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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 [Hardcover]

William Manchester , Paul Reid
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 9 2012
Spanning the years of 1940-1965, THE LAST LION picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister-when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. THE LAST LION brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America's beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States.

More than twenty years in the making, THE LAST LION presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.

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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

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A formidable piece of work. Oct. 20 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I particularly liked the whole Churchillian tone and power of the words and the ideas behind those words.
To have a large book available in a light, manageable package is a trea for me.
I like to read.
Reading a Kindle is relaxed reading.

William M Langstroth
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this book Dec 22 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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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5.0 out of 5 stars second front May 18 2014
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Western World's savior Nov. 24 2013
By Marc Ranger TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Start here! Sept. 8 2013
By Charles
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great read about a great man. I read them in reverse order, starting with The Last Realm, then Volume 2 and finally volume 1. It was by accident, because I had received The Last Realm as a gift. However, for me, because my interest in Churchill was because of my interest in the WWII years, it was best to start there and work back. In retrospect, I would recommend this to all, as starting in volume I might not create the interest to move forward. But getting and insight into the man during the "best known" era, makes the earlier reads very interesting and relevant.

Thanks,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the last of the Trilogy. May 18 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Best written book of the three! Paul Reid did an amazing job of picking up where Manchester left off. Ties all of the loose ends together from vol. 1 and 2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. May 13 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very long, but a great read. It gave me a better understanding of WW II and Winston Churchill's role within it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE Hero, despite his feet of clay
This SUPERB book covers the story of Winston Churchill from his becoming Prime Minister in 1940 to his death in 1965. Read more
Published 14 months ago by D. A. Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental!
Paul Reid's completion of the late William Manchester's Churchill biography surpasses the first two volumes, as good as they were. Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Lion
A must read for followers of Winston Churchill and World War two in Eorope.could not put the book down despite it's length. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ken Foxcroft
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a highly recommended read.
This book "The Last Lion" Vol. III is a most interesting read which I recommend highly. What a brilliant portrayal of such an important leader to the history of the world.
Published 15 months ago by Terrence R. P. Totzke
5.0 out of 5 stars The last, best history
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... Read more
Published 15 months ago by rotmanpr
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Churchill should inspire us all to be loyal and committed to doing what is right. I shudder to think what would have happened if Churchill had not taken the helm during the war.
Published 16 months ago by Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Lion
Excellent portrait of the era, the secular aspect, downfall of the empire and the complicated and realistic personality of Churchill.
Published 17 months ago by VICTORIA Y CHAN
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