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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 Hardcover – Nov 6 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (Nov. 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316547700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316547703
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 8.9 x 24.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[Reid's] palpable enthusiasm at thinking about Churchill demonstrates once again...the grip this iconic figure can still exercise on the imagination....Reid...use[s] his journalist's eye to pick up on small details or points of color that illustrate a wider truth."―Richard Aldous, New York Times Book Review

"Masterful.... It was worth the wait.... The collaboration completes the Churchill portrait in a seamless manner, combining the detailed research, sharp analysis and sparkling prose that readers of the first two volumes have come to expect."―Associated Press

"Mr. Reid...following Manchester's lead,...dutifully includes both the admiring and disparaging remarks of Churchill's colleagues and contemporaries, presenting everyone's take with equanimity."―Wall Street Journal

"This book is superb. It has tremendous pace, rich detail and immense drama."―Washington Post

"Reid has produced a third Last Lion...that is both magisterial and humane. Cue the trumpets."―Vanity Fair

"It's a must-read finale for those who loved Manchester's first two books."―USA Today

"The final volume of Manchester's life of Winston Churchill is majestic and inspiring."―People

"Masterful... [and] breathtaking....Reid...finished the race with agility, grace, and skill....This is a book that is brilliant and beautiful, evocative and enervating."―Boston Globe

"Reid has produced a volume about the climax of Churchill's career which ably captures the fullness of the story.... Reid's narrative...is straightforward, well written, and compelling."―Steven F. Hayward, The Weekly Standard

"The long-delayed majestic account of Winston Churchill's last 25 years is worth the wait....Manchester (and Reid) matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris, joining this elite bank of writers who devote their lives to one subject."―Publishers Weekly

"Those who want a detailed account of Churchill's two terms as prime minister and leadership during World War II will find this book a literary feast.....It's a worthy finale to an exhaustive portrait of one of the last century's true titans."―Washington Times

"This is surely the best installment of the [series]....Reid has written a winning, full-blooded biography."―Newsday

"Reid has written a thorough and complete analysis of these years, and it is a worthy finale to the first two volumes."―Terry Hartle, Christian Science Monitor

"Reid learned well from Manchester, and the finished book is a worthy conclusion to what must be considered one of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. An essential conclusion to Manchester's magnum opus."―Library Journal (starred review)

"A distinguished contribution to Churchilliana, giving a lively, fully rounded account that maintains its balance even while it sustains an admiring legend of the great man."―Michael Marrus, Globe and Mail

"[Reid] keeps the 1,000-plus pages turning....[he] has heeded the words of his subject, and brought the decades-long project begun by his mentor to a dignified conclusion."―Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Reid completes William Manchester's work in excellent, memorable fashion."―Emmett Tyrrell, American Spectator

"The third and final volume of a massive work of biography is a tribute not only to Manchester but also to Reid, whose courage in accepting the job is matched by his success in telling the story."―Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Critics and Churchill fans are calling it a terrific effort that was worth the wait."―Cleveland Plain-Dealer

"Churchill was the greatest man of the last century and this is the greatest biography of him."―John Lescroart, The Sacramento Bee

"[Reid] turned in a book that is well worth the wait. A large part of Manchester's popularity is the accessibility of his books. Reid has preserved that and ensured that Churchill's personality-not just his actions-come through."―Charlotte Observer

"[An] in-depth narrative that nicely conveys the challenges facing Churchill....Impressive."―Bloomberg Businessweek

"Defender of the Realm is a worthy addition to the set... This accomplishment elevates Reid to a high rank among American writers of biography and history - and makes him a literary asset for North Carolina."―Doug Clark, Greensboro News and Record

"Readers...will be taken by [Manchester's] boundless abilities as a storyteller."―Kirkus Reviews

"Reid's got the research right, down to the day, down to the minute...As Reid chronicles Churchill's private aspects-his wittiness, sybaritic consumption of scotch and cigars, and moods bordering on depression...Manchester was one of the best Churchill biographers, and this capstone to his magnum opus ought not to be missed."―Booklist

"Magnificently delineated....The story of Churchill and Britain in the Second World War...is vividly evoked by Manchester and Reid."―Winnipeg Free Press

