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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 MP3 CD – Audiobook, 7 Nov 2012


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MP3 CD, Audiobook, 7 Nov 2012
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; MP3 Una edition (7 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470819546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470819545
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 820,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris, joining this elite bank of writers who devote their lives to one subject. (Publishers Weekly)

Brilliant and beautiful, evocative. (The Boston Globe)

A must-read finale for those who loved Manchester's first two books. (USA Today)

The final volume is . . . majestic and inspiring. (People)

One of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. (Library Journal) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

"Majestic" - The Washington Post

"Breathtaking" - The Boston Globe

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William D. Freeman on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Paul Reid has done it! He has produced a worthy successor and final volume to the series started by William Manchester. It has been a long wait, but readers will not be disappointed by the result. Manchester published the first volume in 1983 and the second volume five years later. After completing research for the third book and starting in on the text, his health failed. Before he died, Manchester asked Reid to finish the project.

This volume begins just after Churchill took over as Prime Minister in the spring of 1940. At 1053 pages of closely printed text, it takes some time to read, but not one minute is wasted. The style closely follows the tone set by Manchester, and the scope of research, understanding of subject matter and presentation will impress ordinary readers and historians alike. Reid admires his subject but doesn't try to cover up Churchill's faults or mistakes.

In some ways this is a history of the war disguised as a Churchill biography. About 90% of the text covers the war while the last hundred pages or so takes the reader to the end of Churchill's life in 1965. But the approach serves to place Churchill's actions in their proper context.

I don't believe that there has ever been a Churchill biography that so underscores how desperate the situation was for both Britain and Churchill during the early years of the Second World War and how decisions taken during that time could not forsee how events would eventually unfold or that Britain would even survive. Millions of people truly believed and still do that Churchill was the last bulwark standing between them and a Nazi-dominated future. This book vividly makes clear why their adulation was justified.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Defender of the Realm, 1940 -- 1965" is the final volume of William Manchester's massive three-volume biography, "The Last Lion", of Winston Churchill (1874 -- 1965). The first volume, published in 1983, titled "Visions of Glory", covered Churchill's life from 1874 -- 1932, while the second volume, published in 1988, titled simply "Alone, covered the years 1932 -- 1940. This new sweeping third volume covers Churchill's life beginning with his ascension to the office of Prime Minister in 1940. It focuses upon the WW II years, follows Churchill during the years between 1945 and his second period as Prime Minister from 1951 -- 1955, and concludes with Churchill's years of comparative retirement up to his death. The biography was a near lifetime project for Manchester (1922 -- 2004). Manchester had researched the third volume of the trilogy, prepared well-organized and voluminous notes, and done some of the writing. Near the end of his life, however, Manchester realized he would be unable to complete the third volume. He selected journalist Paul Reid to complete the work.

The result of Manchester's and Reid's efforts is a detailed, dense study of 1200 pages. The book offers a thorough, multi-faceted look at the complex statesman that was Winston Churchill, in his determination, devotion to Great Britain and to civilization, brilliance, and frequent pettiness. Because Churchill's personal life was inextricably intertwined with his public life, this book goes far beyond biography. It is a masterful political and military history of the WW II years and, to a lesser extent, of the years following.

Churchill the man is most in focus in the 50-page "Preamble" to the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been a long wait for this final volume in the three volume biography of Churchill, but it has been well worth that wait. William Manchester died before completing his work and it was Paul Reid who gathered all the loose ends together to bring us this final volume. Many years ago, I acquired a copy of William Manchester's history of the Krupp company over 400 years. This was a massive single volume work but was very readable and memorable. I subsequently read Death of a President and finally the first two volumes of Churchill's life. I have read a number of biographies of Churchill but for the general reader William Manchester's is in many ways the best. Churchill is almost viewed as god by British writers; a status he achieved through his leadership in the Second World War. But he became Prime Minister when he was in his late sixties, having previously held high office in governments before and after the First World War. This last volume of William Manchester's work deals with Churchill's life from the time of his becoming PM in 1940 to his death and state funeral in 1965. Most of the book deals with Churchill and the War. But this is to be expected. He was thrown out of office in the general election of 1945 when Clement Attlee became Prime Minister. But this was an attack on the Tory Party of Stanley Baldwin and Neviile Chamberlain, appeasement and their management of the years of depression. The country wanted a change from that. In 1945 Churchill was exhausted and had suffered more than one stroke. He returned to office as Prime Minister in 1951 but he was an old man, in far from robust health. He finally resigned when he was over 80 and spent his last ten years in quiet retirement.
Paul Reid has done a good job finishing this book and it is to be thoroughly recommended.
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