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Churchill: Walking with Destiny

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  8,968 ratings  ·  609 reviews

“Unarguably the best single-volume biography of Churchill . . . A brilliant feat of storytelling, monumental in scope, yet put together with tenderness for a man who had always believed that he would be Britain’s savior.” —Wall Street Journal

In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the m
Hardcover, 1152 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Viking (first published October 4th 2018)
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Mhollie Very few curses and minor ones at that. The audiobook is the way to go! The audiobook gets you through the dry spots and keeps your interest. The book…moreVery few curses and minor ones at that. The audiobook is the way to go! The audiobook gets you through the dry spots and keeps your interest. The book is dense with information. I knew Churchill was an extraordinary man, after listening to this audiobook, now I believe he was Heaven sent, quirks and all. (less)
Mhollie Churchill Walking with Destiny is a very balanced view of the man. It considers all the sides of his nature. It tells the good and the bad of his acti…moreChurchill Walking with Destiny is a very balanced view of the man. It considers all the sides of his nature. It tells the good and the bad of his actions throughout his life. His victories and defeats.(less)

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Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“At last I had the authority to give direction over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial…I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.”
- Winston Churchill, upon becoming Prime Minister in 1940

How do you fit a life as long and full
I am a big fan of Churchill. I have an extensive library of books by and about Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965). I was going to purchase this book for my library, but I found the typeface so tiny I was unable to read it. I do have reduced vision and primarily use audiobooks so I ended up purchasing this book in audiobook format. Unfortunately, I did not have access to the maps, illustrations and photographs in the printed format. This is the first major biography of Churchill since “Churchill: ...more
Richard Munro
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-history
I thought Martin Gilbert was the last word on Churchill (of course, he prepared the pathway for Roberts I am sure to a degree) but with Andrew Robert’s WALKING WITH DESTINY I gained an insight on Churchill and his world that seems totally fresh and almost brand new to me. I literally laughed and chuckled as I read some of the amusing bon mots of Churchill and curious stories. That is a remarkable achievement.

Churchill said: ‘After seeing many nations, after travelling through Europe, and after h
Dana Stabenow
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. (February 13, 2019, Chapters 1-3)

First off, Roberts loves Churchill, no question, but he is not blind to his faults and he's not about to let any reader of his book be blind to them, either, in which pursuit he lets Churchill speak for himself much of the time.

On the issue of women voting, the young Churchill was profoundly chauvinist, arguing that 'only the most undesirable class of women are eager for the right,' and that 'Those women who discharged their duty to the state viz. marrying and
Niranjana Sundararajan
Author is obviously a Churchill fan and that's to be kept in mind. However the fact that he keeps going back on Churchill's childhood neglect as the reason for his perseverance and will, is really annoying. It's enough to mention it, saying it could be a motivating factor, but to keep implying it was one of the main reasons for his success is ridiculous. Churchill was a man built for greatness, and he achieved all of through sheer will. And even if his childhood circumstances were favorable, I d ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Terrific and all encompassing. I learned a lot about Churchill I hadn't realized. The author although a fan of Winston isn't afraid to point out his faults which gives him contrast and reality as a character. I especially loved the context the author gave around all of WC's little sarcastic comments and digs at the expense often of others. He had a brilliant wit about him.

In the game if you could have an hour conversation with one person living or dead he definitely moved way up the board.

If I
Michael Perkins
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epigraph: "Study history, study history. In history lie all the secrets of statecraft." (Churchill)

It's also a master course on human nature, because we see people in all sorts of situations and how they respond. As Faulkner rightly said: “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” It is always with us because people are always with us. The same situations are always with us and and how humans behave in the same way, including badly at times. But also how good can prevail. As Churchill himself
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the author's speaking tours publicising this book, Dr Roberts states that this is the 1,011th biography of Winston Churchill. The obvious question is, why write about a subject so well covered before?

First of all, Andrew Roberts has had access to new sources, including exclusive access to King George VI diary, an invaluable window in to the life of Churchill, as he met the King every Tuesday during the war and seems to have used the time to let off steam in confidential surroundings. The auth
Steven Peterson
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of books that include Winston Churchill as a key actor. This is first time that I have read a full biography of him. And this book has rewarded its purchase price many times over.

Several aspects of the volume that are noteworthy.

1. The arc of his life and how the trajectory was so much influenced by his family background. Key actors include John Churchill, who was a major leader in the wars on the continent in the early 1700s. His victory at Blenheim was a high point and she
Rivals (and, I think, narrowly beats) Carlo d'Este's biography of Churchill. This was fantastic. Incidentally, I'm fairly certain this is the only work of non-fiction that has moved me to tears. ...more
Roberts craftily packs a library of life into a single volume, with a particular focus on the World War II years when Churchill was Prime Minister and fulfilling his childhood prophecy of saving the country and the Empire. Churchill's flaws and poor decisions are fairly presented alongside his virtues and victories, with just enough attention given to his drinking habit. My only significant critiques are that the author is repetitive at times, and needlessly brings up several myths and conspirac ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbb-master

Andrew Roberts’s biography “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” was published in the fall of 2018 and quickly became a bestseller in both the US and UK. Roberts is an award-winning British author and journalist who has written more than a dozen books including “Napoleon: A Life” (which inspired a BBC tv series), “The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War” and “House of Windsor.”

Within weeks of its release this book was hailed as one of the very
Unchong Berkey
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifty hours on audiobook 😅 Again convinced that Churchill was the right man for the job at the right time. I appreciate that Roberts showed Churchill’s strengths and flaws. He was a fascinating combination of pugnacity, tender-hearted-ness, grit, conviction, humor, and generosity, to name just a few qualities.

