Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Great Democracies (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #4)” as Want to Read:
The Great Democracies (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Great Democracies (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples #4)

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  369 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The Bishop's House was a comfortable, double dwelling of a smooth, bright red brick and large, plate-glass windows, situated in a plot at the western end of Waverley Place. It had been bought by the Diocese in the nineties, and was representative of that transitional period in American architecture when the mansard roof had been repudiated, when as yet no definite types ha ...more
403 pages
Published December 1958 by Orion Publishing Co (first published 1958)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Great Democracies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Great Democracies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 984)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 18, 2012 Elle rated it it was amazing
This was a really good overview of English and American history. I have now read both the first in the series, A History Of The English Speaking Peoples, Volume I: The Birth of Britain, and this volume. I learned a lot of 19th century British history that I had heard almost nothing about, and also about Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. His section on the American Civil War and Reconstruction was superb. I understood some of the battles like I never had before. I like Wins ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
At last, I managed to finish Churchill's History. I can tell that he intended to tell this story to unite the English speaking peoples in an alliance against the threat of Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism. The history outlines the common heritage of the people inhabiting the British Isles, and all the lands they colonized. It also records all the internecine conflicts between them, from the Anglo-Saxons vs. the Britons, to the American Civil War. He recognizes that despite their common roots, Eng ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 04, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Review title: Churchill opens the 20th Century--with a bang

In the final volume, Churchill brings his history up to the opening of the 20th Century (for an interesting extension of Churchill's outline to the end of the century, read Andrew Roberts fine effort

The job gets harder as the current of the English-speaking people broadens and deepens in imperial reach around the globe. Ireland supports rapid growth, then suffers famine, immigration, and religious warfare. South Africa expands across the
Dec 25, 2014 Stefan rated it really liked it
Despite being clearly Anglo-Centric (It is the History of the English Speaking Peoples after all) Churchill's brilliance is not to be denied here. He moves swiftly from lively discussions of British Parliamentary debates and feuds over domestic policy, to the depths of the American Civil War and aftermath which he relates with impressive detail. This is an overview history, told in the old style. Progress trudges ever forward; great men grab the reins and steer it one way or the other. This is n ...more
Jeni Enjaian
I was unaware that this was the fourth in a series. I will definitely be adding the first three to my list if for no other reason than to gain a better understanding of it's author.
Churchill demonstrates both his skill and shortcomings as a historian in this work. For example, some of his vocabulary illustrates both the views of time period he was raised in and some of his own prejudices.
Additionally, the narrative feels a bit too heavily weighted towards America than I expected or wanted. I'm
Lexxi Kitty
Took me a while to get to it, but I've finally started and then completed the final volume in the Churchill 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples' series.

A rather 'neat' comprehensive series that covers more history than other books I've read on English history. Though it was also wasn't exactly as deep as some of the others I've read.

I learned a lot, while also covering some ground I already knew.

I kind of figured I'd have more to write, but I can't think of much. It's nonfiction. Reada
May 30, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill was without doubt the greatest man to live in the 2nd millennium A.D. When the whole world was either neutral, allied with or dominated by Nazi Germany, only England stood against it. England was ready to fight but needed someone to provide the leadership and Churchill, the right man and the right time, provided it. It could so easily have gone the other way. Churchill, the son of and English father and American mother was all English but always believed that those nations whic ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, history, culture
All four volumes in this series provide a 10,000 foot fly-over of the political, military, and economic history of English-speaking peoples, beginning with the founding of Britain. In volume four, Churchill's overview of the American Civil War is brilliant in its brevity, accuracy, fairness, and he clearly had an underlying comprehensive understanding of the complex political, social, and cultural currents that brought it about. A wonderful, concise, and delightfully written series.
David Miller
Mar 19, 2015 David Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume takes our story to Queen Victoria's death in 1901, a high point for the British Empire. Very good coverage of the United States, especially the U.S. Civil War. And lots about the sad history of the "Irish Question". Much may have changed if Gladstone had gotten his Home Rule bill passed.

