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The Caged Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1932-40 Hardcover – 14 Nov 1988


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Hardcover, 14 Nov 1988
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First Edition edition (14 Nov 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071813222X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718132224
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 6.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
NUMBER 10 Downing Street, at that time the most famous address in the world, is one of three gracious seventeenth-century houses built by George Downing, a Harvard man who returned to the country of his birth, became a Cromwellian civil servant, and designed No. 10, No. 11, and No. 12 as "large and well-built houses, fit for persons of honour and quality, each house to have a pleasant prospect into St. James' Park." Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 1999
Format: Paperback
William Manchester has no peer now living for writing history and biography. He shows it again here. At just the right times, he interjects himself into the narrative to call the reader's attention to points that might be missed by someone not familiar with British politics or with the times. He also essentially "solves" the riddle, to the extent it can be solved, of why Churchill was ignored when he was so right. Churchill occupied such a leading position in British public life for so long that he was able to commit several big mistakes. Unfortunately for Britain, two big ones - his emotional commitment to the British raj in India, and his emotional commitment to Edward VIII - and particularly the second, came at times that compromised his otherwise clear understanding and vision. Churchill was not a conventional politician, and, in many respects, not a politician at all. That is one reason why he was so misunderstood by contemporary professional politicians. Churchill was a visionary who well understood that, under the guise of merely reflecting the sentiments of his listeners, he could actually cause his listeners to rise to the level of his sentiments. This he did for the British, to their eternal distinction. Churchill is remembered for his erudition because of his voluminous writing, but he is really a monument to character, and, most of all, to courage. The great man of the century, brilliantly presented here in the context of his times and with all his faults.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun 1998
Format: Paperback
Though I have not read the first of this series, I plan on doing so immediately upon finishing Volume 2. Manchester is a terrific writer, a portrayer of history as a kind of tragic story and not a conglomeration of facts and figures. Churchill's resoluteness in the face of English apathy in the 1930's is well-demonstrated, but this is no fluff piece; WSC is shown as a real man who had very real faults, and seeing these in relation to his accomplishments keeps him human in our minds. In addition to the tremendous story, it's first-rate literature. For those interested in the war period and the relations between Churchill and other allied leaders, may I suggest "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which details further the wartime relationship between FDR and WSC.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar 1998
Format: Paperback
This, and volume 1, is one of the best biographies that I've ever read. Churchill was probably the last great Englishman of the Empire. It is truly a shame that he had to bankrupt his realm inorder to save it. He sounded the alarm on Hitler, and no one listened. The section in this book that deals with the House of Commons vote on the Munich Agreement is one of non-fictions greatest passages. How Manchester describes how Churchill and all the other great leaders abstained rather than vote with their party is great writing, as is the rest of this book. Where is volume 3. I read this one over 5 years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov 1997
Format: Paperback
Having lived through the Second World War in occupied Denmarkand as a refugee in Swe
den Mr. Churchill gave the daily inspiration and
hope we all were desperately seeking. William
Manchester's two volumes on the early years as
well as the years leading up to WWII make it
very difficult to wait for volume III. These two
volumes were truly great and rate with the finest
biographies I have ever read.

Please give me the latest indications of when
we might all expect the volume dealing with the
actual years of war and the postwar period
leading up to his passing?I END
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Dec 1996
Format: Paperback
A history of the events leading to WWII as well as a
continuation of the Churchill biography. Does not get bogged
down in trivia. Excitement builds as war approaches, the
outcome is placed in such doubt you will want to page ahead
and see if he really becomes Prime Minister after all!
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Format: Paperback
It has one of the best first 30 pages of any biography I have read. Just gripping. Overall, I think Manchester likes Winston a little too much, and can't seem to integrate his faults -- he says them, but doesn't believe them and they aren't woven in, just little blurbs. Also, the biography is half history. Had he stuck to biography, it could have been 1200 pages and complete instead of 2400 and not done. It's a good read, with some poignant moments as he takes the wide reach of big history down to the random death of an individual soldier or the proud Polish calvaryman beating on a Panzer.
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By A Customer on 15 July 1998
Format: Paperback
The thick veil of history is pierced by Manchester in this fabulous volume. You can understand why Chamberlin was motivated to placate Hitler and why the French felt secure behind their unbreachable defenses. Like all good narrative historys you begin to wonder, part way through the book, just how it can end like we all know it does. This book, coupled with the dense "How war came", make for a fine graduate level primer for the origins of WWII in Europe.
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By A Customer on 13 Jan 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is the best treatment of the era between the wars I have ever read. One can understand why the British Government, in effect, committed treason when faced with another world war against Germany. Manchester's Churchill is the greatest man (or woman) of the 20th Century. Can't wait for Vol. III.
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