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Biographies & Memoirs

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Dr.

Dr. Bramley, United Kingdom Member Since 2012
HELPFUL VOTES
7
ratings
REVIEWS
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  • "A thorough portrait of a national hero"

    Overall

    I was a young schoolboy during Churchill's last administration. His speeches and deeds resonated through my childhood, and the popular culture rang with praise and admiration for him. As I grew up I began to realise that he had not always been the figure of national reverence that he became in later life, but up until his death he remained a largely unquestioned icon of his times.



    Roy Jenkins, although a political opponent, and coming from a later generation, nevertheless gives a well-researched and sympathetic account of his life and career. There is sometimes, for me at any rate, a little too much information on political and social facts of the time, but to those who are younger and less well acquainted with the politics and society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries I'm sure this background would be helpful.



    Robert Whitfield's reading, for me, is nigh on perfect. His accent and tone is perhaps to a modern listener a little antique, but it blends well in my ear with the era and habits of the people who are being described. It is always difficult to strike a balance between doing an imitation of Churchill's unique delivery and diction, which can all too easily become a sort of comic parody, and simply reading his words in a normal speaking voice. I think here the balance has been well struck. It is clear when Churchill is being quoted, the words are spoken in a voice approaching his accent and intonation, but the style does not approach mimicry.



    All in all, this is an informative, complete, and entertaining account of a long and eventful life of a man who was arguably the greatest British statesman of his generation, if not his century. A life, moreover, which affected British, European and World history to the profound benefit of succeeding generations.

    More

    Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roy Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (66)

    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.

    Francis says: "A biography worthy of Churchill"
  • "Charming and informative"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just as a good diplomat should be, the author delivers his observations, anecdotes and facts in a well modulated, perfectly enunciated voice. Persuasive and engaging, he tells us the tale of his recruitment into and passage through the Foreign and Commonwealth cadre of ambassadorial staff with wit and charm. Where he has failed to agree with his political masters or foreign hosts he informs us both suavely and directly. He leaves any criticism to emerge from our own assessments of the scenes and actions he describes.

    Top class. In every sense. I only wish the book had been longer, but I suppose there is only so much that can happen in even the most varied diplomatic career; and for a true diplomat there is only a fraction that can be told.

    More

    Ever the Diplomat: Confessions of a Foreign Office Mandarin

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sherard Cowper-Coles
    • Narrated By Sherard Cowper-Coles
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    In this entertaining and engaging memoir, former ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world. For over 30 years Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic front line in a distinguished Foreign Office career that took him from the corridors of power in Whitehall to a string of high-profile posts across the globe.

    Dr. says: "Charming and informative"
  • "Pretty much what you might expect"

    Overall

    To one who watched the first series of Zoo Quest as a boy (I even had the Zoo Quest board game for Christmas) this delivers just what you might hope for and expect. The soothing voice of the author tells his story in the witty and self-deprecatory style that so many of us have grown up with. His charm and modesty shine through the text, burnished by his delivery; it all slips down like a high quality ice cream sundae consumed in a swanky restaurant overlooking one of the great views of the world.



    If you like his television programmes then you'll love the book. If you don't, then you probably won't. I am a complete David Attenborough groupy, and so I love it. There are tales of exotic animal collecting expeditions, politicking in the high echelons of the BBC, and accounts of his companions in both programme making and management.



    Terrific stuff for me and my fellow groupies.

    More

    David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Attenborough
    • Narrated By David Attenborough
    Overall
    (700)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (244)

    His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series.

    Mark says: "Unforgettable David"
  1. Churchill
  2. Ever the Diplomat: Confes...
  3. David Attenborough - Life...
  4. .

Meet Harper Lee

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