I wanted to continue the story with Churchill's "The World Crisis", 5 volumes on World War I... but those volumes are not on! Only on MP3 CD. Will take me forever to read the actual paper
May 22, 2016 Jennifer is currently reading it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2015 Brian rated it it was ok
This book covered the history of England primarily and the U.S. also, with much less content on Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Rhodesia. It was informative but honestly quite dry, and I was almost relieved when I finished. Nevertheless, I'm glad I finally read something written by Winston Churchill.
Apr 28, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
Most disappointing of the four volumes. Except for brief mentions, the English speakers of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are left out. Churchill's aristocratic background shows in his implied sympathy for southern American planters during and after the Civil War. He also interprets the high number of slaves who stayed on the plantations during the war as proof of their "loyalty" to their owners and describes share-cropping as a "novel" approach to land acquisition. Back in England, the chap ...more
Adam Gossman
Apr 21, 2016 Adam Gossman rated it it was amazing
Reading these four volumes was like talking to a dear old man about history. I'm a better person for reading dear ole Sir Winston and I shall hope to visit again soon!
Rhonda Sue
Jul 11, 2015 Rhonda Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book tremendously and learned more about history from WSC than from a history textbook. The book is extremely well written and filled with so much detail. Great chapters on the Civil War and D'Israeli era and so much is covered that is crucial to understanding current events. It is not easy to get through but is a treasure of information. I hope I can get my hands on the other volumes.
Charlene Gordon
Aug 16, 2014 Charlene Gordon rated it it was amazing
I read these nearly 40 years ago. I've always been fascinated by English history.
Don Weidinger
Dec 23, 2012 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing
A synopsis of many countries history as told by one of the greatest leaders of one of the greatest countries of the past few centuries. Curious to review, as this time frame preceded the worst century of human history”the 20th, as governments oversaw Millions of their own people die, and then there were the 2 world wars that preceded this carnage. No slavery in MX 1821, British empire 1833. A thorough account of our civil war, with note that leaders of both sides may have prolonged the war as th ...more
Jul 20, 2013 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An appropiate finale to the attempt. But today - 60+ years after publication - the lasting value of the work is how it mirrors the attitudes and perceptions of its author, who certainly let these influence his contribution to the history of the English Speaking Peoples. So a great read for the student of WSC, but not obsolete, uneven ( just polictial/military History) and essentially based on a stretched premise: an special lasting relation between England and colonies/subjugated states such as ...more
Jan 09, 2014 Erik rated it really liked it
This final book in Churchill's "English Speaking Peoples" series covers from about 1815 up through the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. The conflicts of WWI and WWII are alluded to, but not discussed, presumably because Churchill devoted entire book series to each of those conflicts.

About a third of this book talks about the U.S. Civil War. It was a discussion that I found to be very interesting.

I find Churchill's writing to be clear, engaging, and quite enjoyable to read.
Charles McGonigal
Oct 26, 2012 Charles McGonigal rated it really liked it
I was surprised at the 100 pages on America's Civil War - definitely a different take, both with his changing levels of detail on the military tactics and his view of the principals. Also, as this dealt more with slavery and colonies, there was a lot more racism than would be acceptable today (probably fairly enlightened for the 1930s). I'm glad I read this series - a good, readable, extensive history. Now back to genre books for the rest of the year!
Apr 24, 2011 Lucas rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I had the most difficulty following Churchill's description of the U.S. Civil War- in European wars it's easier to tell one side from the other by the sound of the name, but in this case I would have liked more frequent contextual clues to what side a Longstreet or Jackson or similar was on.
A nice overview of a period of British history I didn't know anything about. It covers roughly the Victorian era and ends in the early days of the twentieth century. Also features some history of Australia, Canada, and the American Civil War.
Dec 18, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
Excellent; so concise; so precise.
Tom Schulte
In this volume of Churchill's epic series I was fascinated with what an American Civil War buff he came across as. He really lingered over the drama and minutiae of the military action there
Apr 23, 2013 Ross rated it liked it
I enjoyed this 4th volume in the series, but not as much as the first 3. I have some problems with Churchill's views on the Civil War.
Feb 21, 2010 Nozz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edifying
I agree with others who think that Churchill's analysis of the American Civil War is one of the best, and the best section in this volume.
Oct 29, 2008 Linda is currently reading it
Enlightening - pre WW I details I hadn't known before
Oct 12, 2010 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite hard going, which I didn't expect
Joe Liporace
Joe Liporace marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Chris Gail
Chris Gail marked it as to-read
May 20, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana
  • The Age of Louis XIV (The Story of Civilization, #8)
  • Flames Across the Border: 1813-1814
  • Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire
  • To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World
  • The Shaping of England
  • The English Constitution
  • The Bully Boys
  • Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert
  • The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871
  • Sick Heart River (Sir Edward Leithen, #5)
  • Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945
  • Jefferson and the Rights of Man
  • Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings, "for his mastery ...more
More about Winston S. Churchill...

Other Books in the Series

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (4 books)
  • The Birth of Britain (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #1)
  • The New World (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #2)
  • The Age of Revolution (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #3)

Share This Book