The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940 : Last Lion

  • by William Manchester
  • Narrated by Richard Brown
  • Series: Last Lion
  • 36 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This second volume in William Manchester's three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, and dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the pusillanimous British and French policy of appeasement.Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history, without ever losing sight of Churchill the man - a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.


What the Critics Say

"Manchester is not only a master of detail but also of 'the big picture'....I daresay most Americans reading The Last Lion will relish it immensely." (National Review)
"[Manchester] can claim the considerable achievement of having assembled enough powerful evidence to support Isaiah Berlin's judgment of Churchill as the largest human being of our time." (Alistair Cooke)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Senseless change of narrators

Volume 1 of The Last Lion is one of the top five Audible books among the hundreds I have experienced. Manchester's scholarship is astounding, and the story of this great man's life and times is endlessly fascinating. That much remains true in Volume 2, but the book is tragically diminished by the narration of Richard Brown.

Frederick Davidson, the narrator of Volume I, was absolutely perfect. When Manchester quoted Churchill, Davidson spoke in Churchill's own voice. It was as if someone had recorded Churchill, himself, for each statement. Churchill's humor and emotion come through as if he were speaking directly to the listener. Brown, on the other hand, cannot even begin to imitate Churchill's intonation and cadence, much less the subtler meanings behind the words. As a matter of fact, Brown would have been better off, as would the listener, if he had not even tried. If he had just read Manchester's words, it would not have come off as so, well, amateurish. The only thing Brown's rendition of Churchill and Churchill himself have in common is an English accent.

It is deeply disappointing. I am hoping that I can convince myself to finish this volume, simply for the historical information it can provide. However, that's a far cry from the way I felt about Volume I, when I could scarcely force myself to turn off my Nano early enough to get a decent night's sleep. I feel like a kid who got stiffed by Santa. I just don't get it. Whoever decided that ANYONE other than Frederick Davidson should render this work needs his (her?) head examined.
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- S. Horn "Say something about yourself!"

Worth it

Manchester does such a good job of bringing this period to life it is an excellent listen.

And surprisingly you will also find a few wry smiles in his work.

I enjoyed it better than the first volume, which dealt WSC's younger life. It too is good but not a period I'm truly interested in.

This takes us to up to WSC becoming PM. I don't believe Manchester wrote the 3rd volume where Winston is actually war Prime Minister.

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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.