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The Gathering Storm: The Second World War, Volume 1 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) [Kindle Edition]

Winston Churchill
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (496 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

Winston Churchill’s monumental The Second World War, is a six volume account of the struggle between the Allied Powers in Europe against Germany and the Axis. Told by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, this book is also the story of one nation’s heroic role in the fight against tyranny. Having learned a lesson at Munich they would never forget, the British refused to make peace with Hitler, defying him even after France had fallen and it seemed as though the Nazis were unstoppable.

What lends this work its tension is Churchill’s inclusion of primary source material. We hear Churchill’s retrospective analysis of the war, but we are also presented with memos, letters, orders, speeches, and telegrams that give day-by-day accounts of the reactions as the drama unfolds. We listen as strategies and counter-strategies unfold in response to Hitler’s conquest of Europe, his planned invasion of England, and his assault on Russia. All contrive to give a mesmerizing account of the crucial decisions that must be made as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

While in some ways a continuation of Churchill’s history of World War I, The World Crisis, The Gathering Storm is his attempt to understand the terrible circumstance that gave rise to Nazi Germany and a second, even more destructive world conflict. Churchill was perhaps the only person who held such prominent positions of power in both world wars and as such, was uniquely qualified to tell the story from war to peace and back again.

The Gathering Storm covers the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the capitulation of Munich and the entry of Britain into the war. This book makes clear Churchill’s feeling that the Second World War was a largely senseless but unavoidable conflict.

Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 in part because of this awe-inspiring work.


Winston Churchill was born in 1874 and was one of the most significant leaders of the twentieth century. He acted as a war correspondent during the Boer War and after his capture and release, Churchill became a national hero in England, parlaying that celebrity into a political career becoming elected to the Conservative Party. Churchill joined the Liberal Party in 1904. Churchill’s career was volatile during the 1920s and ’30s owing, in part, to his support of the abdication of King Edward VIII, but when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, Churchill was reappointed Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1940, Churchill succeeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister and remained in office until 1945. Churchill successfully guided the nation through World War II, mobilizing and inspiring the British people as well as forging strong ties with American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Churchill remained in Parliament and was re-elected in 1951 and did not resign until 1955 when he was eighty years old.

After retirement, Churchill remained incredibly active, spending his time writing, publishing The History of the English Speaking People and more. That work, along with his six volume history of World War II and The World Crisis, his history of World War I, earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. In 1963 Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen. He died in 1965 at the age of ninety.


RosettaBooks’ collection of Churchill's best writing is gathered together here, reflecting his first-hand experience, notations, speeches, and journals. Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in large part due to the writing reflected in these important books that journal the everyday happenings and relationships between the Axis and the Allies during World War II and other major 20th century conflicts.

Editorial Reviews Review

Winston Churchill was not only a statesman and leader of historic proportions, he also possessed substantial literary talents. These two factors combine to make The Gathering Storm a unique work. The first volume of Churchill's memoirs, this selection is broken into two parts. The first, "From War to War," consists of Churchill's critical observations on the settlement of World War I and its place in the causes of the Second World War. The second volume contains letters and memoranda from the British government--of which Churchill was part--as the country plunged unprepared into war. This stands as the best of history: written as it was made, by the man who made it.


