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Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War #6)

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  793 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel P ...more
Paperback, 947 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Penguin (first published 1953)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,883)
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Manny
The final volume of Churchill's incredible history of WW II. There's absolutely nothing else like it, and he turns in another masterpiece. The things people quote most often are his bitterness about being voted out of office just as the war is ending, and Stalin's bare-faced lies concerning the atom bomb. He claimed to know nothing about it, which Churchill believed, but it later turned out that he'd had a spy in place who'd passed out all the secrets.

But here's the bit that made the greatest i
...more
GoldGato
Our strength, which had overcome so many storms, would no longer continue in the sunshine.

With that sentence, Churchill neatly summed up this last volume of his massive WWII collection...the coming victory of the Allies would mean the end of office for the Great Lion, the man who stayed true from beginning to end. The theme of this book is How The Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were Able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their Life . Unlike the previous volumes, this one
...more
Kathy
This is the last of Churchill's volumes on WWII. This one had a different tone than the other ones. Perhaps because the issues in this volume had not been resolved at the time of writing, or perhaps because Churchill himself was disappointed at how things ultimately turned out (apart from winning the war that is). The theme of this volume is telling:

How the great democracies triumphed, and so were able to resume the follies which had so nearly cost them their life.

Not bitter about being kicked
...more
David Rubin
This volume concludes Winston Churchill's six-volume history of World War II. As previously noted, this is a highly personalized history, closely revolving around the Prime Minister's own participation in the military and political activities during the war. The book is constructed of two interwoven approaches: a narrative, chronological history of the war and a set of source material composed of telegrams, letters, and notes sent and received during the course of the action. Much of the latter ...more
Sshelline
Having read the entire six-volumes series over the last few months, it was chilling to read about the missed opportunities, appeasement and general unwillingness to confront the looming Soviet threat that would take nearly four decades to undo.

With a recalcitrant Iran and a distracted Europe, this series is a powerful warning that our generation faces similar choices to those that confronted Churchill and the West in the years before WW2. I have little faith that today's leaders in Europe and th
...more
Josh Craddock
Napoleon wrote that "One can never foresee the consequences of political negotiations placed under the influence of military events." Among wartime statesmen, Churchill was presciently aware of the potential political situations created by wartime events. While FDR was slow to admit to Stalin's ambitions in Eastern Europe, Churchill saw clearly. FDR was fading fast and could not act; Truman did not the grasp the world problem and could not know. The USA had no coherent design, while Britain coul ...more
Brian
The closing book of Churchill's magnificent series on World War II, this book is masterful in coloring the nuances of the final year of the war. Sprinkled throughout the book are numerous letters between Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and later Truman - the narrative weaves between these letters filling in gaps and explaining context.

The book ends somewhat abruptly, as Churchill is unexpectedly voted out of office, and the tone of the book changes somewhat as if Churchill is uninterested in events
...more
Ryan
Interesting insight. Amazing how he, just like before the war started, could so well predict what was to come. How might the world have been different if he had been listened to.
Karl
The final chapter of Churchill's personal view of WWII. Almost worth just for Churchill's writing in addition to the insights he provides.
Julián Arce Sanchez
Finally, I managed to finish all 6 volumes of Churchill's account of World War II

I came upon this books on an Amazon sale, been for some time interested on reading them and couln't resist the urge. Took me around 8-9 months to finish them all.

The overall series of books I would rate as 4 start. I found it to be novel (lol) way to read about WWII. Basically Churchill follows events by commenting on his conversations, and mail exchange with military and political leaders. The fact that you get to
...more
Jack Gibson
And so ends my read of the entirety of Winston Churchill's 'The Second World War'. Background research has shown to me that the writing of these memoirs were triggered by people's opinions being proclaimed about his war conduct and he therefore decided, being true to his statement of "history will be the judge, but I will be one of the historians", to compose the memoirs from his perspective of WW2 and all that surrounded it.

As we see the build up and happening of VE and VJ, the memoirs close wi
...more
Michael Scott
+++ Yalta, then Quebec, then Moscow. The Russian promises.
+++ How Stalin breaks every promise, following in the footsteps of Hitler.
+++ The German surrender.
++/-- The A-Bomb. On its use and what would have happened without it. Many questions remain and the treatment is marginal.
+++ The establishment of the Iron Curtain.
+++ Much on the problem of (New) Poland. The Russification. The puppet Government. The killing or imprisonment of opposition, with Soviet help. The bribe offered by Stalin, in th
...more
Tim
Triumph and Tragedy
Winston Churchill
Houghton Mifflin, 1953

This is the final volume of the series on the Second World War. As with all the other volumes, Churchill states a "Theme of the Volume" on one of the cover pages. The theme here is utterly predictive of the content: "How the Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their Life". This theme constitutes the book ends for the entire work: it begins with Churchill warning of the existent
...more
Owen
Winston Churchill found himself with a lot of time on his hands at the end of the war. Part of his personal tragedy was to suddenly discover, not long after the fall of Berlin but before the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that he was no longer wanted by the British electorate. That is how "Triumph and Tragedy" ends, with a personal note of sourness, although with little explanation as to the why and wherefore of his own political demise. The truth lay perhaps in the real nature of the man ...more
Sascha
Churchill describes the final phase of World War II in his usual diligent manner, sparing neither himself nor his allies - this becomes especially clear in his report about the decision to use atomic bombs in the war against Japan. At the time of writing he was still convinced of having made the correct decision together with the U.S. - one has to wonder, whether he still thought so later in his life.

