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The Second World War: Alone | [Winston Churchill]

The Second World War: Alone

"After the first forty days we were alone," writes Churchill. This edition is part two of Churchill's own abridgement of his original six-volume history of the Second World War.
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Publisher's Summary

"After the first forty days we were alone," writes Churchill. This edition is part two of Churchill's own abridgement of his original six-volume history of the Second World War.

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. This is an unabridged recording of Churchill's condensed volume, broken up into four parts, as follows:

1. Milestone to Disaster
2. Alone
3. The Grand Alliance
4. Triumph and Tragedy

©2008 The Estate of Winston Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Succinct it most definitely isn't, but then if your legendary bulldog-breed leadership had won the war you'd probably take your time about it. It was originally published in six volumes (now you see why Norman Stone is the lick), but Churchill himself abridged it to four, each lasting around 10 hours. I meant to get Volume 1, but never mind - I'm riveted by events between March 1940 and July 1941, especially Hitler's detailed plans to invade Britain by laying a narrow corridor of mines under the Channel. Though without Christian Rodska's wonderful voice - dare one say it's better than Churchill's - I might just have dozed off during the statistical bits."(The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (103 )
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4.7 (36 )
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  •  
    William Castlewellan, United Kingdom 26/09/2009
    William Castlewellan, United Kingdom 26/09/2009 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    157
    15
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    "Excellent"

    I was unable to put this now until the end. Within a few days of downloading it I had it finished, which really will not do because what do I listen to until my next credits arrive? I enjoyed it a little less than volume 1 because this deals with a period of many depressing defeats. (Volume 1 had me raging against the folly of the inter war years.) I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the series. I enjoyed the quality of the reading.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstine Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom 24/09/2011
    Kirstine Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom 24/09/2011 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2338
    ratings
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    495
    388
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    1745
    0
    Overall
    "Stirring account told by a master storyteller"

    Although we know the final outcome of the Second World War this is a moving account of the dark days when Britain was going it alone against the odds told by the man who held the country together and inspired such heroism and sacrifice by the population at home and service-men and women. It makes one proud of our parents or grand-parents generation who were so stoical and brave. It must have been a frightening time of great uncertainty with many set-backs until Hitler's fatal blunder of invading the Soviet Union. Churchill's words and speeches are still powerful and uplifting and this book brings home just what a knife-edge Britain was on during the prelude to the aborted invasion of Britain by Hitler and the debt we owe to the young airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain.
    As in the first part of this quartet of books, Christian Rodska does an excellent job of the narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    a 20/05/2015
    a 20/05/2015 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Compelling first hand detail of war strategy"

    An excellent view of how Churchill directed the war. Transports the reader back to that time and chillingly portrays the danger and the fear and the resolve. Brings history to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, United Kingdom 07/04/2013
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, United Kingdom 07/04/2013 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Worth the read"

    Winston Churchill is a great writer besides being a great Prime Minister. Really good to hear it form his point of view rather than from others writing about him or the war. You definitely realise this was a man ahead of his time, and one of the few to really get Hitler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    13/06/08
    Overall
    "the rest of the story"

    A personal account, told with feeling and verve, of the details of the fall of France, the Battle of Britan and the Battle of the Atlantic. The devil is in the details as is the delight when you read Churchill. As good as 1776.

    You are there with Churchill as he asks the French generals in his poor French, "Where is your strategic reserve?", which the French might have used to counter the initial German end run around the Maginot Line. Duh, they had none(!)

    you are by his side as he and his war cabinet plans to repel the invasion, which he increasingly feels will never take place. You are there as he and his cabinet make decisions about Greece, North Africa, and the French Navy, and deal with the various outcomes of those decisions.

