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The World Crisis 1911-18

Part 1 - 1911 to 1914
Narrated by: Christian Rodska
Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (151 ratings)

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Summary

Winston Churchill's superlative account of the prelude to and events of the First World War is a defining work of 20th-century history. With dramatic narrative power Churchill reconstructs the action on the Western and Eastern Fronts, the wars at sea and in the air and the advent of tanks and U-boats.

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.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Graham
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 03-02-10

Living History

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.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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wonderful <br />

could not have picked a better narrator. I felt as if it could have been Churchill himself reading to me. A marvellous performance throughout

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Everyone should read this book!

A personal account, read with great verve, giving insight into a great mind. Entertaining at times, educational at others, always interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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PERFECT READER!!!

An absolute unique performance; in an unusual approach to producing an audiobook, this recording have the history and the book, by Winston Churchill, rendered in a true, real-life voice approach by performer Christian Rodska. What could easily have turned into a farce, the marvelous performance by reader Rodska, not only saves the book, but brings the life and times of Winston Churchill so instantly into his own entire story of WW1. The book is a masterpiece of valuable first-hand insight by Churchill. The reading is a unique reenactment of Churchill himself in the given time-period of the history.

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Fascinating insight to the lead up to WW1

Absolutely fascinating insight into the start of WW1 and the naval actions that followed. The book also gives an the reader an understanding into the personalities of the men involved and their reasoning which lead to the actions that they took.

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epic

super epic telling from a detailed source. completely bias, unforgivingly self-aggrandizing. but epic to the extreme

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good historical book

a good historical book relaxing voice takes you back enjoyable book not yet colected all as yet0

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Outstanding and essential history account

Played it at 1/2 speed on device. Much more Churchillian like and easier to grasp the multitude of facts.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not as good as Dan Carlin

Would you try another book written by Winston Churchill or narrated by Christian Rodska?

Possibly but I did not get the next two volumes in this series as I intended to.

Would you ever listen to anything by Winston Churchill again?

Again possibly but not if he features as a character in the events described himself. He tells us far more about what he did and why, in spite of appearances it was a thoroughly good idea. In this book we get far too much about the navy ( which he as author finds interesting ) and far too little about the events I actually read the book to learn about

Did Christian Rodska do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

He should either go full on and do a Churchill impression or read it more naturally.

Do you think The World Crisis 1911-18 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Well there are two of them, but I haven't been tempted to get them

Any additional comments?

A far more interesting commentary on the events covered can be had for nothing on Dan Carlin's hardcore history podcast site

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MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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

What was one of the most memorable moments of The World Crisis 1911-18?

The mastery of language by Churchill is probably the high point, but that of course runs all the way through

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

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

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

something over-flowery about the path into World War I, because that is what sells a film

Any additional comments?

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

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  • chris
  • 13-12-09

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.)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful