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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your finest hours will be spent reading this book!!!
Be forewarned. The words of Sir Winston Churchill are not for everyone. If you are too timid, sensitive, politically correct, Victorian in outlook, or do not drink, you are not the ideal audience for this book. However, if you love stirring speeches, great epigrams, and explosive wit, then Winston is your man. Divided into several sections, the first deals with epigrams...
Published on August 25, 2003 by chris meesey Food Czar

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read
Humes has compiled a marvellous collection of quotations and exceprts from the great man's speeches. Unfortunately, he rarely cites his quotations, making it difficult to put them in proper context.
Published on November 9, 1999


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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your finest hours will be spent reading this book!!!, August 25, 2003
By 
chris meesey Food Czar (The Colony, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
Be forewarned. The words of Sir Winston Churchill are not for everyone. If you are too timid, sensitive, politically correct, Victorian in outlook, or do not drink, you are not the ideal audience for this book. However, if you love stirring speeches, great epigrams, and explosive wit, then Winston is your man. Divided into several sections, the first deals with epigrams concerning subjects in general, for example; History--"A nation that forgets its past has no future." The next section deals with excepts from his most famous speeches: Their Finest Hour, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, etc. Then, Coiner of Phrases, a section dealing with famous words or sayings first attributed to him, such as Destroyer, for "light search and destroy vessel." Next, Saints and Sinners, a section reserved for his opinions of the great (and nearly great) of the world; his opinion of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George: "He could talk a bird out of a tree." Finally, the last (and best) section, Escapades and Encounters (aka Winston's Wit). Yes, here we have the famous Lady Nancy Astor story (I won't spoil it for you here), another famous (and politically incorrect) encounter with Labourite Bessie Braddock, and the hilarous story The World Is Not My Oyster, in which the eighty-six year old Churchill blames his indisposition on the oysters served at the Savoy Grill, not the numerous glasses of wine he consumed there. So, grab a glass of your favorite port or sherry (or a snifter of brandy, if you must), sink into a comfortable chair with a favorite snack and this book, and INDULGE YOURSELF. Trust me, it will be one (or more) of your finest hours.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance and Hilarity in One Package, February 21, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
While I expected to be swept away by Churchill's superb grasp of the English language and his intelligence on a multitude of topics, I was suprised at how much I laughed out loud at this book. Churchill's wit was truly timely and amazing, and it is well-packaged here.
One notable quote was missing, however. Churchill was once reported to have said, after meeting Eleanor Roosevelt: " I have faced war, and I have faced Eleanor. I prefer war."
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Words in the Majestic Battle of Ideas, November 3, 2003
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
In this book, James C. Humes gives his audience an excellent opportunity to conjure up a mental picture of Winston Churchill and his legacy. As a renaissance man, Churchill was more than a skilled politician and a gifted soldier. Perhaps more importantly, Churchill was a man of inspired words, whose work was ultimately crown by the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. Churchill often was far from politically correct and did not hesitate to say, write and do what he thought was right. Churchill's bluntness did not make him dear to everybody.
Humes first brings to light many of the great thoughts of Churchill in "Observations and Opinions." Humes classifies key words alphabetically without giving context so that readers can easily find a quote of their liking about a specific subject. Some readers might get frustrated about it if they are not familiar with the key milestones in the life and career of Churchill. These readers can read books such as "Churchill a Life", "Churchill a Study in Greatness", "Clementine Churchill The Biography of a Marriage" or "Winston and Clementine The Personal Letters of the Churchills" to fill in the gaps in their knowledge of Churchill for that purpose.
Humes forges ahead in a similar way in "Orations and Perorations", "Coiners of Phrases", "Saints and Sinners" and "Escapades and Encounters." In these sections, Humes is usually very good at giving his audience the context so that readers better understand where Churchill was coming from. Hours of fun and laughter are virtually guaranteed, especially in "Escapades and Encounters."
Churchill's witticism, wisdom and oratory probably reached their climax in the faithful summer of 1940 when Britain stood alone against the Nazi monster. Churchill galvanized by his words and actions the civilized world to soldier on when the horizon seemed hopelessly bleak. As President Franklin Roosevelt said to his aide Harry Hopkins after listening to one of Churchill's radio broadcasts during that period: "As long as that old bastard is in charge, Britain will never surrender." The words of Churchill will continue to resonate for a long time in the heart and soul of humanity. Churchill's words will further shine like diamonds in the night when humanity loses hope from time to time.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words, wit, Winston, Wow !, June 6, 2003
By 
Marc Cenedella "marc" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
I am a big fan of these types of collections, and have been distressed in recent years as series publishers have pumped them out. James C. Humes, however, avoids the path of ready material and produces a book of Churchilliana as comprehensive and broad as the man himself.
There are all the favorites here: the Lady Nancy Astor tea story, the acerbic prepositional rejoinder to the supercilious editing of an assistant, the choice between sherry and adultery, and so on. More importantly, one begins to acquire a notion of the extent to which Churchill, as Shakespeare before him did, has shapped our language, our thoughts, and our clichés: "trade no aid", Iron Curtain, and "blood, sweat, and tears."
Every page is a gem, and this is the perfect book for bed or bathroom, if you are a lover of words, wit, and Winston.
p.s. The very nice, concise introduction by Richard M. Nixon is a quirky little joy as well.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Boston, MA, December 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
This book is an excellent compendium of the wit of Winston Churchill. Often acerbic, frequently self-deprecating, but always humorous and witty while exactly on point, Churchill's humor and wit collected in this book would be of great value even to professional comedy writers. The book also tells much about the man, Churchill, himself, and his inner strength, sense of proportion, his mastery of the English language and his uncanny ability to use the English language masterfully and to its maximum affect -- the qualities that made Churchill such an effective and potent world leader during the bleakest days of World War II.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill, March 15, 2001
By 
John D. McCall (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
A wonderful album for a wonderful man. Many little verbal snapshots, but I couldn't break off reading. Lots of good reasons for reading this book. For history. For style in speaking and writing. For political insight. For personal strength. Just don't come expecting a shrine. It cites the words that saved the world. But this book, like the author's Wit and Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, moves from quotations to essays, and eventually to sometimes titillating and often hilarious annecdotes. This deviltry brings his subjects closer to us -- what's closer seems larger. This is an enlarging book.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, great for the coffee table, August 9, 2000
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
This is an amusing (but by no means exhaustive) compilation of Winston Churchill-isms. The quotes listed herein range for the mundane (On sandwiches: "The bread must be wafer thin. It is nothing more than a vehicle to convey the filling to the stomach") to the world-renowned ("...an iron curtain has descended across the continent"). Of course, he's at his best as a crusty old politician complaining or retorting (on Atlee: "He is a modest man with much to be modest about"), of which there are many examples in this little book. As a coffee table book, this is a great addition - you can pick it up and start at any page and read a few quotes for a chuckle or an interesting insight.
Hume does not pretend to have created the definitive quote book on Churchill with this volume, but it works well as a sampling. The only complaint is the lack of context from which the quotes are taken sometimes diminishes the impact. This is a minor complaint, however, and this book will supply me with quotes for the .sig file in my E-mails for years to come.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection, December 15, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
This book makes it a lot of fun to learn about one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. Delightful quotations and anecdotes! The only downside is that it doesn't give sources for many of the quotations, so it's a bit hard to put them in context. I also highly recommend a book of wisdom by Taro Gold titled "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life." Excellent.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Delightful, October 23, 2004
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This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
A compact book with more than 1,000 quotations and anecdotes you can enjoy at any time.

