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Churchill: A Life Paperback – October 15, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1088 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (October 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805023968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805023961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is impossible to understand the Second World War without understanding Winston Churchill, the bold British Prime Minister who showed himself to be one of the greatest statesmen any nation has ever known. This lengthy biography is a single-volume abridgment of a massive, eight-volume work that took a quarter-century to write. It covers Churchill's entire life, highlighting not only his exploits during the Second World War, but also his early belief in technology and how it would revolutionize warfare in the 20th century. Churchill learned how to fly a plane before the First World War, and was also involved in the development of both the tank and anti-aircraft defense. But he truly showed his unmatched mettle during his country's darkest moments: "His finest hour was the leadership of Britain when it was most isolated, most threatened, and most weak; when his own courage, determination, and belief in democracy became at one with the nation," writes Gilbert. There are several wonderful books available on Churchill, but this is probably the best place to start.

From Publishers Weekly

Author of an eight-volume official biography of Winston Churchill, Gilbert here distills his vast knowledge into a lucid, comprehensive and authoritative life of the man considered by many to have been the outstanding public figure of the 20th century. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Sir Martin Gilbert is one of the leading historians of his generation. An Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford - of which he was a fellow for thirty years - he is the official biographer of Churchill and the author of eighty books, among them Churchill - A Life and The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust. For more information please visit http://www.martingilbert

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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If you read one book, then please make it this one.
taking a rest
The official Churchill biography by Martin Gilbert was condensed by the author into this one volume, 1000+ page, wonderful book (released in 1991).
Amazon Customer
Winston Spencer Churchill is one of the pivotal figures of the twentieth century and one of the greatest men of all time.
dougrhon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Mike Powers on May 14, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century, and probably one of the greatest men in history, lived a long, rich and controversial life. Martin Gilbert is his official biographer. "Churchill: A Life" is based upon Gilbert's much larger multi-volume biography, but it is not an abridgment. Gilbert tells Churchill's story in an elegant and straightforward manner. He moves the reader smoothly from Churchill's troubled childhood, through his brief military career and into his long career as a Member of Parliament. Churchill's rapid rise from House of Commons "back-bencher," to cabinet minister was phenomenal. So were his numerous falls from power, caused mainly by his uncanny ability to alienate nearly all his political colleagues. After eight years in the "political wilderness," Churchill reached the pinnacle of British political power, becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, just as Nazi Germany launched its attack on the Low Countries and France. Gilbert's treatment of Churchill's wartime and post-war premierships is fascinating, as is his narrative of Churchill's later years.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I felt I didn't get to know Churchill as well as I did after reading William Manchester's two-volume Churchill biography, "The Last Lion." Gilbert's prose is much more "lofty" sounding and lacks some of the Manchester books' insightful analysis, incisive commentary, and historical background. Still, "Churchill: A Life" is a fascinating, if not especially penetrating, study of this colossus of British history. Highly recommended!
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78 of 85 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
The title of this review was Sir. Winston Spencer Churchill responding when asked how he thought History would remember him. He had no concerns, because as he explained he would be his own biographer.
Mr. Churchill did author many books most of which are still readily available in print today, and as far as his ability to use a pen, The Nobel Prize he received for his writings answers that question.
As mentioned elsewhere Martin Gilbert (now Sir Martin Gilbert) finished the 8th volume of the official Churchill Biography in 1988. It is also true that he dedicated decades of his life to the work. What is not as well known is that the work is not yet complete. There are 8 volumes and there are also 15 additional volumes of correspondence, personal letters, etc., that are also equally important to this body of work. Finally, there are more volumes yet to come, so this work not only has stretched decades, its creation has spanned 2 Centuries like the great man himself. It is also important to note that Sir Winston's Son Randolph Churchill published the first volume. Sir Gilbert joined Randolph in 1962, Volume 1 was published in 1966, and Sir Gilbert officially accepted the monumental task in 1968.
This one volume work is brilliant. I have read the 8-volume version, and some of the companion volumes, and to think it could be distilled into one book, however thick, would have seemed an insurmountable task. Sir Gilbert is the authority on the man who many argue was the man of the 20th Century, and one of the great Statesman of History.
Sir Winston certainly was a brilliant leader; to stop there is to not know the man at all.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No one short of Winston himself is more of an established authority on Winston Churchill than noted British author and historian Sir Martin Gilbert, who renders an intelligent, eminently readable, and carefully culled one-volume overview of his imposing eight volume history of Churchill that took over 25 years to finish. Unlike some of the other recent covers of Churchill, this carefully composed, organized and articulated work covers the entire story of Churchill's incredible life from childhood, supplying a steady stream of memorable anecdotes and constant good humor that punctuates the text and makes the usual drab early years much more entertaining and enjoyable.
He takes great pains to describe Churchill's daredevil antics early in life, a man more foolhardy than fool, a man with piercing intellect and a sardonic wit. According to Gilbert, young Winston was always good company, with an endless store of stories he spun with great relish and amazing recall. He had an early sense about the possibilities of technology, and could fly a British bi-plane even before the onset of WWI. He seemed to recognize the potential of such new weaponry to revolutionize warfare, and often took pains to tell anyone who would listen how much more dynamic such things as tanks and artillery could make the modern battlefield.
Of course, the events surrounding World War Two provided Churchill with the opportunity of a lifetime; the author argues he was exactly the right man to pull Britain out of its desperate doldrums and to jump fearlessly into the fray.
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