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Winston Churchill's seminal work crackles right along through centuries of British depravity and triumphs, just enough detail and on you go (although one might wish to hear a bit more of the condition of the non-noble common man). Churchill spices his research with a generous serving of opinion in a way that only one who has "been there" can do. While it was launched decades ago it remains a very contemporary history.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
Winston Churchill takes a period of history for which most are simply unaware and breaks it down into manageable sections, and while packed with details, his presentation is more like reading a story rather listening to a history lesson. Christian Rodska is simply wonderful to listen to and makes this great volume of information a very easy listen. The only downside I can think of is that listening to 16 hours of audio twice is a lot to handle, but believe me, you will want to, it really is that good.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
I have just finished listening to the fourth volume of this splendid series. The presentation is rather out of date now - these books were completed in the 1950s - and would probably not pass muster academically as objective and impartial history - for example, the focus on 'english speaking peoples' is a bit awkward particularly in the fourth volume which includes rather dull - for this series - sections on New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the US. He also makes no secret of his attachment to the old british empire - David Schama's history of the comparable period makes for an interesting contrast ( though I have not yet listened to the audio version).
But you cant take away the wonderful prose, which draws you into the books like an adventure, and the story is told with great style and verve. I believe also that Churchil dictated his books to his secretaries and this results, I think, in them being particularly well suited to being read out lound - and Christian Rodscka reads them with great flair and clarity. Listeners to the BBC's 'this sceptred isle' will be familiar with these books and if you enjoyed the former you should certainly get great pleasure from the latter. I shall certainly listen to them again in the future.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
I follow a few historical podcasts, and they both mention this series. I can see why. Sir Winston was a man of a great many talents, and though some of his history writing is coloured by his experiences, and in some cases his lack of detailed knowledge, he does a fantastic job in creating a coherent overview of the history of the english speaking peoples. I feel that all history students from year 7 should have to read through this - added to the Horrible histories that kids are watching now, we might have a generation who actually know something of their history. Well worth listening to, I'm on the second and planning on buying 3 and 4 - especially as Churchill was involved with the later history directly!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This was good in every way, except it almost completely concentrates on the royalty of the time. Churchill makes it clear that the situation in the country side, and the evolution of technology, government, and social structure among the commoners of England seemed to have played a huge roll in the destiny of Britain. And yet, he barely talks about what was going on there and how that all arose. Instead the entire story is about the nobility and the family feuds they had. Non the less, it is so well written that it is fascinating.
Also the performance by Christian Rodska was amazing. One of the best I've ever heard.