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History of the English-Speaking Peoples (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples #1-4)

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  941 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Originally published in four volumes, Winston Churchill's masterful Nobel Prize-winning history is a tour-de-force of language and prescience. This edition, abridged and arranged by Henry Steele Commager, retains Churchill's style and wit and incorporates the best of his powerful historical portraits and lively battles scenes. The Birth of Britain recounts the story of Alf ...more
Hardcover, 475 pages
Published June 30th 1995 by Barnes & Noble Books (first published 1956)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,445)
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Cathy DuPont
Oct 06, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs or historians
Prior to My Self-Imposed Challenge
Guys, applaud, please, I'm getting out of my comfort zone, mysteries. All with Jeff's Yoak's encouragement, and I'll say thanks, Jeff, when I finish. Maybe.

Yes, I'm Happy I Read It and Yes, Happy I Finished the Book
Dedicated to Jeff Yoak who said "Look forward to reading your review."

My effort to step outside my comfort zone due to Jeff's kind remark. My apology for the length, however I can assure you it's not as long as the book!


Sir Winston S. Chur
Jun 16, 2016 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, classics
Sir Winston S. Churchill has been rightfully penned as the “Last Lion” (William Manchester) and if this is the case then certainly the “First Lion” would have to be King Henry II (the “Coeur de Lion” is King Richard I). King Henry II legacy is lasting in terms of organization and of the continuance of the British Commonwealth today. The masterpiece of Sir Winston S. Churchill work lays the foundation for the persons who are interested to pursue new interest along old lines – I personally have di ...more Wang
Sep 09, 2009 Wang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I have rarely seen a book of history so deeply personal and analytical at the same time. By reading this 4-volume book, one gets a glimpse of Winston Churchill's intricate thinking pattern. As one of craftiest politicians of the 20th Century, he led a deeply pacifist British public to rise up against the Nazi's; he predicted America's downfall in Vietnam; he also infamously forced America into WWI at the cost of more than one thousand civilian lives aboard RMS Lusitania.

His mastery shines throug
Feb 02, 2013 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the greatest histories ever written, on part with Gibbon and Macaulay. Winston Churchill's command of English history is unparalleled and his style of writing is clear and accessible. This history is directed at the general public so if you are looking for a serious academic treatment of English history, Churchill's work is not for you. However, it is a useful read in case you wanted to know more about the names, places, and dates of English history. Churchill is particularly stro ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Oh my word, if I could give this series 6 stars I would. It's as good as they come. Outstanding material. Covers British and American history quite well. Churchill's integrity as a historian is made evident in every book in the series, and he's not lacking in a sense of humor or a sense of scene. He keeps his own opinions on the characters to himself--for the most part--but occasionally flashes out in glorious commentary. His remarks on Catherine Howard are interesting--he so rarely comments on ...more
J. Alfred
Jun 12, 2015 J. Alfred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Five Hour Energy Severely Unhealthy Things have, on their cover, a silhouette of a man sprinting up a mountain. I've always taken that to mean that unless I need to sprint up a mountain, I should leave the stuff alone. And yet there are times in one's life in which a mountain looks as if it's daring one to sprint up it. Or at least, amble.
Churchill's massive volume of history, which begins in the year 50 before Christ, and ends with the death of Victoria, is much like one of those mountains
Rik Brooymans
Mar 19, 2011 Rik Brooymans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, as always. A master word-smith, Churchill brings character and insight to stretches of the book, mostly concerning the comings and goings within the British Parliament, which might otherwise have been dull. The more exciting historical passages are simply enthralling. The entire narrative comes with a perspective that you cannot really get anywhere else. No matter how thorough your knowledge of any particular time or issue, it is guaranteed that you will come across something new or b ...more
Mar 30, 2009 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #1: The Birth of Britain
Good book. Tell's briefly the story of each monarch and/or the nobles and their reign from the time when Cesaer invaded England to Richard III. I give it 4 stars.

Book #2: The New World
This book was good, but, a little harder read than #1. Covers from approx 1500 to the civil war of 1688. I give it 3 stars.

Book #3: The age of Revolution
I had somewhat of a hard time with this volume. It was good though. I liked the English take on the American Revolution. This book
Sep 09, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this over my summer vacation. its a very good book by a great man (Winston Churchill is the author). its clear Churchill has a passion for his subject. British history is clearly a great subject for Churchill. he is also passionate about other english speaking people, especially about Americans. All great! i only thought that the subject is so massive that it is impossible to fit into even a 1,000 page history. after cranking through the first 1,000 years (Roman colony in Britain to Magna ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Drtaxsacto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a massive work by Churchill which divides into four neat parts - early history, later history (up to about the 19th Century), the Age of Revolution and the Age of Democracies. Churchill paints with a very broad brush - so there will be a lot you might want to go back to - but his use of prose and the ability to develop a coherent theme which ties together Great Britain and the US and the rest - is stunning.

I actually did the unabridged Audible version when I walk my dog. I think Indy was
Graham Armstrong
For anyone wanting to learn about the history of England this is one of the best books that I have read. Written by arguably one of the greatest orators and Britains that the world has known, Churchill goes through each phase of British History with a prose style that makes the 4 volumes of this book a joy to read. Each chapter, a mini history lecture in their own right, is funny, well argued and leaves you wanting to learn more about the period of time.
Aug 05, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I bought the one-volume edition and it was on my night-stand / in tow for about a year as I nibbled away at it in between other books. To me it is fascinating that a man so immersed in world-changing events and as occupied as he was, devoted that much time to study, to understand intimately over a thousand years of detailed history. As other great historians, of whom most, unlike Churchill, have made it their full-time profession, his retelling sounds like he was there personally. His interpreta
An authoritative survey of the history of English-speaking peoples throughout the world combines intriguing biographical profiles--of Alfred the Great, Victoria, Lincoln, and other notables--with an account of the key events and issues of the era.

