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Churchill: The Unexpected Hero
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Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  15 reviews
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill won two resounding victories. The first was a victory over Nazi Germany, the second a victory over the legion of sceptics who had derided his judgement, denied his claims to greatness, and excluded him from high office on the grounds that he was sure to be a danger to King and Country. an enduring national hero. The curious th ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 24th 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 20th 2004)
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Alec Rogers
Short lives of Winston Churchill abound, including volumes by well known popular historians such as John Keegan and Paul Johnson. Paul Addison's volume for Oxford Press's Lives and Legacies series, however, is well deserving of its status as the connoisseur's choice for an introduction to Churchill.

Addison succeeds because he does more than summarize Churchill's life. He frames the essential question regarding Churchill in the right way, and the story therefore becomes much more interesting as a
This is a very interesting well written, if a bit slow at times due to details but maybe they would be more interesting and more understandable by a Brit, however I will make some observations.

the Oxford Lives and Legacies is supposed to be made up of brief books. At just shy of 300 pages of copy it is brief and maybe the briefest of any biography of Churchill I have seen or read.

The author has written extensively about both Churchill and WWII.

The book is a 2005 publication and many previous wor
Considering that biographies of Winston Churchill usually span multiple volumes, I was a little concerned about how one book with only a few hundred pages would do. The answer is, surprisingly well. It hit the high points without becoming too repetitive. It did get a little "second version, same as the first" by the last chapter, but that's because Churchill's life did follow the same pattern--rise to leadership, catastrophe, exile, brilliant return, round and round and round. The bulk of the bo ...more
This is a brief biography of Winston Churchill. The focus of this biography is Churchill the man, not the day-to-day man, but the man who changed political parties twice, was the author of several war time disasters, was the friend to the working man (and woman), abhorred Stalin but kept quiet about several of his excesses in order to keep peace among the Allies, and the man who thought he was a great strategist (but often wasn't). Paul Addison does a good job of explaining Churchill to us, in a ...more
Justin Poe
I picked this up for a fairly cheap price on Kindle. I've always been interested in reading about Churchill a bit more then what I just learned in history classes and this was a good starting book. This is a fairly simple 300 page book that goes from birth to death and then a small chapter on his legacy. Clearly Churchill's life has been chronicled in volumes of books so a 300 page biography pretty much amounts to nothing more then an outline and that's what this book is. Not a lot of details as ...more
Adam Pechtel
A fast read on the life of Churchill. One major theme the author returned to was the subject's inconsistencies in statements, actions, and allegiances. Another theme was the subject's delusions of grandeur (my words, not the author's) which in peacetime were obnoxious, but necessary to repel the Nazi scourge during the War. Both of these themes offered a human perspective of Churchill that I hadn't considered before.
Quite a good introduction to Churchill. As someone with no prior knowledge of him, I found this book an interesting read. Gives a good general account of Churchills life from a neutral viewpoint.
This short volume adds a missing piece to the Churchill legacy. Addison walks a middle line between those who dismiss Churchill's monumental achievements and those who can't see his errors. This is a very balanced, though positive view of the great man's leadership in the war years. He contributed largely to his own legacy with his superb skills with the English language. His prodigious writing wed well his politics and his view of history as he combined voice of a prophet with the wisdom of a p ...more
We tend to make people so one dimensional when we look at them from the outside, and it is only when we look very closely that we realise they are as complex as us... Winston Churchill is definitely one of the more complex characters that walked on the world stage, and all the more interesting for that.
Sam  Bright
This was a little bit long and a little too focused on English politics. I enjoyed the glimpses into Churchill's personal life and his style as a leader. He was a very interesting public figure. It was surprising to hear how unpopular he was for most of his career.
Good, short biography that suited my purpose of discovering a more rounded picture of Churchill. After reading his volumes on WWII it was evident that despite the excellent, primary source-driven account of the war much was omitted.
Gilbert michaud
paukl addisson unexpectewd hero is tha last book that he wrote on churchill . shrewd and to the point analysis an very few errors . a frresh and great analysis of churchill career .
Aug 06, 2012 Allen added it
A fast-paced, engaging, and brief, biography of Churchill.
John Larrere
I like the real Churchill more than the exaggerated myth.
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Paul Addison is a British author and historian, specializing in the British experience in the Second World War and its effects on post-war society. After graduating from Nuffield College, Oxford, in 1967, Addison became a Lecturer at Edinburgh University and subsequently a Reader, for 23 years.
More about Paul Addison...
Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 Winston Churchill Time To Kill: The Soldier's Experience of War in the West 1939-1945 Listening to Britain: Home Intelligence Reports on Britain's Finest Hour - May to September 1940 The Road to 1945: British Politics And The Second World War

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