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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill:…
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940 (original 1988; edition 1989)

by William Manchester (Author)

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1,993198,192 (4.51)30
Alone is the second volume in William Manchester's projected three-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In Alone, Manchester challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors--at one point he had to put up his home for sale--he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement. Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history without ever losing sight of Churchill the man--a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.… (more)
Member:Daniellemjohnson0515
Title:The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940
Authors:William Manchester (Author)
Info:Bantam (1989), Edition: First Edition, 800 pages
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II: Alone, 1932-1940 by William Manchester (1988)

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This book, second in the trilogy of Winston Churchill s life, could stand alone as a history of the 1930s leading up to WWII. Manchester's pacing is intense, the drama building and building until the German invade France and Churchill finally becomes prime minister. I couldn't put this book down--it's an amazing work of literature as well as of history and biography. ( )
  Baughns | Mar 22, 2024 |
Another great volume in the three volume biography of a great man. On to volume three. ( )
  everettroberts | Oct 20, 2023 |
This second volume wasn't quite as entertaining as the first, no boarding school adventures or prison escapes. A very large portion of this book was Winston Churchill repeatedly telling everyone Voldemort was back, and the Ministry of Magic being in denial and smearing his good name. Which was very frustrating to read with hindsight, but at the same time it is easy to imagine that after the horrors of WWI, with 100's of thousands of dead, in muddy trenches where neither army gains a foot of territory for months and years, it would be incomprehensible that any world leader would want to instigate a repeat of that war, and maintaining peace would be so desirable. It was interesting to read, and think about the role of propaganda, Hitler with his, but also the need for pro-war propaganda by the allies to gain support to confront the threat of Hitler.

I listened to the Audible version of this book, and thought the narrator's Churchill impression wasn't as good as the narrator of the first volume, but about halfway through I got used to it

The ending was quite rousing and gave me goosebumps.

Another reviewer posted this article that I thought was interesting. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/magazine/the-fan-who-finished-william-manches...

( )
  bangerlm | Jan 18, 2023 |
Dad gave me the whole series for my promotion to Major in October 2021. Brought this volume with me to exercise NATIVE FURY in Saudi Arabia and read almost all of it while out there by getting up early and reading in the COC.

Another very detailed account that paves the way into WWII. Learned a great deal about Churchill, specifically his challenges with being neglected for public office and almost being a political outcast. He remained true to himself and continued to speak out against Hitler, Germany, and Britain's response to his rise. It is painful to see how many times in the 1930s Hitler's power could have been checked, but it was not. Because of these reasons, Churchill became the obvious candidate for Prime Minister once all out war was upon them and sets the stage for Volume III where he is finally Prime Minister and will lead Britain through their "Finest Hour."
  SDWets | Jan 14, 2022 |
I finished this book with several thoughts.

1. He was less than perfect. 1 affair, issues with racism (though when you compare him to Hitler and Nazi officials he's positively polite*), his bluntness, inability to live simply... they all are part of this very imperfect being.

2. I don't know the details of Manchester's illness(?) and death, but perhaps that accounts for his struggle to tell the story at times. He would get caught up in what Winston did during Baldwin's ministry and follow it for pages... and then insert a couple of pages regarding family issues that happened 2 years prior. If you're going to write a story chronologically, then tell it chronologically.

3. Unless you or I are perfect, we really can't ask that of other human beings. And as a recovering perfectionist, I'd really prefer not to project that on to others. But that means being willing to let go and forgive and that's hard. I really liked [b:Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know|43848929|Talking to Strangers What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know|Malcolm Gladwell|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1549393502l/43848929._SX50_.jpg|68174561]'s chapter on Chamberlain's visit to Germany.

4. I crave unity and solidarity... almost like I crave food and sleep. Realizing that helped me to understand why some people can be so set in stone about their loyalties. Perhaps it gives them what I don't have because I read and see too much. I devoured the last couple of pages, and would have done so literally if it would have done something for that quivering mass of despair hidden in the corner of my soul, because it was something that leaders** should do and could do... if they understood. But, currently, they don't.

5.(edit) You can't read this book and reports on Hong Kong arrests without starting to see things. Let hope I'm wrong.


*The joke about Gandhi to Halifax was repulsive.
**of both political persuasions. Let's not play favorites, okay? ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
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Alone is the second volume in William Manchester's projected three-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In Alone, Manchester challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors--at one point he had to put up his home for sale--he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement. Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history without ever losing sight of Churchill the man--a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.

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