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Churchill: Walking with Destiny

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,564 ratings  ·  267 reviews
A landmark reconsideration of the iconoclastic war leader, based on extensive new material, from private letters to war cabinet meetings, by the bestselling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War.

When we seek an example of unalloyed courage, the man who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the visionary leader, immune from the consensus of the day, who stood fi
Hardcover, 1105 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Allen Lane (first published October 4th 2018)
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Ted There are a few low yield swear words sprinkled through the text, mostly quoting Churchill at moments of high tension or low comedy. More important…moreThere are a few low yield swear words sprinkled through the text, mostly quoting Churchill at moments of high tension or low comedy. More important are the many "new," at least to me, words. The author makes clear that Churchill had an incredibly wide vocabulary that he wasn't shy about using.(less)
Marianne Roncoli We are so desperate for a leader like a Churchill. There is no one like him in the US today or anywhere else. I keep reading about Churchill and…moreWe are so desperate for a leader like a Churchill. There is no one like him in the US today or anywhere else. I keep reading about Churchill and finding so many things that characterize him as the most egotistical, ruthless, relentless, irrational and most inspirational, learned, brilliant, loving, prolific, artistic, scholarly, and hilariously funny leader the English-speaking world has ever known. The paradox of traits forever fascinates.(less)

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Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 an
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
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,
Dana Stabenow
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 sta/>On
Scott  Hitchcock
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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 Churc
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 surroundin
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
Steven Peterson
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
British journalist and historian Andrew Roberts is a fine biographer, as his Napoleon (2016) clearly shows. And he is gutsy in his choices: Churchill (2018) takes on one of the most prominent and often-written-of figures in the twentieth century, a subject about whom there could be nothing new to say. If that is true Roberts pulls off a miracle, spending 1,000 pages saying nothing new—and enthralling the reader at the hubris, intelligence, energy, pugnacity, and wisdom of the man who had the temerity to write a ...more
Nancy 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
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The New York Times in its review of this book posed the question as to whether this was the best one volume biography of Churchill. I must confess that I still love Roy Jenkins’ biography, mainly because Jenkins, like Churchill served in Parliament. He understands the institution where Churchill spent most of his life. The Jenkins book is insightful, but Andrew Roberts takes a slightly different approach that yields equally rich insights into the life of the greatest of Britain’s Prime Ministers ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, like it
Moses Operandi
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
As other reviewers have noted, why a new Churchill, especially with Martin Gilbert’s iconic tome?

Roberts, a fine writer himself, has new sources, including King George VI’s diary. The king, even several months after calling for Churchill, still wasn’t sold on him. He may not have been totally sold until El Alamein and Torch.

He also got to read Pamela Digby Churchill Harriman’s love letters, providing more background on the Churchill family. Among the more scandalous refer
Patrick Ewing
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I did it! 900+ pages! Truly a heroic figure. Not only for england, but for the world.
Amanda P.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Library audiobook. 50.5 hours!!!!
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is outstanding! Very informative and gives a new perspective to Winston Churchill. Definitely the definitive work on this great leader.
Daniel Ligon
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Scott Martin
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Audiobook) To say that any one single volume can ever offer a comprehensive picture about a man like Winston Churchill would be to accept the impossible. No one work can do that...or it could try, but then it would be hundreds of thousands of pages...taking even more words than the man (who won a Nobel Prize for Literature) wrote himself. However, this work give a quality effort towards that, and if you find yourself only reading one book about the man, this is a good as any. It is far from a s ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 50+ hour audio-book by the eminent historian Andrew Roberts kept my interest and was full of details of the life, wit, wisdom, insight, genius, and successful prophetic tendencies of the great British Bulldog, yet it also offered grander views and lessons we can use in our day.

A few nuggets:
- "Study history; in history lie all the secrets of statecraft." May 1953 (C. to an Amer. student)
- "...only with independence can you let your own life express itself naturally.
Adam Yoshida
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great and Relevant Biography

Having read perhaps twenty works about Winston Churchill, including several full-scale biographies (even if I am only partway though the full Gilbert official biography), I was initially skeptical of the need for a new another. I bought it instead on the strength of the other works of Andrew Roberts that I have read, which have been uniformly excellent.

Nevertheless, this is a great biography that thoroughly covers the life of Sir Winston, making use of s
Peter Caron
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally thorough and well-written account of a exceptional person and almost mythical personality. Drawing on diaries and personal accounts, Andrew Roberts introduces the reader to a flawed man who was great not in spite of his shortcomings but for the most part because of them.

Historian, statesman, soldier and butterfly collector, Churchill was many things. Roberts has written a biography which puts into perspective the many sides of the complex being that was Winston Spencer Churchil
Sue Hurel
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Dunkirk movies and The Queen miniseries last year combined to pique my interest in Mr. Churchill. This book, while hefty in size, is not an overly scholarly work. All the great events in his life, and there were so many, are covered but not to the level of a graduate school thesis. I think it’s a fair assessment of Churchill who has many failures (Gallipoli) and failings (an unapologetic imperialist), but who indisputably saved England from surrendering to the Nazis and in doing so, protecte ...more
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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 Har ...more
“When you make some great mistake,’ he philosophized, ‘it may very easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.” 1 likes
“Progress is the principle of the human race,” 1 likes
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