Two things I’ve thought about since wrapping up the book: 1. I didn’t realize he and Clementine (wife) had lost a little daughter (2 yo) in 1921. I wonder about the everyday grief he must
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Andrew Roberts' five essays on Churchill that tie in with his new book about the man (which is called Churchill: Walking With Destiny).

During his lifetime he experienced 'very many brushes with death, even in peacetime' - and this shaped his thinking and instincts, and his belief that he would one day save the country from disaster...

Producer Duncan Minshull
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent 18 months reading this in fits and starts. It’s a big book, and not so deeply engrossing that it keeps pulling you back in. But it’s an excellent biography, evocative, detailed in the best ways, well written, and it served the purpose of taking me away to another time where overwhelming challenges were met relatively well with courage, leadership, and occasional touches of grace.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A balanced, insightful and well-researched biography of Churchill.

Roberts ably covers the complexities of Churchill’s life, and the man’s wit, energy, good humor, stubbornness, vision, and devotion to Britain and her empire really come across. He describes how Churchill’s confidence in Britain’s future influenced him during crises (such as German resurgence under Hitler) and disasters (like Gallipoli and India) Churchill’s flaws and frequent bad judgment are fully covered, but Roberts concludes
Michael G
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
There was something apt about reading this amazing life while concurrently living through the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and the global economic depression it is causing. Churchill’s life and “never give up” spirit in the face of much higher stakes than we are currently facing have been comforting and instructive during this time. I feel I know the man now, and I hope the memory of it stays with me throughout my life. Almost anything I write about this excellent book and the great man it elucida ...more
David J. Harris
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
N.L. Brisson
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Roberts, in his biography Churchill: Walking With Destiny tells us that Churchill was not ubiquitously or universally beloved, until he was. As he tells it even Churchill’s detractors enjoyed his wit, his oratory, and his intelligence. Having just spent over a month in the company of Winston Churchill, and an enormous cast of famous cohorts, I am surprised and almost sorry to find myself back in the weird politics and tenuous peace of the 21 st century.

Churchill was born in Blenheim Palac
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There have been a lot of biographies of Winston Churchill, and this does not address the numerous fine books in which glimpses of his life are provided as part of other stories. If one gets a chance to visit the Churchill War Rooms and the Churchill Museum in London, it will provide an opportunity to check out particular days of Churchill’s life - a really engaging museum. So ir is hard to conclusively determine if Andrew Roberts’ new Churchill biography is the best one volume biography in print ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many times while making my way through the heart of Andrew Robert's triumphant Churchill biography, I considered it a bit too hagiographic. Now, having completed it and taken time to reflect, I concede that perhaps Churchill simply was such a great man. Even after almost 1,200 pages, I wanted to keep reading and had a lump in my throat by the end.

Walking with Destiny is not meant to be a controversial book with novel claims but rather the definitive single-volume biography of Churchill, which,
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found it just as easy to read this biography as I do to read an essay by George Orwell because it is written with striking clarity and in a straightforward manner. I am not suggesting for one moment that it is not scholarly but that it is thoroughly palatable and enjoyable to read.

Churchill had a puckish sense of humour and so has Andrew Roberts. Such a figure of Falstaffian early Elizabethan Regency Victorian and Edwardian proportions fully warrants over one thousand biographies but this lat
Joya Cousin
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellently detailed, if somewhat hagiographical. I will need to read this again because it took five months to get through it.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Roberts's biography is scholarly and lets the great man's triumphs and failures speak for themselves. It is enjoyable to read and ultimately moving.

I read a blog post from a certain author I respect in which he called Mr. Roberts's book "hagiographic," that is to say, a biography that idealizes its subject. This word is overused tiresomely by many, such as this blogger, who should know better. It becomes a convenient shorthand way to dismiss a book that you disagree with. If you disagree with a
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best biographies I have read about Winston Churchill. Very interesting and thoroughly researched. I love reading biographies on historical leaders and Winston Churchill is my favorite. I have read many books on Winston Churchill, And this did not disappoint!!!! From his early age through childhood, through his military career in India, Sudan, South Africa, and Belgium and through his years as Britain's prime minister during World War II until the end of his life-This was a wonderful b ...more
This was such and excellent, even-handed biography. It gave such a wonderful understanding of Churchill as a man, as well as of his unique place in the history of the 20th century. It was so interesting that in 50 1/2 hours of listening I never once wished that it would hurry up and end. And if you like audiobooks, the narration was very good.
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Churchill. One of the greatest actors on one of the greatest stages in the whole drama of history. The scenes are riveting and Roberts clearly put much work into finding them and bringing them to light, many for the first time to this broad of an audience. The book held my attention for its duration and there is much to be said for that.

Here, however, is where I diverge from the apparent consensus.

I found the way in which these scenes were stitched together to be somewhat flat. There was n
I don't know if I should write anything. Mr. Roberts has added a wonderful conclusion and the end of this book, and this being the only conclusive non-fiction book I have read on Winston Churchill, much of my thoughts and conclusions about the Man himself are reflected there. But since I really want to write something about the great experience, I have had reading this book, I am going to go ahead with this “review”.

About the book

I think that the worst crime a historian, a writer or anyone who

Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is outstanding! Very informative and gives a new perspective to Winston Churchill. Definitely the definitive work on this great leader.
Daniel Ligon
A fantastic biography! Thorough, well-written, balanced, deeply researched and insightful. “Walking with Destiny” is a great narrative of the life of a great man.
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Dr Andrew Roberts, who was born in 1963, took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He has written or edited twelve books, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world. Based in New York, he is an accomplished public speaker, and is represented by HarperC ...more

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