I had long been meaning to learn more about Winston Churchill. My only knowledge of him was the occasional quote attributed to him and the general sense, through cultural osmosis, that he was a great leader. I had never read or watched anything more in depth. This book was a great introduction.
Blood, Sweat and Tears, a collection of Churchill's speeches, following his ascension to the office of Prime Minister, and covering the buildup to, and the first years of the war, is an impressive, first-hand look at one of the boldest leaders of our time.
Churchill's rhetoric is pragmatic, with a sense of urgency. He sends no mixed messages and doesn't mince words. He lays everything out on the table - the dangers forthcoming, what needs to be done to counter the coming threats, and the extent of the damage being inflicted, once the war begins. Churchill pulls no punches, he levels with people that the current circumstances are difficult and that their actions must be stalwart.
There is no political spin in this book - just one leader's words, plain and simple, to his people at a time of great crisis. It was impressive to read the words of a leader who understood exactly the gravity of the situation he and his countrymen were facing, and led with such decisive and unabashed action. Historical figures such as Winston Churchill occur once in a lifetime; if even that.
The reason I gave this 4 out of 5 stars is because there were some dry spots where Churchill goes over some of the general housekeeping items of that particular month - lost ships, ammunition production numbers, changes of staff within the government, etc. These announcements were, of course, essential duties to the post, but make for boring items to the modern reader.