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Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War) Paperback – May 9, 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"Churchill is artist enough to realize that these huge final chords must be simple. He gives us a magnificently muted close." The New Yorker

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8 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Second World War (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (May 9, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395410606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395410608
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just had to add my two cents after finishing the sixth volume all of about 15 minutes ago. I ask my fellow reviewers who accuse Churchill of a completely selfish designation of "tragedy" on his loss of power in Britain to make sure they have actually read the right book; I can't see how it can be anything other than incredibly obvious that the "tragedy" he refers to is the inability of the Allies to halt Russian encroachment and lay the foundation for a peace which wouldn't be eventually and unavoidably interrupted by the potential for World War Three. This conclusion to Churchill's brilliant series is once again fantastic in scope and offers invaluable perspective. Most importantly, it is also incredibly prescient, as shown by 30 years of Cold War which we only escaped a decade ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Churchill's second world war volumes some 40 years ago, and I decided to read them again on my Kindle. I was especially looking forward to using the dictionary feature; Churchill has an immense vocabulary. However, I was very disappointed at the frequency of misspelled words resulting from the process of converting into Kindle format. I'm sure it was done by some kind of optical reader, and there was no followup review for editing. The misspelled words were so frequent that it was distracting in the extreme. And the Kindle books cost more than 7 bucks to add insult. Not up to your usual standards.
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Format: Paperback
Winston Churchill was remarkable, as much as for any other reason, for the sheer volume of words he produced. In a long life, during which he was often preoccupied by both family matters (he had four children) and matters of state, he nevertheless found the time to compose an inordinate number of books. I say compose, because he perfected a system during the first war, which revealed its efficacy more than ever in the second, of working through secretaries. There are many odd anecdotes told about Churchill, not the least of which is that his secretaries, sometimes working in rotation throughout much of the night, were obliged to attend to him and take down what he said, even in the bath. This way of getting the material down in print proved to be very effective, as the tens of thousands of published pages of his work amply demonstrates.
His long history of the Second World War continues with "The Hinge of Fate." Although he was personally assured that the American entry into the war meant the ultimate defeat of Germany, he still had to see to the day to day running of the war machine, and counter the perverse effects of both German victories and British pessimism. Now began, as well, the long battle with Stalin about opening up a second front in France, to take some of the heat off the Russian armies in the East. In fact, his relationship with the Russian leader is one of the most interesting sources of anecdotal references throughout this series.
This is history being well told by a man who was, while perhaps not a trained historian as such, so steeped in the history of his family and his country, that he an utterly unique point of view. The fact that he was also a central figure in the war itself, means that we have, if you like, a one in a million chance victory on our hands, as though we had just won a lottery of sorts, by being able to read him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing/literature of all six volumes is superb, but the technical aspects of the Kindle editions are absolutely shameful in the sense of their being replete with numerous typos. This does great damage to the volumes, because I would like to see all six volumes being required reading for high school students. But how on earth would the students know that parts of the volumes are so filled with mistyped words and phrases that the shame of inaccuracies renders these digitals useless for our kids to read? Shame on the publisher of the digital editions!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am going through Churchill's volumes one by one. It seems to me that Amazon has farmed out the re-typing of his works to persons who have little knowledge of English spelling. Outer Mongolians? On almost every second page there are spelling errors that make the intended word incomprehensible, utterly spoiling the reader's enjoyment. May I suggest that Amazon employ a second typist to verify what the first has done? That is standard practice in all data processing establishments.
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Format: Paperback
Churchill's fourth book, `Hinge of Fate', covers the time period from January 1942 to June 1943. The Japanese, after Pearl Harbor, were advancing through the Malaya peninsula and onwards towards Singapore. With bold offensive strokes Hong Kong, Burma and Singapore were soon in Japanese hands. In the Atlantic, U-boats were taking high tolls in allied shipping and soon the British, Dutch and Americans were being run out of the Pacific. The gains in the African desert were soon lost as Rommel regain the offensive and retakes Benghazi. Churchill now faced censure at home and soon he needed to reorganize his Generals. Hitler was pushing forward on the Eastern front towards Stalingrad and many setbacks were shifting the balance.

This volume is well named as there is much offensive and defensive struggles going on in the Pacific theater, the African desert and the Eastern front. All three Allied countries were up to their necks in trouble, and the Axis forces still had the upper hand. It wasn't until Alamein, on the African coast that the hinge turned in favor of the Allies. Churchill states that "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." Some of the most interesting parts of the book are Churchill's relationships with Stalin and FDR. Much has been written about these and it is nice to get Churchill's views and opinions about these men and the struggles they faced. Churchill acted, in many ways, the diplomat and statesman greasing the way between the Allied powers and paving the way for Torch (French North Africa), Bolero (Administrative preparations for invasion of France) and soon Overlord (France liberation 1944).
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