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Churchill: A Life Paperback – October 15, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 scholarly sounding, and lacks some of Manchester's flair for dramatic storytelling, and his incisive commentary. Still, "Churchill: A Life" is a fascinating, if not especially penetrating, study of this colossus of British history. Highly recommended!
Review updated June 15, 2015.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible detail, but at 1,000 pages, probably more than this reader wants. 50% through and a break. Read morePublished 3 days ago by John from Maine
I highly recommend this excellent account of Churchill's life, philosophy, triumphs and faults. this man was a giant and this book tells his story well. Read morePublished 4 days ago by RJ
This book is a detailed look at the life and times of one of the greatest men of the twentieth century. Read morePublished 7 days ago by AL
Fast moving, detailed account of the life of this brillant man. You have a sense of destiny as he moves from one stage to another in his experience which prepared him for his role... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Ann M. Miller
Once stop for Churchill. He was a giant among men. This book captures the valor that is missing from earlier biographies. Read morePublished 10 days ago by David Ellis
This is a massive, one volume biography of one of the twentieth century's true Titans The book encompasses Churchill’s youth, education and early military career, his journalistic... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Michael Lapelosa
I am still in the middle of reading this book and I think it is very well written.
I am learning a lot of new words.