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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 Paperback – November 17, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
With "Warlord," D'Este has moved into new territory, British military history. The readers should know that the story that unfolds on these pages is primarily European in nature. Although over half of this book is about World War II, the author is examining the British experience and that is a different topic from what he has done in the past. Pearl Harbor does not take place until page 556 (out of 700 of text) and even then, only as a dependent clause.
D'Este's research is extensive and creative. He has looked at Churchill's student records at Harrow and examined the papers of Lord Moran, the Prime Minister's personal physician. In between, he hits all the important archives.
The quality of coverage that comes from this exploration of the historical record is uneven, though, ranging from brilliant to merely adequate. The book is extremely weak on the World War I years. Serious Churchill buffs/fans/students will be disappointed. With that point made, most Americans know little of World War I and the discussion of the Great War should be more than adequate for general readers. D'Este also builds on this material.Read more ›
D'Este describes Churchill as in company with men "born for war," such Frederick the Great, Oliver Cromwell and his own famous ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough. Churchill, D'Este maintains, cannot be understood if one approaches him as a politician or statesman who was destined to conduct a war but rather must be understood as a warrior who realized that politics forms a part of the conduct of war.
Men "born for war," including Patton, the subject of another excellent D'Este biography, never lose their romantic and self-centered approach to war--even after confronting its most horrible conditions. Most men who experience war hate it. Men like Patton and Churchill never lose their love for it. D'Este shows that Churchill was deeply conflicted about his feelings for war. Having experienced the horrors of war first hand, he empathized deeply with the soldiers and sailors (and their families) who bear the full brunt of the horrors of war. Yet because he personally loved the danger and fighting, he wondered if he could ever forgive himself for his love of war.
D'Este goes into great detail about Churchill's relationships with his generals and admirals in WWII. Churchill tended to try to micromanage his military leaders. Sometimes that was helpful, but with a good commander it made relationships very rocky.Read more ›
D'Este's book proves that the Churchill story is still being told.
This is a good book.
D'Este has chosen Churchill's fascinating involvement with war---as a soldier and as a leader. It is a long, and remarkable story. From the charge at Omdurman to the surrender of the Germans on VE Day, the story never loses its steam. D'Este's excellent writing takes you in, and you feel like you are looking over Churchill's elbow as events unfold.
What I particularly liked was D'Este's ability to write about all sides of Churchill----the good, the great, and the occasionally misguided. He was a great man, a genius, whose many ideas never stopped flowing. Some
were ridiculous, many were brilliant. Containing Churchill was the hard part.
There were times when he went too far----but he was always there, and he held the world together when no-one else could have. For all his faults, his drive, genius, and fierce determination came through.
Another aspect of the book I appreciated was the fair treatment of Montgomery. Like many Americans, I have been well aware of Montgomery's faults. I had not been as aware of his virutes as I should have been.
D'Este has written an excellent portrait of Montgomery, and it made me understand the man better.
This book is worth the time and money. I doubt there will be many disenchanted readers. Many thanks to D'Este for his fair, balanced, and fascinating account.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What made Churchill such a great leader was his military background, he was never a General or in command of a great army. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Devilodg1969
Carlo d’Este is one of my favorite authors since 2002 when I read my first book from him : “Patton: Genius for War”. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Paolo Capoferro
A fascinating look at a complex individual. I came away with a much better understanding of who Winston Churchill was and why he had some of his personality characteristics. Read morePublished 16 months ago by M. Wright
A most informative book. I won't try to describe the individual because much of that has been done in many volumes written before Churchill's influence in the affairs of WW II. Read morePublished 18 months ago by richard e whitelock
Perhaps the author would object, but this is his own finest hour. His warts-and-all portrait of one of the greatest figures of the 20th Century is enjoyable, informative, and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by The F7 Pawn
When I was growing up Churchill was this almost godlike figure who had mre or less single heandedley won the Second World war. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Bruce
Warlord is a classic that provides a background to the one man who was indispensible to Europe and likely the world in the 1940sPublished on November 15, 2013 by john karassik
I just finished this fascinating 700-page tome. The author provides an in-depth look at Churchill as war leader, from his beginnings in the Boer war through to the end of World War... Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by ESM517