Here are just a few:

Violet Asquith, the irrepressible daughter of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, found a kindred spirit in Churchill, who served in her father's Cabinet.

Once, in a flight of philosophical gloom, she turned to her dinner partner and said, "Winston, in terms of infinity, we are cosmic dust - we are just worms."

"Perhaps, Violet", Churchill replied, "but I am a glowworm."

* * *

If "Franglais" has been only recently coined to describe the bastardizing of the French language by English words, Churchill may have been the sire of this hybrid argot. Sometimes his additions to the noble Gallic tongue were even more attrocious than his accent.

During some delicate negotions at Casablanca, the stubborn Charles de Gaulle denounced an Allied plan to fuse him and his rival, French general Henri Giraud. Churchill, glaring at the Gaulle, delivered this concoction: "Si vous m'obstaclerez, je vous liquiderai!" (If you obstacle me, I will liquidate you!) A bewildered de Gaulle backed off.

* * *

In 1900, the twenty-six-year-old Churchill, after just being elected to Parliament, made a speaking tour of America. In Washington, he was introduced to a majestically endowed woman from Richmond, Virginia, who prided herself upon her devotion to the "lost cause of the Confederacy." Her family were Democrats who had opposed the Repubican policy of Reconstruction.

Anxious that Churchill should know her sentiments, she remarked as she gave him her hand, "Mr. Churchill, you see before you a rebel who has not been Reconstructed."

"Madam," he replied with a deep bow that surveyed her decolletage, "reconstruction in your case would be blasphemous."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A handbook on a great man, May 6, 2003
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This review is from: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill (Paperback)
Over the past year, somehow, I've become a Churchill buff.
Here is a source of endless mirth, with quotes, anecdotes, and other trivia about a great man.
Unlike other biographies and historic pieces, here Sir Winston is presented as a deeply human character; the anecdotes, some of them quite unbecoming, only serve to make him more human, more real.
And if you are a conversationalist, this will be a deep well of quips, barbs and humor, that will allow you to entertain and liven any dinner (and after dinner) conversation.
Definitely a buy
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The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill
The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill by James C. Humes (Paperback - Jan. 1995)
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