like someone was just reading a story to me - I felt as if I were there, experiencing the saga as it unfolded.

Any additional comments?

The story and the delivery were outstanding. Kudos!

2 people found this helpful

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Intensely interesting not just for history buffs

Would you consider the audio edition of Triumph and Tragedy to be better than the print version?

Yes.

What other book might you compare Triumph and Tragedy to and why?

You should definitely listen to the whole series to understand this tragic period of history. It is true what others wrote before that the book is a little bit self serving, but nonetheless it's a great listen.

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

I have the feeling that Churchill himself is telling me the story. Rodska is a great narrator, he even paid attention to using slightly different voices and accents if the contents of a letter or telegram is related written by Roosevelt or Stalin.

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

Many films were already made no need for more.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome!!!

Churchill is far more accurate and insightful than modern historians. Read his firsthand account of the end of World War II and its aftermath. He prophesied the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe when few realized that it would occur. The heartbreaking fact that he was not re-elected as Prime Minister is one of the largest injustices of political history, considering that he saved the British people from Nazi takeover.

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interesting and enjoyable

having read the original 6 volume unabridged version I found this abridged audio version enjoyable. An insight into the events that shaped the modern world from an active participant. Well read by Rodska, the feel that the author is speaking to you, without any over dramatization.

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Good book, but I got more than I expected.

What did you like best about this story?

I expected the book to be told from the British perspective, and it was. I was a bit surprised by Churchill's somewhat defensive posture throughout the narrative as on several occasions he emphasized the load that Great Britain assumed in the war was somewhat out of proportion as compared to the US. But I thought the detail that he supplied around the interface with Stalin was fascinating. It seems clear that Churchill, himself managed the relationship with the USSR from the time that Germany began their thrust to the East to the end of the conflict.

The book also provided unknown (to me) details about the relationship between the US and Great Britain during the years prior to the US being directly involved in the war.

Which character – as performed by Christian Rodska – was your favorite?

There were times that I could hear Churchill's voice as Rodska provided his narriative.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible insight and detail

To listen to the thoughts of ,(the greatest man of the 20th Century),Churchill is incredible. His foresight and opinion were almost never wrong, and when he was, it was not by much. He was an amazing man and leader.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 09-28-11

Awe-inspiring history

I have been enthralled by listening to all four parts of this inspiring story of the Second World War of which this is the final book. Christian Rodska's fine narration has added to the experience. This last part high-lighted for me how history can be changed by individuals for good or ill. The duplicity of Stalin, once a cherished ally; the premature death of Roosevelt; the surprise result of the 1945 General Election ousting Churchill: all had ramifications that coloured the rest of the 20th century. By the end of these books I felt a great sadness over the huge waste of lives, but also inspired by the peoples' bravery and tenacity. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Churchill who worked tirelessly for five years against the odds. Not only was he a great leader, but also a great writer able to convey in such a riveting way the fears, triumphs and tragedies of war.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin McIntyre
  • 04-07-13

Worth the 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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurence
  • 03-07-21

You can't match the insights from the man himself.

Quite technical but hugely engaging. Very well read...you are fooled into thinking Churchill is talking to you personally.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-21

An enthralling Account of WW2 by Churchill.

This the first book I've listened to about the war or indeed any war. This the final book of four books which ive got through over the past few weeks and it has been absolutely enthralling. we think covid is a global disaster? WW2 was quite appalling and these accounts, read by Christian Rodska who sounded exactly like churchill, really brought it home to me the level of effort and sacrice by all concerned...quite shocking. i dont know much about Churchill but im interested in finding out more about him. It seems to me that the reason for his very existence was to lead Britain through those war years... he seemed to be one of the few who had a really good grasp of the realities of what was happening and its consequences. Incredible tragedy, Incredible account by Churchill.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-21

Brilliant

I've read quite a few books on WW2 this is one of the best.
Interesting, fast moving and just the right amount of detail.
you won't go wrong reading this beauty

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael Steedman
  • 01-04-21

interesting perspective of ww2

ww2 as experienced by the man at the centre of it, and told from his perspective. insightful.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luis
  • 11-19-08

Two brief comments from a spaniard

I would not dream to say anything new on this fascinating work of Mr. Churchill's. However, two topics in the book might be worth underlining at the present moment. On one hand, the scaring and astonishing similarities between the finacial crisis we are enduring and the 1929 crisis, as explained in the book. And, on the other, Mr Churchill's analysis on the causes and motives for the nationalists uprising in july 1936 against the Spanish republican goverment who, as the author states, had lost its legitimacy through its atack on the same republic they nominaly represented, trying to establish a communist totalitarian regime through revolutionary means. His short, but nevertheless clarifying comments, will surely be embraced with enthusiasm by the politicians and intelectuals who, after decades of peace and reconciliation among spaniards are trying to revive, via what they call \"Memoria hist?rica\" (Historic Memory,)past and happily forgotten tragedies.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Reluctant Sceptic
  • 12-22-21

Vol4’s more self justification than history.

Having read many accounts of WW2 before these 4 volumes, they provided an useful context to Churchill’s version of things. I’d recommend others do the same.
BTW, not one mention of the other 3 home nations contribution to the war effort and fighting. Just England this and England that. Good God!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-16-21

brilliant insights into a difficult period!

amazingly honest account and personal opinion from one of the most iconic leaders. Well narrated and insightful.

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  • LMC
  • 10-08-21

Great final volume that goes well beyond the war

The final volume in Churchill's four-volume abridgement of his history of the Second World War is also the longest. It includes all of the highlights you would expect, plus an unexpected bonus. When compiling the abridgement, Churchill added an afterword in which he reviews the state of the world in the decade or so following the war. The insight he provides into the Cold War and the dwindling of Britain as a world power is alone worth the price of admission. It would be hard to overstate how much I have enjoyed this series, and the masterful narration by Christian Rodska is consistently first rate.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 03-27-22

Prescient in light of recent European developments

Those interested in modern society, and modern developments in Russia in the Ukraine, should read this book, to get a full understanding of how these matters with Setup, of what knowledge existed in the 40s and whether you agree with him or not in his politics, Winston Churchill could see these things arising. For that matter so could Stalin. Certainly worth a read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-17-21

Treat yourself

Do the whole series, just once in your life. I did, and it won't be regretted.

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  • Stephen Grocott
  • 09-25-20

Sobering to see things could have been different

Beautiful command of language ... but the story?! Wow. Our recent history could have been so much worse - and so much better. History up close and personal and first hand. Blessed to have it recorded.

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  • Brett Miell
  • 07-17-19

Fantastic view of WW2

Here's everything that would have made high school history class my favourite subject.

Only in the end do I wonder what historic struggles were cut from the original 6 volumes to condense the collection down to 4.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-26-19

Compelling

Excellent narration and a story worth listening to. Great insight in to the last days of the war. Would have been nice to learn of his opinion of why he did not win the election. All in all, a great listen.