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Publisher's Summary

The first in a five-volume set of essential listening that examines the causes of the Great War.

This, the first in Sir Winston Churchill's five-volume history examining the events and context leading up to the outbreak of World War I from a true insider's point of view, is unsurpassed as both a historical and personal account of the earth-shaking events leading up to The Great War. 

Churchill's epic series begins in 1911, when Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty, and opens with a chilling description of the Agadir Crisis and an in-depth account of naval clashes in the Dardanelles - one of Churchill's major military failures. It takes listeners from the fierce bloodshed of the Gallipoli campaign to the tragic sinking of the Lusitania and the tide-turning battles of Jutland and Verdun - as well as the USA's entry into the combat theater.

Written in powerful prose by a great leader who would also go on to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature, and based on thousands of his own personal letters and memos, The World Crisis provides a perspective you won't find anywhere else: a dynamic insider's account of events that would shape the outcome of modern history.

Public Domain (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Featured Article: 25+ Powerful and Wise Winston Churchill Quotes


Sir Winston Churchill has gone down in history as one of Great Britain’s most influential and memorable politicians. With a public service career spanning several decades, Churchill fulfilled many crucial roles in the British government, including two terms as Prime Minister, and accrued a vast amount of political and life experience. Here are some of his most powerful quotes demonstrating that he was truly a force to be reckoned with.

What listeners say about The World Crisis, Vol. 1

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Final Word on the Great War (pre-WW2)

Many consider this series (The World Crisis) to be the best work of Winston Churchill and the best explanation for the First World War from the perspective of Inter-war writers. Remember to those living in 1919-1937 those were not “The INTERWAR Years” but rather “The POSTWAR Years”. This fact shapes every aspect of Great War writing and from this perspective this book series really is unique. Given this importance I’m happy to say that Audible has done a great job in recording this first title in the series with outstanding recording clarity with a master narrator.

I am thoroughly enjoying this volume and I look forward to buying the further volumes in this series when they become available.

10 people found this helpful

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Waiting for volume 2

At first I also thought that a reader with American accent was not ideal. But then I thought that this book was written by a fairly young Churchill while most of the speeches we heard are from WW2. So this Churchill should sound different. And he does. The accent is pretty generic so it didn’t bother me. But when are the other volumes coming out ????

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Magisterial. But where is Volume 2, 3, 4 etc??

Far beyond his works on World War II, this series of books, written before he was the Churchill of the wilderness years or the Battle of Britain, features his incredible intelligence, diligence, humanity and foresight on display. He writes beautifully on top of everything else, and he was as prescient about the looming Great War as he was about Hitler's rise two decades later.

And yet ... Volume One is the only one available. Even after the 100th anniversary shone new light on the Great War.

Get with it Audible. If you can't source the rest of this historically significant series, then commission it from someone (like me) who can do it justice.

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English Navy in WWI

Excellent insight into young Churchill and everything one might want to know about the English Navy in WW1 from the point of view of the ultimate insider, who straddles both internal politics and naval war strategy as the First Lord of the Navy. The land-based war in Europe is not ignored, but after the Battle of the Marne stalemate, it's given short shrift except when our hero leaps unsuccessfully into the defense of Antwerp. Certainly these years provided the foundational experience of the magnificent warrior of twenty-five years in the future.

Please provide volume 2 in the near future!

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Churchill is Always Interesting But Defensive

I love Churchill and enjoyed every listen to everything he has written, but given the criticisms of him regarding incidents during the early stages of the war, he is clearly defensive about them in the book. It is still enjoyable.