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Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill
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Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Between his rise and his fall, young Winston Churchill built a modern navy, experimented with radical social reforms, survived various threats on his life, made powerful enemies and a few good friends, became a husband and father, took the measure of the German military machine, and faced deadly artillery barrages on the Western front. Along the way, he learned how to outw ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 2013)
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May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
Recommended to Caroline by: Caroline Ball
I am probably one of the few people in the world who has not read a book about Churchill. I am not interested in reading about politics and I am not interested in reading about war, ergo Churchill has been outside my range. Yet of course he has been an heroic figure in the British landscape all my life, with the drip, drip, drip of anecdotes that this always involves, and that false sense that one knows the man. It was definitely time I took steps to find out more.

This book describes Churchill's
Adam Yoshida
Jul 23, 2013 Adam Yoshida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the tenth Winston Churchill biography that I've read and, in my opinion, one of the best. Over the last year I've gotten into "specialist" Churchill biographies - "Mr. Churchill's Profession" (about Churchill as a writer), "Warlord" (about Churchill as a military leader) and now this one (in addition to re-reading the three-volume Manchester bio). In particular, this book provided fresh new insight - something quite rare into so-studied a man as Winston - in the area of Churchill's evolu ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Churchill was a man who had not one but two political lives, and given that his second encompassed the Second World War it's hardly a surprise that in any biography the bulk of the attention is paid to his later career. The mental image of Churchill we all have is from his war years - the cigar, the bowler hat, the V for Victory signal. But Churchill was 66 years old when he became Prime Minister and he had spent a good twenty-plus years in relative political exile before that, so it is all too ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Peter rated it liked it
I thought this was a very interesting book which gave an insight of the experiences which lead to the formation of his personality. He had an incredible command of the English language and a memory to recover choice phrases when making speeches or debating a point in Parliament. He used this ability on his lecture tours and in his writing to make enough money to support his lifestyle. His outlook was also very much coloured by his upbringing and privileged class. He was also a talented painter a ...more
TR Peterson
When many think of Winston Churchill, it is undoubtedly as the elder statesman with the jowly, bulldog face and steely determination to stand alone against the Nazis. In Shelden's Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill we see instead an overly confident, young, aristocratic talk of the town who romances a number of women, most of which turn down his proposals for marriage, before finding and marrying Clementine Hozier who will remain his lifelong companion.

One of the most interesting cont
Janine Urban
Feb 28, 2015 Janine Urban rated it really liked it
I must confess that I am not an avid Churchill reader; my book interests tend to run the gamut too much to stick to one person or thing. But I still find him to be a fascinating character, hardly a dull moment and I love that he is self aware. He's conceited and knows it; never apologizes for it. This book sets the stage for the rise of Churchill's career. These are the moments in his political career that would help shape and define him. I started off by thinking this was no Manchester biograph ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Ben rated it liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
The Young Titan deals with Churchill as a young man, fresh on Britain's political and social scenes. He immediately makes his mark in Parliament as brilliant and intelligent, a forceful orator, a "comer" and untrustworthy. That latter assessment is both from members of his own, first, political party the Tories , and then from the Liberal party, which Churchill joins after a policy dispute with the leaders of the Tories. The fact that Churchill sees a looming deceive
Tory defeat in the next
Nov 13, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written history of Churchill's early political career. A meteoric rise and shocking collapse after he is scapegoated for the failed attempt to invade Turkey in World War I . The book is really good on the politics and personalities off edwardinian Great Britain. The politics and animosities of its practioners show that the vitriolic dislike that r's and D's have in modern DC is nothing new. I enjoyed this opportunity to revisit an exciting and interesting time. If you like history ,e ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
Years ago, when I was teaching in a school that had morning announcements over an intercom to every classroom, our principal handed down a directive in which he said " Starting today there will only be one instrument for the consumption of liquids allotted per student!" . The students looked at me with perplexity, wondering what new rule this was and how it pertained to them. Fortunately, having listened to many politicians, including Winston Churchill, by then I was able to interpret the messag ...more
May 03, 2013 judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable biography that appears to be excellently sourced as well as providing new material. Churchill's early years as a rising politician were fascinating. It's easy to see why the author could stop where he did and still have provided a delightful reading experience. My only question is---where do I go now?
Jan 06, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Even the Grand Old Man himself would approve of this sympathetic, yet probing account of Churchill's early career as a politician. Wonderfully written and terribly engaging. Shelden again creates a biographic masterpiece. Bravo!
David  Schroeder
Nov 17, 2014 David Schroeder rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I finished this book with a big smile on my face. Although hopeful, the book ends during a dark period of Churchill's life (read it for yourself). But, what is great about the book is that it reveals Churchill's humanity and how he faced failure like any other human.

As the author notes, it was Churchill's 1901-15 experiences that "forged the character" of the man who would give the lion's roar when the British Empire stood alone against Hitler a quarter-century later. You can't understand the g
Jul 15, 2014 Katharine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating portrait of Churchill as a young politician in the period between 1901-1915. I knew very little about Churchill's life at this time and found this entertainingly written book fascinating. The author paints a well-rounded picture of Churchill, both endearing and annoying, with all his arrogance and energy. The book does a good job of explaining the politics, though possibly takes Churchill a bit too much at his own estimation, and is particularly strong on Churchill's relationships wi ...more
Paul Pessolano
Apr 29, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Young Titan, The Making of Winston Churchill” by Michael Shelden, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Biography

Most of us know the Winston Churchill of World War II, the cigar chomping, V for victory sign, and his encouragement of the English people through the war.