"This is a big, rich savory stew of a book...deeply satisfying for those who have waited too long to be told-again-how The Last Lion finally ends."―MacKenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"True, Defender of the Realm is a big book. But Winston Churchill was a big man. Read all about him."―St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Reid masters the details and sweep of an extraordinary story."―Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"This biography has the dramatic punch of a great novel."―Newark Sunday Star Ledger

"This book brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense."―Ernie Arico, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

"This book reminds us to remember...[Churchill's] iron will and ability to focus."―Bob Schieffer, CBS's Face the Nation

"The third and final volume...presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of a brilliant, flawed and dynamic leader."―Betsy Teter, Tryon Herald-Journal

"Of five notable books about Churchill in recent years, the most remarkable is William Manchester and Paul Reid's Defender of the Realm."―Dennie Hall, The Oklahoman

"[A] wonderful literary work."―Bill Marriott, Huffington Post

About the Author

William Manchester was a hugely successful popular historian and biographer whose books include The Last Lion, Volumes 1 and 2, Goodbye Darkness, A World Lit Only by Fire, The Glory and the Dream, The Arms of Krupp, American Caesar, The Death of the President, and assorted works of journalism.

Paul Reid is an award-winning journalist. In late 2003 his friend, William Manchester, in failing health, asked Paul to complete The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm. He lives in North Carolina.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where to start? Simply speaking, "The Last Lion" is one of the five best book I've ever laid my eyes upon. Few man in history had the vision, courage, energy and will of Winston Churchill. Some would say that he was the savior of England during WW2, but make no mistake, he was the savior of the entire Western World.

The thing I appreciate the most when I begin a book is to learn something. Well, I learned plenty. I won't disclose what's in it, but "The Last Lion" is a treasure of fascinating facts. In essence, through the authors pens, the reader is treated with Britain's version of the second world war; the fight to repel the German invaders, the struggle to stay alive, the numerous attempts to drag the US into the conflict and so on. The reader will learn through Churchill that WW2 evolved mainly from political concerns and not from military interest. In fact most military decisions were subject to political objectives and NOT with the goal of destroying the Axis army as fast as possible.

With the war over, the Cold War started and another fascinating episode of Winston Churchill's life began...

In a Century that saw Teddy Rosevelt, JFK, Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, Gorbatchev and Castro, Winston Churchill stands above all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This SUPERB book covers the story of Winston Churchill from his becoming Prime Minister in 1940 to his death in 1965. It is brilliantly researched and written and highlights the vicissitudes that he faced, not only to bring Britain through the war, the lone bastion against the monumental horrors of Hitler's Nazi morass, but also in the post WWII world where--if HIS views had been acted upon many of the current-day problems would not exist. Other historical figures are examined, with perhaps the worst being Eisenhower who was such a duffus, unable to accept the idea that Stalin was a paranoid monster! It is a marvelous read! READ IT!!!!
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Paul Reid's completion of the late William Manchester's Churchill biography surpasses the first two volumes, as good as they were. This work is so incisive that it is like discovering the familiar ground for the first time. Reid's delineation of the main characters strengths and faults is superb. Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Montgomery, Ike, Alan Brooke, Harry Hopkins and a host of others spring to life in way that I have not encountered in other works on the Second World War. For me, there was not a page that did not hold interest; the book is compulsively readable. Highly recommended.
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This book is fascinating. You can open it on any page and become engrossed with the narrative. I highly recommend it. Paul Reid has done a wonderful completion of the trilogy.
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This is a facinating book but a way over detailed. I'm sure Manchester included every scrap of reference material uncovered in his exhaustive research into his subject.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though I'd read Roy Jenkins one volume history, this last effort from William Manchester and his posthumous collaborator is the best one volume biography of Sir Winston's war years. Brings him to life, whiskey and all, the good and the bad and the mostly great. One has a sense of Churchill as never before and although there are some decidedly unflattering moments, the greatness is there too and very much worth a look. Beautifully written throughout.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul Reed did a great job maintaining Manchester's style. Have been waiting decades for this final part of his life and found it enthralling. From it i began calculating that the Russians lost about 19,700 people per day for almost 4 years! No wonder they wanted a second front! By contrast one could almost make the argument that the allies, in comparison, lost almost no-one! Great Read.
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This is an excellent review of how Churchill was instrumental in forging an alliance that eventually brought down the NAZI regime and saved the free world from the social engineering that was taking place.
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