    A tour de force from an author who still deserves to be best selling. The spirit of the man comes through, which along with the spirit of Great Britain and America, will, one hopes, never die. Uh, a good read.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    ChristchurchNew Zealand
    01/02/10
    Overall
    "Finding hidden depths"

    Not having read any of Churchill's works before I found this excellent. The narration is very life like which helps you to hear, as if from the man himself. Also the inside views on strategic events during the war is eye opening. Surely this was a man living out his destiny. Although a keen WWII amatuer historian I found the depth of background information and political insight very very helpful in expanding my understanding of the events that aren't often discussed today.
    An excellent listen

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Donald V. Beck
    California
    07/03/11
    Overall
    "No Idea how much the Brits did"

    This is a real eye opener for me, an American, brought up on the idea that the US won the war against Germany. Here, in the great man's words, we certainly learn that Great Britain was the great bulwark against the Nazi's. To hear Christian Rodsda's narration feels like the new clips of Churchill's speaking voice.. i wonder if he did any speech pattern study before embarking on these four "World War Two" books.

    I've come to appreciate Churchill's foresight before the war, his study and thought of what might be coming and his preparation. What a wonderful confidence, not overburdening, but certainly not shy. Here is probably the most key individual in the entire war from the Western perspective telling the story shortly after the events. It's a must read/listen for any student of recent history.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Tony
    Hawker, Australia
    14/12/10
    Overall
    "Should be compulsory"

    Every student should have to listen to this - and they'd enjoy it. Churchill writes wonderfully but I think he dictated so this is perfect for an audio book. His turn of phrase is just brilliant. He gives respect where he could have condemned and his analysis is just excellent.

    I normally don't like narration that is imitating the author. But Christian Rodska is just right for this role and he doesn't overdo the imitation but does it just enough "Winston" to work. His timing is wonderful.

    There is a lot to learn from this, more than half a century after it was written.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Gayle
    Eugene, OR, USA
    06/12/08
    Overall
    "Fabulous piece of history"

    I found this book to be fascinating. To hear the accounts of one of history's greatest wars from the mouth of the most influential leader of the Allied forces was incredible. It was amazing to hear first-hand acounts of some of the war's greatest decision-making meetings. The narrator sounded like Churchill himself. The book moved quickly and did not bog down in details.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dale
    Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    25/08/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting"

    I selected the first volume of this series on a whim a few months ago. It was very good and interesting enough to prompt me to download the second in the series. This volume was simply stunning. The narrator could not be more perfect. He seems to become Churchill. In retrospect, the first volume suffers (understandably) from the requirement of recounting a wider timeline which gives a certain distance from the subject. This volume reads like a novel that unfolds step by step as Great Britain stands alone for roughly a year against the Axis in WWII. Highly, highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • dr
    greetwell rd, United Kingdom
    07/11/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History from a man who was there"

    I wasn't sure about this one

    I thought it would be the self aggrandising thoughts of an Edwardian gentleman read by an impersonator.

    In truth this fascinating throughout. Here we have the views, as seen through the prism of time, of the Man who led the free world, at least for some of his story. Some of it - the invasion of Greece- reads to me a little as if it is a little self exculpatory, but the rest, let's say most of it, is just great.

    thank you for a wonderful listen. Sad to say I would never have had "the time" to sit down with this book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marylou
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    11/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"
    If you could sum up The Second World War: Alone in three words, what would they be?

    Inspiring story of courage amidst overwhelming odds against success.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The courage of the British Commonwealth (including my country Canada) to fight for freedom ,on their own ,when the rest of Europe had succumbed to Nazi domination.


    What does Christian Rodska bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great voice - speaks with passion and articulation. It felt as if Churchill himself were speaking.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I couldn't find the time for that but would have been intense.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Sydney, Australia
    29/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Par excellence"

    This is an excellent series, brilliantly performed. So far I have listened to the first two parts, and the fact that I listened to both of them twice, speaks volumes about the quality of writing and performance. Christian Rodska is not reading a book for you, in reading this book, he becomes Churchill and talks to you. Every pause is well considered and adds to the narration. With regards to the writing, of course, unbiased reporting of an event is a myth. The soap of truth is hard to get hold of in the bathtub of history, as Sir Terry Pratchett memorably put it. With that disclaimer in place, this is a personal, insightful account of horrible events that reads like a novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JHSan Diego
    San Diego
    22/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book and series"

    Outstanding work by an outstanding character of history. Insightful and compelling. Goes op to the invasion of Russia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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