However, very few know about the early life of Churchill and how be came to be the man that most of us know. To say the least he was a very ambitious man in all of his pursuits, including his pursuit for a wife.

The book follo
Julia Reed
Jun 03, 2013 Julia Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit to having read very little about Winston Churchill. I find that most of the books about him are heavy on the WWII history (obviously), a popular and venerable genre but just not one that's particularly of my interest.

Young Titan was a wonderful surprise. An unusal look at Churchill's life as a young man and politician, before he became the Great Historical Figure. Before there was Prime Minister Churchill there was Winston the upstart politician. Considered semi-annoying and possibly cr
Mar 03, 2015 Marie rated it it was amazing
In France, we have a lot of biographies and essays about the great W.C. We see Churchill as the Charles de Gaulle "alter ego", his war companion (even if they had disagreements). But I really think that for French people, Churchill embodies english and british spirit.
The Michael Shelden book is very inspiring and offers a wide point of view of his making of. An intelligent way to discover Churchill in original version.
A solid look at Winston Churchill as a young man before the age of 40. Most of what we know of Churchill centers on his later years as prime minister of Britain twice – during the second world war and then in the 50s. Young Titan gives us a glimpse into his early life – his personality, character, drive, relationships and the hard knocks he overcame. He served as an army officer in various countries and A charismatic figure, he switched party lines a couple of times, built Britain’s modern navy, ...more
Kimberly Krauch
Sep 05, 2014 Kimberly Krauch rated it it was amazing
The author did an excellent job researching his subject. I enjoyed the sociology of Winston Churchill. Most people think of the old man who was the Prime Minister of England during WWII. This book reveals his family life, his closest friends and his enemies. If you like the man he became then you should read how he got to that point.
R.M.F Brown
Aug 11, 2014 R.M.F Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterclass in historical biography

Given that there is a plethora of Churchill biographies on the market (everything from Churchill as Warlord, to what type of underwear he wore) the introduction of yet another biography, failed to quicken the pulse.

Fortunately, this was one of those occasions where I enjoyed being proven wrong. Sheldon's young titan is a masterpiece of historical biography. It reads like a novel, but never becomes to novelistic. It is peppered with historical sources and quo
May 05, 2015 Paulcbry rated it really liked it
This book covers Churchill in his earlier years (1901-1915). I found the book to be very well written. This book makes me want to read more about Churchill. My only quibble (a minor one) is that the author covers Churchill's social calendar a bit too much. Overall a very good read.
Mar 16, 2014 Eliz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book. Personally, it was appealing to me because the time frame is when my family left England it seeing a bit of the times was very telling. The author is very fair, showing Winston's faults, but he also explores many false stories and sets the record straight.
Cristina Darabut
Dec 25, 2015 Cristina Darabut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! My first book on Churchill and most probably it will not be the last. Although I am aware Shelden might have portraited him in a good light, it is impossible not to admire the ups and downs of this man's life. Really motivating. If I ever thought I had setbacks and downfalls in my life, now is the moment to take it all back.

If you are walking through hell, keep going! :)
Jun 26, 2014 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2014
I received this via the goodreads scheme - thank you!

I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. As a UK Citizen I have always known about Churchill and his influence during the Wars, however I did not know anything beyond the basics. This book filled in some of the blanks for me and in doing so rounded out my understanding of Winston Churchill.

The author appears to be very sympathetic to Churchill, but balanced it by pointing out his flaws along with his shining moments.

In the process of fi
Brian Gilchrist
Jul 01, 2014 Brian Gilchrist rated it really liked it
An interesting book that focus on Churchill's early political period. It purposely skims over the well known events ( the Dardanelles disaster yields only a few pages) in favour of relationships and lesser known political events. Having never read a Churchill biography, I learned quite a bit about his early political career and perhaps some insight into why he made certain decisions later in his political life.
Dec 08, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a first-rate biography that is written as if it were fiction, and I mean that as the highest praise. Though perhaps not quite Capote or Berendt, the author wonderfully uses the techniques of fiction writing to make this biography seem like a suspenseful adventure. If, like me, you know only the cartoon outline of Churchill because of his 1940's leading of Britain, you will be astounded by the fuller details of his young life and the marks of his early, developing character. What an inter ...more
May 03, 2014 Ange rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The highlight (1907) of the trip for Churchill was Uganda, which he described as "one beautiful garden"....

excellent bio.

Of course, Churchill is a romantic and quotes Byron.
Jan 08, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: churchill-family
People always ask me why I continue to read books about Churchill. It's an easy answer. He is never dull. Someone described him as a "dangerous optimist" and that could not be more clear in this book. This takes him from his brash upstart to his fall at the Dardanelles. Young Titan is not the Manchester/Reid work of art, but it stands very well on it's own giving a few more personal details and how they weave into his professional career. Now if I get I could just get a few more details, maybe a ...more
Troy Fontenelle
Aug 15, 2015 Troy Fontenelle rated it really liked it
A very well written and intriguing insight into the life of a young Winston Churchill.
Oct 16, 2015 Harla rated it really liked it
Fascinating story of one man's rise to power and in such a pivotal time in history. Learned a lot with this one.
Aug 17, 2015 Nata rated it really liked it
Un optimist înnăscut și un om care niciodată nu s-a lăsat bătut indiferent de circumstanțe.
Am citit cu mare nesaț biografia destinul său politic. Impresionant și inspirațional. Recomand cartea.

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Goodreads Librari...: Page Number Request:978-1471113222 2 13 Jan 03, 2014 01:40AM  
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