Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
The Last Lion Box Set: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874 - 1965 Hardcover – November 20, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Manchester has read further, thought harder, and told with considerable verve what is mesmerizing in its drama...One cannot do better than this book."―The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Paul Reid is an award-winning journalist. In late 2003 his friend, William Manchester, in failing health, asked Paul to complete The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm. He lives in North Carolina.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Is this the biography I would commend to those beginning serious study of W.S.C.? No. That would be Roy Jenkins's one-volume "Churchill: A Biography" (2001), which has the merit, not only of concision, but of having been written by another Member of Parliament and Cabinet Member who held the same position, Chancellor of the Exchequer, that Churchill had once occupied. Jenkins had an insider's understanding of British history and politics that Americans Manchester and Paul Reid (who completed the third volume of "The Last Lion" after Manchester had suffered two strokes) could not possibly have grasped. If, after reading Jenkins, you are ready for more, but not so much as Sir Martin serves up, the Manchester-Reid three-volume set of about 3,000 pages tells a ripping tale with flair.
Historians will continue to argue over Manchester's interpretations. Based heavily on Churchill's own memoirs and other works sympathetic to its subject, "The Last Lion" does not preserve the even-handed distance and depth of perspective that is the crowning glory of Robert Caro's 4-volume-and-counting assessment of Lyndon Johnson (1982–2012). In fact, a careful reading of "The Last Lion"'s last volume, "Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965" (written by Reid, based on 100,000 words drafted by Manchester and his copious notes), reveals some discrepancies between its picture of W.S.C. and Manchester's own in Volume 1, "Visions of Glory, 1874–1932," and Volume 2, "Alone, 1932-40." Among other things, Manchester claimed that Churchill's alcohol intake was not excessive; Reid states that the subject's drunkenness was rare but occasionally occurred. Perhaps both Manchester and Reid are correct: if anything would set a hearty tippler on a binge, surely the Second World War would do it, if the tippler was Britain's Prime Minister. Manchester's earlier volumes raise questions about Churchill's mental stability; not so Reid's, which attributes mood swings to what anyone in Churchill's position would surely have suffered during 1939–1945. Perhaps the largest missed opportunity in the climactic third volume: though rightly focused on WW II, surprisingly few of its final pages are given to Churchill's post-war life and career, his death and state funeral, and his legacy.
If ever a twentieth-century statesman deserved as much attention as that paid by Manchester, Reid, Gilbert, Jenkins, and scores of others, Churchill qualifies. The set under review has been criticized for cheap binding. While I'll grant it is not of Franklin Library quality, neither does it command such a daunting price. Treat these books respectfully, slip them back into their attractive box, and they should last more than a generation. Reading such a thing on Kindle boggles the brain.
My only complaint is that Amazon packed this in a huge box with a couple of small airbags for packing. The 'box' of the boxed set arrived somewhat the worse for the wear, though the individual volumes are OK. You'd think that as much stuff as Amazon ships, they'd pack the products as if they understood their value.
One thing this series does is to show how some things early in his life -- parental neglect, failures at school, his inability to make friends and so forth led him to develop a strong self-reliance and fearlessness that would serve him well in the offices of government. You also get a valuable idea of the customs and traditions of the time, so positive and negative actions of that era may astound you as a 21st century reader.
I strongly encourage you to consider adding this series of books to your electronic library. There is much that we can learn between the cover and back of those books and the books do have a nice portion a humor folded in.
Top international reviews
This hardcover set is of great quality, and will look suitably regal on anyone's bookcase. As for the third volume, it is of an equal quality as the first two volumes, and Reid's writing style is similar to Manchester's.
It was worth the wait!
PS: Don’t be put off by the lengthy prologue on Victorian times in the first volume as things do pick up. Also, supplement the set by listening to some of Churchill’s speeches at winstonchurchill.org.
warts and all.There are many new revelations,some good some critical which make the man even more heroic.
It is a big task to read but worth the effort.
"I am writing to share with you my great disappointment upon opening your latest publication of William Manchester's three volume biography of Winston S. Churchill. I have heard nothing but praise for Mr. Manchester's work and I therefore purchased (from Amazon.com) the complete trilogy in great anticipation. I was astounded to note that the inner page margins are so small that its reading becomes cumbersome. In fact, I measured the margin space with a common ruler to find a mere 3/8th of an inch or 10 centimeters. There will no doubt be little pleasure in reading the first of three volumes after page 100. The first volume is 973 pages, which has the effect of shortening the margins as the reader progresses through the work. I compared your Manchester publication to your Antony Beevor, “The Second World War” publication and there is a 1/8th difference between the two, the latter being 1/2 an inch and 110 pages shorter! The inner margins of Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s publication of Roy Jenkins’ “Churchilll” are a comfortable 3/4 of an inch. Lastly, Henry Holt’s publication of Martin Gilbert’s “Churchill; A Life” tops them all at 7/8th of an inch. I have not reviewed your publication yet, but I can assure you that it reads very poorly due to the format of the printing. I would like to know how you propose to remedy this tiresome problem.