"It is our immense good fortune that a man who presided over this crisis in history is able to turn the action he lived through into enduring literature." The New York Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 3431 KB
  • Print Length: 756 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 039541055X
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (June 30, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XVYLF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,311 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
405 of 432 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tiepoes galoore June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased the six volumes of this set for my Kindle even though I have the work in hardback. Winnie is quite a stout fellow even when he's only print on paper, most volumes running around 800 pages. Kindle seemed a great way to make him portable instead of portly. I am on my fourth reading of the collection with one of those being this digital version. The works themselves are a unique insight to WWII at the highest level and I recommend them to anyone with an interest in this subject. My negative review is NOT about the writing or the subject matter. I am appalled at the number of typographical errors in the Kindle versions. In the Third volume there is literally at least one on every page of the first half of the book. Throughout the volumes the last name of the French Admiral Darlan is misspelled. Place names, unit designations, conjunctions, prepositions, nouns and verbs are butchered throughout the works. In addition the maps displayed very poorly on my Kindle. It is a shame that these books have been so shabbily converted to digital format. I repeat these errors are rife throughout all six volumes. If I were unfamiliar with the work there are passages that would be meaningless because of the errors. Don't waste your money on the Kindle version.
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107 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterul use of english language to tell a great story September 27, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As with virtually everything he did in life, Winston Churchill wrote his six volume history of the Second World War with many goals: As the Prime Minister of Britain (and--equally importantly--a member of the "right" class), Churchill had access to volumes of original documents. As the Prime Minister during the War, he was in a unique position to understand the relationship of those documents to real events. As a central actor, he had a huge incentive to prepare the first draft of place himself in the best possible light. As a conservative politician out of power when he wrote, he sought to warn the world of the looming communist menace. Finally, as a long time practitioner of written English, he had an unparalleled command of the language. In this volume, Churchill successfully blends together all of these personas to create an absolutely riveting history of the prelude to the Second World War--from the close of World War One to the invasion of Belgium.
Churchill's mastery of English is reason enough to read this book. For example, in describing the British government's constant debates over what to do about German rearmament, Churchill says the British were "frothing pious platitudes while foeman forge their arms". Very seldom do I have to turn to a dictionary while reading, but Churchill sent me there regularly.
But do not think that this is just a book to be read to enjoy his use of language. His detailed account of how we got into the Second World War, and how we might have avoided it, is incisive and persuasively argued. And always watch for the subtext--his warning that the appeasement on Germany was then (in the 1950's) being repeated in the appeasement of the Soviet Union.
Churchill's weakness flows directly from his strength.
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109 of 117 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but the Kindle edition is lacking December 14, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sadly, the Kindle Edition of this work fails to do it justice. Churchill has dotted this text with numerous charts and tables illustrating the progress of the war, and every single one of them is completely illegible. The Kindle edition has included them at a shamefully useless resolution, and so I must suggest that any interested reader buy a different edition. I am very disappointed in this purchase.
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105 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical accuracy and personal experience February 17, 2000
Churchill's book is really astonishing, not only for the sheer size, but for the vast expand of knowledge displayed and the personal experience behind it. Churchill includes hundreds of documents and thus gives ample proof of what he writes. His strongest moments are his criticism of British appeasement policy and the account of 1940/41, where his will to survive and his pertinacity can still be felt through the pages. His personal experience is always there, though he refrains from giving his readers too many anecdotes. In spite of the fact the everything was written very shortly after the war, most things are quite accurate, though the pages on Nazi Germany are not always enlightened. But - being German - I have never felt any hatred towards my people as a whole and one can well join in with his disgust of Germany at that time. The book, or rather books, never bore. An absolute masterpiece of historical writing.
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144 of 158 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quality of this edition is BAD September 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is great. However it was clearly scanned poorly and went through no revisin or proofing whatsoeber. Any publishing house should be embaraced by this edition.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
I bought Churchill's 6-volume history of the Second World War many years ago, but did not find the strength to begin reading it until some time later. The effect was immediate. Although it took me over a year to read all of it, that was only because I have long had the habit of reading a number of books concurrently. I simply couldn't put Churchill down. To say that the story of World War II is a gripping one, is to put it mildly. How much more gripping do you think it might be in the hands of that one unique individual who was both one of the central players and the recorder of the events themselves. At times, I found myself actually wanting certain historical events to go in favour of the Allies although, naturally, I already knew the outcome! Such is the effect of Churchill's writing.
In the second volume "Their Finest Hour," Britain was holding the fort against Hitler alone. After Dunkirk, spirits were low all over the place and the value of Dr Goebells's secret weapon was able to come into play with great effect. One can imagine the feeling of the citizenry of Britain at that time, trapped as they felt themselves to be in that little island, with an unbeaten army just across the channel snarling at them. The whys and wherefores of the actions of both Hitler and the German General Staff at that time, can be discussed until you are blue in the face. The fact is that, although most people on both sides of the Atlantic thought they were about to hop across and finish the job, the Germans hesitated, mainly for lack of a plan, and lost the chance. I don't know for sure if Churchill also thought the British might have been defeated in July, August or September of 1940, but from the end of that odd period of stalemate, he never looked back.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the first of his six volumes. He gives his ...
the first of his six volumes. He gives his readers a lot to think about. He doesn't mince words. A real "inside look" at WW II.
Published 4 days ago by womack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really good narrative of the events and people of that time.
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this as a prelude to all other histories of WWII.
The forward is great by itself: Churchill saw himself as a fairly unique observer, having been at the highest levels of the UK government during the two large conflicts of the 20th... Read more
Published 15 days ago by ..
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you say about one of the great authors and men of our times
What can you say about one of the great authors and men of our times. He was a truly inspirational man and one with incredible foresight as he demonstrates with his published... Read more
Published 21 days ago by John Kloempken
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent in all ways
Published 21 days ago by Mary Sylvia Brennan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed account of the opening stage of the European theatre
While Churchills account of the war might be regarded on a negative light, since he had a prominent position throughout those years, His mastery of the written word an access to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diego Sales
4.0 out of 5 stars A Recommended Read
An interesting look into the thinking of Churchill and his insight into things to come. This book is much better than the movie.
Published 1 month ago by Sore Foot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sounds like what is happening today. I commend it to your attention.
Published 1 month ago by Fred B. Shaffer, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars World war two from the perspective of one who foresaw it
This book covers the missed opportunities, the weak arguments that echo even today, the intense buildup that a dictator bent on conquest is capable of, and the difficulties a free... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dave M
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i love this author.
Published 1 month ago by Alejandra G. Sanchez
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