This is an excellent account of how a crisis can degenerate into a war. I know the history of the Middle East quite well but learned a great deal from this book -- particularly the reminders about how worthless security guarantees from Europe and the US can be. My only criticism of the book itself is that the author sometimes takes memoirs at face value rather than putting them in the context of the motivations of the writer and the subject: for example, are a few of the Yiddish bon mots what the players wish they had said or were they really that quick witted? The narrator is good and the reading is never dull but his pronunciation of Hebrew and Arabic terms is careless and sometimes unitelligible if you don't know what he is trying to say
This is a beautifully written book. It occasionally suffers from stretching out the material to fill a book: there are just too many lists of how much black ribbon was used where. That is its only shortcoming, though. The narration never intrudes but always completes the story.
Roy Jenkins has produced what could well be the definitive biography of Winston Churchill. Others may produce more detailed works on particular aspects of his career, notably the period of his premiership during the Second World War, but this is probably the best covering his whole life.
Jenkins uses his long experience as a politician who held some of the highest offices of state, though he never made it to Number 10, to analyse various aspects of Churchill's political career. Churchill was of course far more than a politician, having also written a number of highly praised histories and biographies, and here too Jenkins has no little experience to add.
This is no hagiography - Churchill was a great, but of course not a perfect, man and Jenkins does not shy away from his faults. But it is also not a revisionist history - the author greatly admires his subject and this is clear throughout the book. I found it to be a very fair account.
The narrator does an excellent job with this lengthy work and I happily listened to the complete audiobook, enjoying the whole experience. Five stars from me for this magisterial work on one of the greatest men to have ever lived.