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4.5 out of 5 stars152
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2011
If you're a fellow Churchillophile (nice word!) it's one of those books that you simply must have on the bookshelf...I tend to browse it every so often and always seem to find something to smile about.
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This relatively small book is divided into several sections with slices from Churchill's life and quotations related to politics, speaches, friends, animals, family, etc.

Here are few excerpts:

While campaigning in 1900, it is said that the young Churchill was doing a spot of canvassing when one of those he approached exclaimed:

"Vote for you? Why, I'd rather vote for the Devil!"

"I understand", Churchill answered, "But in case your friend is not running, may I count on your support?"

* * *

When passed a very long but turgidly written memorandum on some worthy but uninspiring subject, the elderly Prime Minister weighed the thick wad of paper in his hands and commented, "This paper by its very length defends itself against the risk of being read."

* * *

Churchill liked animals; sometimes he found this difficult to reconcile with his fondness for rich food. Anthony Montague Brown recalled that 'One Christmas he was about to carve a goose. Learning it was one of his own, he put down the knife and fork and said, "I could not possibly eat a bird that I have known socially."

* * *

A BBC broadcaster described once sitting next to Churchill as he gave a speech, keeping his audience hanging on to his every word. The boradcaster noticed, howver, that what appeared to be notes in Churchill's hand was only a laundry slip, and he later remarked upon this to Churchill. "Yes", said Churchill. "It gave confidence to my audience."
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on 1 February 2009
I bought this as a christmas present for my father who is a big fan of winston churchill, and he was very pleased with it! the book is quite a handy size and although it's not very long it contains some brilliant quotes and information about Britain's best loved prime minister.
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on 24 May 2015
Winston Churchill was an expert at self-promotion. Mix that with his enjoyment of verbal sparring, an almost unmatched ability to make the English language sing and a career that lasted nearly seven decades and you inevitably have an unrivalled cornucopia of quotes, asides, anecdotes, insults and witticisms from a single person.

And that’s what we have here: 160 pages packed full of his life. Many of them appear to have been spontaneous, delivered in conversation or as rebuts during speeches (though as FE Smith noted, “Churchill has spent the best years of his life preparing impromptu remarks”).

They range widely, from the profound to the silly, which itself is a good measure of the man. He could, as JF Kennedy said “mobilize the English language and send it into battle”, but he was equally happy messing about with it for no better purpose than the amusement of himself and those around him – and with a virtuosic ability and confidence, he was more than capable of doing so. That’s what this collection is about; it’s not Churchill’s life in words but of his words at play.

The book itself is very well put together: easy to dip in and out of, structured into broad themes but not in a way that’s distracting. It comes with enough supporting information to place comments, quotes and incidents in context where necessary, while recognising that many of them speak for themselves and that to provide references for those would smother the wit. It makes an excellent buy for anyone who’s a fan of language or of Churchill.
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on 30 April 2014
I bought this when I was at University and it is a fairly good book. I would recommend it for anyone studying British politics in the 20th century or British politics throughout WWII
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 September 2011
"We know he has, more than any other man, the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thought."

"Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all."

Known for his great speeches, he was also very witty. These are just two examples from this short but enjoyable book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 October 2012
The book is a collection of some of the more famous and amusing statements made by Churchill during his long and varied career. The author starts off with an introduction to the man and his life, followed by a timeline of significant events. The real heart of the book - 'the wit' - then follows, divided into several sections, such as politics, use of language, animals, speeches, friends, himself, nations of the world, women and the family, drink, epigrams and miscellania.

Clearly a work where one dives in for a specific quote or a short section to lighten the mood (rather than of the cover to cover variety) the organization works rather well, as the appropriate quotes are reasonably easy to find.

The only potential weakness is that the quotes do not contain the place or time in most instances, so if you were hoping for a reference allowing more precise quotation you will need to look elsewhere.

Overall a great place for the razor sharp wit and the occassional dose of inspiration or a smile.
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on 24 January 2005
This book sums up almost all the great qualities of a man who for so many was one of the greatest Englishman who ever lived. Full of quotes of indeed great wit and humour as well as thought and intelligence. Just a short read of this book will keep you in the best of spirits, and will surely put you in a most patriotic mood. A brilliant read and a must have book.
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on 18 February 2015
What I really like about this book is it is short and sweet, capturing the great orator's wit at his at times caustic best. I suppose it could have been a monster tome which in my opinion would merely have lestened the impact. To put it simply - diamonds are seldom as big as bricks! Unless the bane of our live's (the politically correct police) have already gotten there first this book should be essential reading in schools. Churchill's grasp and use of the English language is second to none!
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on 1 August 2012
Really good read! Churchill was one of the greatest of the World War II Leaders the world was made to forget because of Americanism which masquerades as true history. Very few know that the World War II was fought by Brits almost single handedly till the end when USA joined in. W.Churchill had enough guts to do it, his wit andsense of humour though very dry gave him the true resolve which very few modern leaders have.
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