• by Roy Jenkins
  • Narrated by Robert Whitfield
  • 37 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winston Churchill is an icon of modern history, but even though he was at the forefront of the political scene for almost 60 years, he might be remembered only as a minor player in the drama of British government had it not been for World War II. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself. Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood (writing) as well as his professional life (politics), how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other - with its changes of allegiance (from the Conservative to the Liberal and back to the Conservative Party), its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks - and for decades, especially the crisis years of the late 1930s and the terrifying 1940s, when at last it was clear how vital Churchill was to the very survival of Britain. He evaluates Churchill's other accomplishments, his writings, with equal authority.Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.


What the Critics Say

"A first-class, well-sustained work of history and a masterpiece of biography." (The Sunday Telegraph)
"This is far and away Churchill's best one-volume biography." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best of British Political Soap Opera

This is a LONG book (and thus great value for money). You get not only the portrait of Churchill as a confident, sometimes bungling, always charistmatic figure, but also Jenkins's insights into the British political scene. For instance, when he says that chancellors of the exchequer often expect to become prime minister, he making a wry comment on his own lost expectations. There is just enough analysis and just enough political gossip to make it all fun, and even to sustain suspense, given that we know how it is all going to turn out. The reader is great. He "does" Churchill just well enough to be believable, but not with such emphasis as to be annoying. I have listened to all 25 disks and when my Altzheimers does its job I'll start all over again. The ONLY negative is the time it took to download!
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- K. Ray

Churchill for the Researchers

A hefty volume that just might be the way to go for someone doing their PHD thesis, it leaves a lot to be desired for a reader just trying to get a sense of the era. While it shows Churchill to be at times pragmatic, and at other times bumbling, it dwelt too much on each speech that he gave and each bill that he voted on. Even though Jenkins made a noble effort to "Americanize" his view of Parliament, the British election system, etc., the book is probably a bit to heavy for the American public unfamiliar with many of the British terms. In summary, a interesting work for research purposes but too heavy for everyday reading.
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- Harris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-12-2002
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.