1958-vintage. Reads several reviews before buying audiobooks. Listens mainly while commuting by car.
I have never read/listened to a biography that was so immensely filled with well-written, well-researched and entertaining information as this one.
Be prepared to spend the time on this book - it is a very long biography of a man with a very long and extremely full life that changed the course of history for so many of us.
Jenkins' style of writing is a joy to listen to and expertly read by Robert Whitfield (who is unknown to me) - brimming with helpful and elegant interpretation and ever adding snippets of information setting the tone or background of a particular event, the part played by a side character, or simply filling in to help history-weak readers like myself.
Jenkins is rather ((too?) discrete about the darker moments in Churchill's life, but they are there, as they should be in a proper biography.
Little, often humourous, comments are interspersed thorughout the book - much appreciated.
As I have not read other biographies on Churchill, I am unable to make comparisons. Suffice it to say that I have enjoyed "meeting" Sir Winston in this way (I have been through it two - and partly three - times so far) and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Interested in Churchill? - read it! Interested in history? - read it! Just wanting to be entertained while being inspired by a great statesman? Enjoy!
It is obvious that a lot of serious research has gone into writing this biography, and I have enjoyed getting innumerable little unexpected insights into the person behind the statesman.
The thoroughness, however, also means that the biography contains rather long stretches of information that I did not find interesting or to be contributing much to my understanding of the character of Lincoln.
The parts that I found most interesting concerned his upright moral character, insisting on reimbursing other people's loss without any legal obligation to do so - and then fulfilling his pledge at considerable personal and financial cost. Also, the way he learned from numerous mistakes when trying to conduct the war, often being rather too patient with generals of questionable will or ability to act, is compelling "reading".
Finally, his sense of loyalty to subordinates who tried to carry out his instructions (rather than orders) impressed me - even when they failed dismally. All paint the picture of a man of unusual integrity, of unsurpassed desire to learn from his mistakes, and of a selfless gentleness that should be challenge to every one of us.
The narrator's voice changes considerably (is it the same narrator or were parts recorded in a different studio later on?) in a few places, which I have not noticed in any other audio books. Not a problem, just different!
I do recommend this book, but intricate details of party organisation and hordes of less-than-central politicians could have been omitted, in my opinion.