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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War,…
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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945

by Carlo D'Este

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182665,058 (4.02)31
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I cringed my way though this book because of the redundancies, mixed metaphors, and other varieties of clunky writing that crop up on just about every page. Oh, for an editor! When I got to the end, however, I had to recognize the value of d'Este's thorough research and mature judgment. A definite keeper despite itself.
  sonofcarc | Dec 25, 2013 |
I listened to the audio book, narrated by Tom Weiner. The repetitiousness mentioned in other reviews is much easier to get through if you're doing something else while listening to the book being read to you, so I think it's a good choice for this particular book (assuming you don't want to check references). Even at that, I was ready to give up by the middle of 1943 when Churchill has his umpteenth argument with Eisenhower over the D-Day invasion. Still there was much that Churchill tried (unsuccessfully) to do at the end of the war to curb Stalin that made it worth reading to the end.

This was not the first book on Churchill that I'd read, so I appreciated the focus on the military matters. If your primary interest in Churchill is military, you'll be fine reading this alone, as it touches on most of the other major aspects of his life. If, however, you are looking for a well-rounded biography, you should look elsewhere.

Tom Weiner read very well and did a good imitation of Churchill when Churchill was being quoted. ( )
  aulsmith | May 30, 2011 |
Churchill is the personification of an enigma: one of the world's greatest leaders -- a petulant little boy. But D'Este does a nice job of tying some of Churchill's more excruciating character flaws to his success as the one who stood up to Hitler when everyone around him was either surrendering or wanting to negotiate. He truly was the "Lion's Roar!" and rightfully should be credited with saving his country. Overall, I did enjoy this book, but D'Este has a habit of superlative saturation -- e.g. how many times can Churchill face his most trying episode of the war (I'll give you a hint, it's more than once). Also, there were more than a handful of distracting technical errors: incorrect captions, repeated words, misdirecting index. There is even a line where all of the spaces have been removed to form one superword. But one the whole, a well-written and reasoned book. ( )
  SquireMike | Mar 25, 2011 |
Churchill is a colossus of his time, a figure seemingly larger than life. Yet he was a man of both strengths and weaknesses, flaws and perfections. "Warlord" is a very detailed and effective rendition of the life of Churchill in all his warts and glory in his roles as soldier, commander-in-chief, politician, prophet and stalwart. He deserves all the accolades given to him in his time and in our own, but his life can function also as a cautionary tale for the narrow, self-absorbed focus that oft times brought him far short of the mark. The book is a good read, but its detail and focus on "A Life of Winston Churchill at War" is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it offers important insights that might well have been lost and are in fact lost in the broad strokes of more wide ranging biographies of his complete life. On the other hand, the detail is also wet plowing at times and can be wearying as the seven hundred page tome sometimes plods along. But, while one can learn much from Churchill's life, the overwhelming impression left after the book is done is this: Thank God there were men such as he in those times when great men were needed. We have, unfortunately, none such on the horizon of our present existence. ( )
  BlaueBlume | Jul 4, 2010 |
In the dark days of 1940-1941, Churchill was all that stood between Hitler and his goal of subjugating Europe. Churchill seemed the only human being at the time to understand this and also to understand the necessity and possibility of resistance. He said in one of his speeches, "Upon this battle [the battle of Britain] depends the survival of Christian civilization." No matter how you feel about a statement like that, and it should be remembered that Churchill himself was not particularly religious, you have to admit that this world would be "a very different place today" without him.

And there is ample more here to learn about - about Churchill's weaknesses as a strategist, about his sacking the wrong generals, and about war in general and its "appreciation." ( )
1 vote geoffreymeadows | Jun 27, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060575735, Hardcover)

Carlo D'Este's brilliant new biography examines Winston Churchill through the prism of his military service as both a soldier and a warlord: a descendant of Marlborough who, despite never having risen above the rank of lieutenant colonel, came eventually at age sixty-five to direct Britain's military campaigns as prime minister and defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito for the democracies. Warlord is the definitive chronicle of Churchill's crucial role as one of the world's most renowned military leaders, from his early adventures on the North-West Frontier of colonial India and the Boer War through his extraordinary service in both World Wars.

Even though Churchill became one of the towering political leaders of the twentieth century, his childhood ambition was to be a soldier. Using extensive, untapped archival materials, D'Este reveals important and untold observations from Churchill's personal physician, as well as other colleagues and family members, in order to illuminate his character as never before. Warlord explores Churchill's strategies behind the major military campaigns of World War I and World War II—both his dazzling successes and disastrous failures—while also revealing his tumultuous relationships with his generals and other commanders, including Dwight D. Eisenhower.

As riveting as the man it portrays, Warlord is a masterful, unsparing portrait of one of history's most fascinating and influential leaders during what was arguably the most crucial event in human history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A biography of Winston Churchill's astonishing military career from his youth through World War II.

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