The whole book, which one would think to be a story of victory, success and relief is overshadow
...more
Kory Klimoski
This was one of the better series of books I've read about the WWII. Churchill had a unique perspective on the subject and I suppose that makes him one of the better tale tellers. The only thing that I find humorous about his writing is that he seems to under-emphasize the part that Patton had to play during the war. Like all Brits he is a diehard Montgomery advocate. I don't blame him, but he could have been more objective about the Patton. I still liked the series and am very glad I read them ...more
Louise
We look on history as events of the past. Because Churchill is writing only only a few years after the events before the Iron Curtain as he called it was not as firmly set, East Germany was not yet a country, the Berlin Wall was not yet the killer barrier it would become, his sense of foreboding is much more prophetic. We tend to see history as a continuous line of causation. Here we can read the hesitancy and uncertainty which is part of history but always seems cleaner in the midst of events. ...more
Coy
This is an amazing series of books. If you have any interest in World War II from a different, albeit intensely involved perspective, than these books are for you. I say different perspective because as a typical American I had little knowledge of the British role in the war.

Churchill's accounts of the meetings with Stalin and other world leaders are very revealing. The reader will get an in depth view into what it was like to deal with the communists and what France was like just prior to surr
...more
Eric
This is the third book on parts of WWII history that I've been through lately. Somehow it's hard to beat Churchill. In the is case, the narration had just enough of the British accent, and Churcheill tone, to make one believe you were listening to the great man. Well worth considering, even if you've been spoiled by Steven Ambrose. One interesting feature that I had not considered was that Churchill talks quite casually about himself visiting the battlefield.
Tim Mygatt
Incredibly insightful. This account stands alone in a genre not commonly attempted: the voluntary revelation of one's choices and actions during a moment of tremendous testing, a moment when those choices and actions could easily be second-guessed. Of course, the outcome of the war made this an easier task than it would be for some; history is written by the victors and all that. But what gives these books there power is the tremendous amount of primary material in them -- letters and papers wri ...more
Scott
The concluding volume of Churchill's epic history of World War II left me wanting more, which I suppose is a good thing, but there really wasn't much of an afterword here. Churchill's government was voted out of office nearly immediately after the end of the war in Europe, and the book stops abruptly after Clement Attlee took over the reins of power in the UK. While I enjoyed the entirety of the series, there wasn't much of a conclusion here, and it needed more than that.
Rick
Listened from Audible. Conclusion of the series and an incredible review of the political maneuverings occurring toward the end of WWII leading up to, and resulting from the Yalta conference and the various responses to Yalta by the involved parties. Not as compelling as Volume III of the series, but the most educational and forward looking of all 4 volumes.

The Epilogue would get 5 stars if it was its own book. Churchill was a visionary, and his descrtiption of the world that came to be, even 5
...more
Doug Dams
The sixth and final volume of Churchill's WWII memoirs. This book tells the story of d-day till the end of the war. You see Churchill and Roosevelt planning for the end of the war and how to prevent the next war. You also see how Stalin distrusts the Roosevelt-Churchill friendship. The book is as good as the previous ones. It ends up with Churchills defeat in the first post-war election and how it disappointed him. All in all, I learned a great deal from these books about WWII. It also lets you ...more
James Violand
Jun 28, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
Winston Churchill I consider the greatest man of the 20th century. This is his personal account - warts and all - of the allied struggle to save Europe and the betrayal by Stalin in the aftermath of the Second World War. Brilliant.
Gerry
What can I say to this series, this account of the Second World War that was compiled from memory and mere memoranda (he kept no personal notes). Simply the best account of the Second World War that any person within his rank and file ever compiled. I loved every page, every turn, every concern during the reading of Sir Churchill's experience of this war.

The very good part for me is that Sir Max Hastings "Winston's War" is released and I believ will dove tail to this event as a whole. I will rea
...more
Jerry Walz
Excellent, last of the six volumes of Churchill's history of WW II.
John Nelson
The final volume of Churchill's six-volume history/memoir of WWII. This volume covered the final stages of the defeat of Germany and Japan, as well as negotiations between the Allies on the shape of the post-war world and the beginning of the cold war. Churchill overstated Britain's military contribution to the defeat of the Axis, and I got the impression that he held back from saying what he really thought about the negotiations with Stalin at the end of the war. Still, it was an interesting an ...more
Alex Nagler
And finished!
Paul
This is the final book in Winston Churchill's epic series on WWII. Not only is this the one of the finest and most exhaustive accounts of the war, but it provides a perspective from one of the three most pivotal players in that conflict. This final book chronicles the winding up scenes in both European and Pacific theaters and the fateful negotiations that led to the rise of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Ross
Final book in this abridged version of the original 6 vol series. The "tragedy" part is what Joseph Stalin planned to do with Eastern Europe and his goals of world domination which led to the Cold War. Very interesting recounting of Churchill's interplay with Stalin and Truman. This series is really 2/3rds the British history of the war and 1/3rd Churchill's memoir of these years.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN Conflict - Different Pub, Date, Pages, Cover 6 20 Sep 23, 2013 04:49PM  
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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

The Second World War (6 books)
  • The Gathering Storm (The Second World War, #1)
  • Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2)
  • The Grand Alliance (The Second World War, #3)
  • The Hinge of Fate (The Second World War, #4)
  • Closing the Ring (The Second World War, #5)
The Gathering Storm (The Second World War, #1) Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2) My Early Life, 1874-1904 The Second World War The Birth of Britain (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #1)

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