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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill [Paperback]

William Manchester
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: £13.86
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Book Description

1 Mar 2001
In this powerful biography, the middle volume of William Manchester’s critically acclaimed trilogy, Winston Churchill wages his defining campaign: not against Hitler’s war machine but against his own reluctant countrymen. Manchester contends that even more than his leadership in combat, Churchill’s finest hour was the uphill battle against appeasement. As Parliament received with jeers and scorn his warnings against the growing Nazi threat, Churchill stood alone—only to be vindicated by history as a beacon of hope amid the gathering storm.
Praise for The Last Lion: Alone
“Manchester has such control over a huge and moving narrative, such illumination of character . . . that he can claim the considerable achievement of having assembled enough powerful evidence to support Isaiah Berlin’s judgment of Churchill as ‘the largest human being of our time.’”The New Yorker
“Memorable.”San Francisco Chronicle
“Stirring . . . As Manchester points out several times, it’s as if the age, having produced a Hitler, then summoned Churchill as the only figure equal to the task of vanquishing him. The years Alone are the pivotal years of Churchill’s career.”The Boston Sunday Globe
“The best Churchill biography [for] this generation . . . Even readers who know the basic story will find much that is new.”Newsweek
“A triumph . . . equal in stature to the first volume of the series.”Newsday
“Vivid . . . history in the grand manner.”—The Washington Post
“Compelling reading.”The Times (London)

Frequently Bought Together

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill + The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 + Winston Churchill 1:Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill - Visions of Glory, 1874-1932
Price For All Three: £30.28

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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (1 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385313314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385313315
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,942 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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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester is the best and shows it again here 11 April 1999
By A Customer
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A grand historical sweep 18 Mar 1998
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest biographies ever written 6 Nov 1997
By A Customer
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
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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By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great book. Just the best!! 15 July 1998
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have ever read. 13 Jan 1998
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 9 days ago by David Ward
3.0 out of 5 stars an overrated book
the two volumes of mr manchester on churchill made churchill being known by millions. true but historical mistakes exists in this book. you want to really know sir winsto. Read more
Published on 7 April 2008 by Gilbert Michaud
5.0 out of 5 stars I long for Volume 3
I have never been an amateur of history. This author is a master in my view. I could not let either volumes down ! Read more
Published on 8 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental, terrific work
Manchester's first two volumes on Churchill make for some of the most compelling biography ever written on one of history's largest figures. Read more
Published on 5 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book!
This book is just awe inspiring. To anyone out there who is wondering about the third book, I believe it is _not_ in the works. Read more
Published on 2 April 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent History of Churchill's Wilderness Years
As one reads William Manchester's second volume on Churchill, one is struck by Churchill's uncanny grasp of the threat of Nazi Germany, and his many attempts to warn Britain of... Read more
Published on 29 Sep 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more than a biography--you become steeped in the time.
William Manchester does much more here than tell the story of perhaps the greatest person of the 20th century--he transports you back to the pre-WWII England to see the events that... Read more
Published on 22 May 1998
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