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Publisher's Summary

His friend, colleague, and esteemed political foe Clement Attlee once memorialized Winston Churchill as "the greatest Englishman of our time - I think the greatest citizen of the world of our time." More than a half-century later, Churchill's life remains proof that a single individual can change the course of history for the better and make of life a blessed and noble thing, despite public and private trials too numerous to name.
Who was this extraordinary man who rose up at an hour when freedom and right stood in mortal peril before tyranny and terror to rally the British people? To say with courage, genius, and eloquence, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"
Moreover, how did he accomplish this amazing feat? And how was it that this achievement was just a single part of a long and fruitful life in a stunning array of endeavors?
In these 12 inspiring lectures, Professor Fears presents a well-balanced portrait of Churchill that does not whitewash his flaws. Yet he also draws on the most recent historical scholarship and material from Churchill's writings and speeches to make the case that Churchill belongs with Pericles of Athens and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest statesmen in the history of democracy.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cliente de Amazon on 07-12-13


What did you like best about this story?

This is more than a lecture. This is a biography of a great man an it is superbly told. It doesn't matter if you know nothing about Churchill or if you've already read a lot about him because Professor J. Rufus Fears does a superb job with his own perspective.

Have you listened to any of Professor J. Rufus Fears’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Professor J. Rufus Fears lecture's are the best of the best. He doesn't deliver them, he performs them; he knows his subject and he is always, always, passionate about it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Thanks to this lecture I found out that Churchill was a very sensitive guy capable of crying like a child, in the middle of the war when he found out that people were forming a long line just to buy food for their birds.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ShySusan on 09-18-13

A good biography of a great man.

A number of years ago, before I joined Audible, I listened to a biography of Winston Churchill. I had heard all my life what a great man he was and I decided I wanted to know the details. To my amazement, this biography revealed that Churchill wasn't a great man at all. He was rather stupid and petty and got a lot more credit than he deserved, etc., etc. I was quite confused. I wasn't totally willing to give up my idea of him at a great man, and I wondered why the author of that biography would put in so much time and effort writing a book about a man he despised.

Toward the end of THIS biography, the author mentions that there have been a couple of biographies in recent years that basically set out to make Churchill seem a failure at everything. I liked this book much better.

Yes, Winston Churchill was a flawed personality. Maybe this had something to do with the way he was raised. His mother was promiscuous and his father died of syphilis. Both his parents neglected him terribly as a child. He was sent off to boarding school at the age of seven, and when his father traveled to the city where the school was to give a speech, he didn't bother to visit his son, even though the school was just across the street.

He was also highly intelligent and he was a true hero on many occasions. I really liked this biography. While the author mentioned where he fell short occasionally, he spent more time detailing Churchill's many positive attributes.

I finished this book in only two days, which shows how gripping it was. I didn't want to turn it off for sleep.

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 02-22-18

This isn’t history, it is hagiography

I am an enormous admirer of Churchill, and have read most of great man’s works. Churchill was brilliant, honorable and courageous, but he had his flaws. These lectures ignore or try to reinterpret these negative aspects of Churchill, turning him into a cartoon rather than portraying the very real, remarkable person he was. Look for Roy Jenkins’ superb biography him instead. It is also on Audible. It will give you a much more realistic view of the man - as will any of Churchill’s own works.

By the way... lecture 1, Queen Anne was Queen Mary’s younger sister, not her daughter, something the lecturer would know if he’d read Churchill’s magnificent History of the English Speaking Peoples (also to be found on Audible).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Alison on 11-16-17


well researched and presented and inspiring. learned much about Churchill that is not commonly known. recommended!!

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2 out of 5 stars
By Katy Alexander on 10-28-16


Unfortunately I found the professor's performance hard to listen to. There is no rhythm to his speech, there are odd pauses, then rushed, stilted sentences, and I found his voice itself quite grating. I've discontinued listening after chapter 2. Very disappointing for such an interesting subject matter.

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