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Churchill Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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-New York Times Book Review
"Paul Johnson is the most celebrated and best-loved British historian in America."
-Wall Street Journal
"[If] you appreciate clarity, authority, and verve in historical writing, you will understand why I gulped down [Churchill] and now declare it the most exciting biography I read in 2009."
-Jesse Kornbluth, Huffington Post
"Johnson clearly shares and revels in Churchill's generosity of spirit and limitless intellectual energy. He has produced a book that is a joy--and a worthy tribute to both of them."
"You read Johnson to be provoked and entertained, and on both these scores his biography, like its subject, succeeds wonderfully."
-The American COnservative
"With deft narrative skill and keen insight, Johnson masterfully sketches the phases of Churchill's life...Along the way, Johnson gives us wonderful insights into Churchill's character...Rich with anecdote and quotation, Paul Johnson's Churchill illustrates the man's humor, resilience, courage, and eccentricity as no other biography before."
Johnson's story arc is written in fluid prose that beautifully reveals the tension of achievement of Churchill's life."
-Dallas Morning News
"The book's most original offering is--in characteristically vivid prose and a consistent intelligence and urbanity--Johnson's distillation of life lessons from Churchill's storied career."
-Jon Meacham, Slate.com
Top Customer Reviews
That's the opening paragraph of Paul Johnson's "Churchill", and if you appreciate clarity, authority and verve in historical writing, you will understand why I gulped down the next 190 pages and now declare it the most exciting biography I read in 2009.
I've studied Churchill; we all have. But the breadth of the man gets lost in a handful of anecdotes and film clips. Paul Johnson delivers the big picture and the tiny detail. So masterful is his approach, so sharp is his observation, so exacting his sense of detail that it's not hard to agree with his assessment --- Churchill saved the world as we know it.
And not Churchill the God, but Churchill the extremely interesting man. Johnson piles on the detail. Yes, Churchill drank whiskey or brandy all day --- "heavily diluted with water or soda." Yes, he stayed in bed as much as possible, for as he told Johnson (who interviewed him at the tender age of 17), the secret of life is "conservation of energy. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down."
As a young politician, Churchill was asked what he stood for. "Opportunism, mostly," he quipped. In fact, he was a liberal, and very progressive.Read more ›
Most of all it is an enjoyable read, a kind of children's book version of history, but written for adults. For those who have little knowledge of Churchill and the great events with which his life intersected it is a good place to start. It is also a nice 'character' of a political leader. Johnson is not shy in recording his views and this is (as I recently wrote about John Lukacs' LAST RITES) a strength, since we know precisely where Johnson stands and we can agree or disagree with his clearly-articulated point of view.
There is a brief but attractive series of photographs accompanying the text. This is a lovely afternoon read (one that should include whiskey or brandy and soda, fine claret, champagne, tea or some similar beverage of which Sir Winston would approve). It is uplifting without being unrealistic and brings both smiles and tears at various points.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), born to wealth and privilege, was an indifferent student at Harrow, but his energy and boundless ambition carried him easily into Parliament at the age of 26 and kept him there through two world wars, the first of which dealt him a humiliating setback, but the second of which he was a major factor in winning.
Churchill's dogged advocacy of the disastrous Dardanelles campaign in World War I very nearly ended his political career. In typical Churchillian fashion, he first accepted the blame and then got up from the floor, dusted himself off, and went back to the job of keeping British world power in tiptop shape. Johnson gives a workmanlike summary of Churchill's lonely interwar campaign to wake his country up to the menace of Nazism, his assumption of power in the war's darkest hour, and his five brilliant years of leadership.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a quick read but very informative. I knew next to nothing about Churchill and came away with an understanding of his huge significance for the twentieth century. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter Parisi
This is a nice, well written summary of Churchill's life. If you already know a bit about Churchill you might want to read something more advanced.Published 1 month ago by Jason D. Sands
The book was so heavily annotated, it was nearly impossible to read. If I'd known, I wouldn't have purchased the book.Published 1 month ago by Gayle M. Thompson
A very good quick read on the life of Churchill. My wife has read extensively about Churchill, but also enjoyed this book.Published 2 months ago by Darrell
An excellent readable summary of a huge amount of information on the man and his times.Published 2 months ago by Michael Hallett
Thank God for Paul Johnson. Having read several of his great works over the years, I was excited to delve into his examination of Churchill, whom I admire above almost all people,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Quick read- but all the more profound because of it. Life lessons squeezed from the man, the message and the timing of a world in desperate needPublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer