Rich with personal insights, the first part of Churchill's magisterial book covers the years 1911 - 1914 and includes Ireland and the European balance, the mobilization of the Navy, the invasion of France and Turkey and the Balkans.
©1959 Winston S. Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I recently listened to Roy Jenkins' excellent biography of Churchill. This re-awakened my interest in the man (WSC) to the extent that I wanted to hear an account of his life and times in his own words. Like most people I have known him as the great statesman and warlord of popular legend and also that he had been a prolific writer. However, never having previously read any of his works I had not gathered what a brilliant writer he was into the bargain. This account of WW1 and its origins, given from WSC's personal perspective, is infomative, authoritative and utterly compelling. It practically fizzes with energy and life, thanks in no small part to a masterly reading of the text by Christian Rodska. I gained an entirely new perspective on that grim, Great War - hands up those who knew of the German Navy's bombardment Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough in December 1914 - and I was utterly intrigued by the inside account of the exercise of power in the great days of Cabinet Government and Parliamentary Democracy. By comparison with today's tawdry governance in the UK we have a vivid illustration of what we have lost in the past 100 years.
If Williams Shakespeare had the insight of a major philosopher, and stood on the sidelines of an amazing world event, this would be the prose written
The mastery of language by Churchill is probably the high point, but that of course runs all the way through
I'm freed up to do hours and hours of other things by it being audio and not print, but the narrator's manner helps deliver the cadences of Churchill that might be lost on reading, much in the same way a professional actor helps Shakespeare digest more easily. I don't really like his voice, but it is right for the book
something over-flowery about the path into World War I, because that is what sells a film
this is really a great book for anyone who wants a view on a massive part of world history from a master historian's perspective, written in wonderful English, but it commands concentration to get the most from it. Not for my bedtime or normal chores - for long walks
Best thing was Rodska's superb Narration.
I least liked Churchill's constant vindiction of himself, he also doesn't seem to follow any 'rules' of the historian and presents guesses and speculation as fact.
Yes as it is an easy listen and gives an account of WW1, the accounts of naval strategy are relevant and interesting.
Yes lots of them, him and Jayston are amongst the finest narrators.
On balance I think so, would have liked more history and less of churchill.
it is better than the print version largely because of the masterly reading by christian rodska.
the description of how the new battleships were designed.
fabulous. better even than his wwii.
Got this as part of a research programme extending to the W.W.2 recordings and so glad I did. Gets you into the mind of the man. Compulsive listening and a treasure for researchers. Best thing I have listened to in a while historians it puts you in the place the time and the issues covered come to life in the telling. A very human history take on history thorough and at times humorous. Recommended
"Excellent presentation of a classic work"
This is an excellent reading of this work.(Nobody does Churchill quite like Christian Rodska.)
The work is an interesting but somewhat self serving view of the First world war from Churchills perspective. He had access to many documents denied to other historians initially and made good use of them.It is a nice contrast to listen to this in conjunction with Massies "Castles of Steel" which gives a different perspective on Churchills role as First Sea Lord.
My only real quibble is that it isn't made clear that this is an unabridged reading of the abridged version!(Which is in fact far more readable than the full edition.)
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