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4.2 out of 5 stars
12
4.2 out of 5 stars
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This a book which I thoroughly enjoyed despite not developing any great warmth towards its author . At its heart what makes this book so fascinating is its endless stream of revelations , some well-known , some half guessed at , others quite new . My only slight criticisim is that , featuring Eden and Macmillan on its cover , the book only mentions both men as mere asides .

I greatly enjoyed the chapter detailing Churchills relationship with the Royal family . The Queen Mother bearing grudges? Surely not ? Roberts analaysis of Mountbatten was equally revealing . I recall the television series that Mountbatten made , which Roberts mentions , and remember how it gave the strong evidence of Mountbatten's over-inflated opinion of himself . Roberts illustrates that it was , indeed , a vastly over-inflated opinion .

The chapter dealing with the opposition Churchill faced from within the Conservative Party after becoming Prime Minister is truly fascinating . I was unaware of the extent to which , until his terminal cancer became known , Chamberlain remained the subject of backbench and grandee plots to restore him to the premiership .

Roberts covers the subject of appeasers and plotters for a peace deal with Germany in 1940 well . Indeed he has me eagerly awaiting the release of government papers under the seventy-five year rule in January 2016 . I wonder what they will reveal about Bryant , Butler and others ?
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on 2 October 2016
Fascinating writing by a superlative historian. That's the writing. I bought this in paperback and for £12.99 it is a disgrace. Close packed type and deplorable reproductions for the photographs. However, if you ignore that annoyance and take it for its content it is a revelation. I am of a generation whose parents believed Mountbatten to be a national hero. How wrong they were. From this account Uncle Dickie was very Tricky. I loved the remark that if he had eaten a nail Mountbatten would have s*** a corkscrew, so bent was he. Today's immigration problems are underlined by the indecision of Churchillian ministers of the 1950's. Firm decisions then might have settled the immense problems we face today. Highly recommended but overpriced as a paperback.
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on 6 September 2015
Having so loved his Salisbury, I was rather disappointed by this earlier book. Though excellent and very interesting on George VI, and on Mountbatten, and the Tories in 1940, there was a distinct (and rather exhausting) feeling of every bit of research having to be crammed in lest his judgment be doubted, very different from the concise razor-sharp elegance of Lytton Strachey, his model here. I never got as far as Arthur Bryant, but am looking forward in hope to the Holy Fox.
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on 14 November 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Andrew Roberts has strong biases but even if one were to disbelieve half of what he writes, the judgement on the various characters arraigned in the dock, so to speak, must be harsh. George VI was at best a naive fool; Mountbatten - the worst of the lot - was a scoundrel, a liar, foolhardy with men's lives; Monckton was a weak man who allowed trade union power to enlarge dangerously; Bryant had dubious political sympathies.

Sometimes such books can be tiresome because the author so obviously wants to show that X or Y had feet of clay. Yet given the scale of the problems facing Britain in 1940-55, the faults of the men portrayed in this book need to be focused on. Mountbatten comes out of this book particularly badly. First class history writing.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2007
Gung ho and full of spirit and bile - a great read giving lots of insight into the period - the end of Empire and rise of/battle with Fascism and Communism. He certainly takes on where our forebears left off, what with this emulating Strachey's Eminent Victorians; and more recently his History of English Speaking Peoples since 1900, picking up where Churchill left off. What a writer but by no means one in thrall to Guardian readers!

Particularly interesting was the chapter on Mountbatten and the mess he made of Indian independence and partition with Pakistan.
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on 9 April 2017
Quality was not as described. Badly marked cover, a plastic clip attached to and squashed between pages leaving distortion and pages edges brown. World Books took a little while to respond, asked for photos and I heard nothing more. A cheap, used book but a disappointing as did not match my expectations.
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on 1 October 2014
I have to say that I don't warm to Andrew Roberts. But having said that, his Eminent Churchilians should rate as one of the most important historical works of the 20th century.
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on 16 February 2015
Excellent service and book
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on 10 April 2015
Fascinating
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on 24 October 2015
good
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