The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 Hardcover – Nov 6 2012
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"[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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I had asked my wife for the 3rd vol, the WW II years, for Xmas present, but she got me this volume by mistake. Initially I was a bit disappointed, but after starting the book I quickly realized that the years leading to the war were even more fascinating than the war years itself (I have now read about half a dozen books and counting about WW I and II at the moment). Just reading page by page, year by year, about the denial all western governments were in is simply unbelievable.
But The Last Lion is more than just a biography. In attempting to capture the essence of Churchill Manchester has written some of the best material about World War I and the appeasement crisis. It is rare that historical events can be made to feel like the present, but Manchester has done this.
Both volumes of this work are well worth your money, your time, and your attention. Indeed, the only bad part of Manchester's biography is that he will not be able to finish it. It is not known how much of the third volume he was able to put together before Alzheimer's made work impossible for him, but it can be hoped that whatever he was able to do will someday be published, no matter how unpolished it may be.
Most recent customer reviews
If you want to know everything about Churchill's early years, then this book is for you.Published 3 months ago by Mark
If you are a Churchill fan, read this biography. While it is a dense read, the writer is detailed and the account of Churchill's leadership through WWII is riveting and gives a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
bought as Christmas gift for my dad. packaging was flawless and delivery was right on schedule. no complaints, would buy again.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really great read for the 20th Century history buff. Nice to know how, what, when and where things happened in the 20th Century.Published 10 months ago by Raymond
Different from Manchester's other two volumes but a good part of the Church Trilogy.Published 10 months ago by rick price
My Dad is thoroughly enjoying the trilogy of biographical books. He says he can't put it down!Published 11 months ago by Barbara B Bergen
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