My Review:
This is a great reference book for information regarding Britain's history.
Sep 25, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, history
This is the abridged version I used to follow the unabridged four volume set of Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples. It has interesting illustrations and photographs the original version lacks. Although it is an abridgment, it certainly captures the essence of Churchill's style and cuts out the passages containing military and political details (the intricacies of Conservative and Liberal governments during the Victorian era and the tactics of military commanders in minor campaig ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Gerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wasn't sure if I wanted to read a book that was coming out as a movie . . so soon.
But I did.
It was really a good read.
The only part that irritates me (which I understand is needed to keep the storyline intriguing) is when a character is confused about what is going on and 'thinks' about questions but doesn't ask them, or doesn't insist on answers when they do. - it's unrealistic. Occasionally I read a book that has faced this dilemma and managed to have a more realistic reason why they
Jul 31, 2014 Bank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have only read the excerpted section of volume 3 covering the American civil war . Some of the most beautiful prose I have read , and the first book on this subject I have read by a non American author . A different perspective . Excellent and to the point .
Jun 26, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is informative and interesting. The first two volumes were much easier to get through than the last two. The first two contain information about the British Isles from Antiquity to I believe 1641. It's a pretty neat time in British History as far as I am concerned. The next two books get really heavy into politics and military ventures. It was a little hard for me because I want to know more about the social culture in the country. The last books talks about the American Civil Wa ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this rather large tome. Churchill's writing is good and kept me involved and interested. It really help me put a lot of history "in place." He does spend an awful lot of time on wars and strategy though.
Sep 24, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps one of my all time favorite books. I have reread this several times. If you are a lover of history this is it. If not, you will probably be bored to death. Either way a win-win for the rest of us!
Dec 09, 2011 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
"Stuff in history that interested me" is the perfect way to describe this work. Churchill has definite opinions on many historical people and events, and doesn't hesitate to deliver judgement or lavish praise. It's a great overview of English and US history especially if you like the strategic aspect of battles. I actually learned quite a bit about Australia, Canada, and South Africa's colonial periods. I think my favorite part, though, was his analysis of the US civil war. The most boring parts ...more
May 21, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all his faults, we shall never see his like again.

I bought a beautiful edition of this in San Francisco back in the '80s (probably 87-88) lugged it home on a plane, and read it all...
Paul Cool
May 28, 2014 Paul Cool rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Churchill was my entry point to English and European history, and whatever the limitations of his histories, especially HESP, re-written, committee edited, and published some 20+ years after he began it pre-WW2, one could do worse than have this world opened up through the extraordinary literary genius of Mr. Churchill, which remains at the four books' heart. I had already read the TIME-LIFE abridged Second World War, and from here I went on to Churchill's "River War" (the Sudan Campaign), and t ...more
May 09, 2007 Gardner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
reads like his speeches, e.g.:

It is all true or it ought to be; and more and better besides. And wherever men are fighting against barbarism, tyranny, and massacre, for freedom, law, and honour, let them remember that the fame of their deeds, even though they themselves be exterminated, may perhaps be celebrated as long as the world rolls round. Let us then declare that King Arthur and his noble knights, guarding the Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order, sustained by valou
Melinda Ross
This book was good as far as a general overview of English history. It is fairly easy to read, but too often there are names given or events listed with no explanation and with the general assumption that you know what they are referring to. That is frustrating at times, but it generally doesn't take away from your understanding of what is happening. I don't know if that comes from the way Churchill wrote or if is a product of the editing to condense seven books into one. I do which I understood ...more
F Charles
Feb 14, 2016 F Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest works I've read. It is the history of the relationship English monarchy to Parliament.
Sean Mcdonald
Apr 24, 2013 Sean Mcdonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books 1 and 2 explained British history to me in a way that I could understand for the first time. By Book 3, it moved somewhat into overall European happenings due to all the wars of the 1600s and 1700s. Getting re-elected Prime Minister and winning WW II seemed to get in the way of finishing Book 4 and half of it ended up being about the US Civil War. Still, one of the best history works I've read and definitely the best I've read on European history. Sir Churchill's wit and occasional quips o ...more
Sep 12, 2011 Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Churchill wrote this magnificent tome in language that makes the reader believe WWII never happened. He refers to WWI as "The Great War." He also uses the royal "we" sometimes which is very amusing. I haven't reached the American revolution, but I trust he will treat it fairly. His mother was an American after all. We are, most of us, familiar with his great speeches that invigorated the English people and gave them hope during some dismal times. Well, his English skills are even more attenuated ...more
I've read about half (as of late May 2015)... I think I'd like to read the other half eventually, although I'm not certain. Depends on if I find something I like better for it, I guess, and/or whether any of my children read the other volumes. It's been intellectually stimulating and I've definitely increased my knowledge of history... though he tends to assume more knowledge than I have in places and a lot of it isn't all that gripping to read. I do enjoy Churchill's wit that comes through at t ...more
Bill Peacock
Only about midway through the first volume right now (reading about the development of English common law), but Churchill's book is a fascinating and insightful book that makes me glad of my English-speaking heritage. In fact, everyone who lives in the United States (whether just arriving or a part of families that have been here for centuries) should read this to help them understand how what is now their English-speaking heritage has shaped the institutions, laws, and freedoms of the country t ...more
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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)
  • The Great Democracies (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #4)

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