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Editorial Reviews

History, as Winston Churchill famously predicted, has been good to him. His exalted place in the 20th century annals has been cemented through his Noble Prize-winning memoir, A History of the Second World War. In this audiobook version of the four-volume, 45-hour memoir, British actor Christian Rodska conveys the triumphs and tragedies of WW II with a voice as august and buoyant as we know Churchill's to have been. Consistently riveting and rich in historical insight, Churchill's memoir puts the listener in intimate audience with the powerful oration and defiant eloquence with which Churchill led a continent through its darkest hour.
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Publisher's Summary

Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction. Please note: This book was originally published in six volumes:
1.The Gathering Storm
2. Their Finest Hour
3. The Grand Alliance
4. The Hinge of Fate
5. Closing the Ring
6. Triumph and Tragedy
Churchill then condensed these into four volumes, which have since been released as one, rather hefty, publication. Audible has published the unabridged recordings of Churchill's condensed volume, divided into four parts, as follows:
1.Milestone to Disaster
3.The Grand Alliance
4.Triumph and Tragedy

©1959 Cassell and Co. Ltd; ©1990 the Esate of Winston Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John M on 10-30-08

Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this.

What a gift Winston Churchill has given his and future generations. This is an absolutely unique perspective on World War II. Not only was Churchill in the middle of all major decisions made in Great Britain during the war (and was aware of most of the pre-war decisions), he also has a keen sense of history and perspective that only a few historians possess. He also has a mastery of the English language and a sublime wit that brings this already compelling story to life.

As far as this volume (1 of 3 published, 1 to go - hopefully) it is absolutely remarkable the sheer number of opportunities there were to prevent/delay this conflict that were missed or explicitly ignored. In the beginning of this volume, Churchill declares WWII should have been named "The Unnecessary War" and it is hard to argue with his thesis. But his insight into this entire process is terrific. I highly recommend this set of books for anyone interested in the War or a remarkable view into a great leader in a trying time.

Finally, just a quick note on abridgment. It is true this is an unabridged audio book of the first of four volumes, but the four volumes are a textual abridgment of Churchill's original set of six volumes (but at least Churchill was apparently the one who did that abridgement). I have the original set of six and I am able to follow along with the audiobook. I end up reading the sections that were left out in the evenings and to me they are very interesting. Those sections left out are insightful and do add to the overall tapestry of the story.

It does not make this version any less worthwhile, though. As others have noted, the narrator sounds like Churchill (or at least like I imagine Churchill would sound like) which adds to the overall experience.

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71 of 72 people found this review helpful

By Taranthis on 01-31-08


An amazing insight into the circumstances that led to the WWII. Churchill is the ultimate wordsmith and this book is beautifully read.

If you are interested in the war then this is an excellent purchase.

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By William on 08-18-09

Extremely good listening

Excellent, just excellent, I listened to this as one might to a novel,it was so gripping. I have only downloaded this title a day or two and have finished it already. All through the reading I could hear the great man's voice. The reading was very good indeed

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

By Kirstine on 09-16-11

Riveting history by a master story-teller

I couldn't stop listening to this first of four parts of this monumental work covering the prelude and execution of the Second World War written by the man who saw Britain through its darkest hours. He writes wonderfully well in a fluent and captivating style that gives a tremendous sense of immediacy to this historical record. Being of the generation born just after the War much of the bones of the story are well-known but not the details of just how near to disaster our country came on several occasions. Churchill's fine writing and the precarious nature of the events described make for a wonderful listen greatly enhanced by Christian Rodska's masterly narration. I've immediately started listening to the next part of this quartet of books.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Tony Wood on 01-27-15

Well told story

Covers many aspects of the build up to WW2 in a gripping manner. Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By manutea on 08-01-15

One of the greatest book - a must read

Tons of learnings, brilliantly narrated, perfectly written by Churchill and of course what a man !

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