Carol Bakker's Reviews > The Last Lion 1: Winston Spencer Churchill Visions of Glory 1874-1932

The Last Lion 1 by William Manchester
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2017, adventure, africa, animals, architecture, art, asia, audio, biography, canada, egypt, england, epic, europe, germany, france, greece, history, readwithhusband, war, ww1
Recommended to Carol Bakker by: Mitch Madsen

After listening to 32 discs, I wish there were a way to follow up by reading an abridged printed version — an abridgment selected by me that I somehow (by wrinkling my nose?) marked as I listened.

I wonder: are five stars accurate? There were moments of slogging through a detailed analysis of something or other. (My husband and I could only listen to one disc at a time while driving.) But the finds far outnumbered the grinds. Reading this trilogy gives an amazing overview of the first sixty years of the twentieth century in Europe.

Listening to Churchill's childhood was flat out painful. Manchester called it starvation for parental affection. Many paragraphs were groan-inducing. His letters to his parents from school made me want to haul Randolph and Jennie out of their graves and slap their skeletons. (this isn't the me I usually reveal to the public) Year after year after year, he begs for a response, for a visit, for his parents to notice him. Life at school, academically and socially, was also grim. But these experiences steeled him for the furnace of public disapproval later in his life.

Winston and Clementine, both children of mothers who took dozens of lovers, were rock-solid in their fidelity to one another. So great was my pleasure in their relationship, that I've borrowed a bio of Clementine to learn more.

The best part of this book is the preamble (pp 3-108) which gives an overview of WSC's life. You can't read every page in the Amazon preview, but you can read pages 3 and 4 — sparklingly brilliant prose. If you haven't watched Dunkirk yet (or even if you have) read these two pages. They will stir and thrill your soul.

I was transfixed by the five pages of acknowledgements. (<— !!??!!) On the occasion of meeting the P.M. Manchester writes: It would be inaccurate to say that Churchill and I conversed. Alone with him I was mute, having, in fact, nothing to say. He had everything to say, and like Gladstone speaking to Victoria, he addressed me as though I were a one-man House of Commons. It was superb.
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Quotes Carol Bakker Liked

William Manchester
“If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them—peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on their shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you will at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.”
William R. Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

Reading Progress

July 13, 2017 – Started Reading
July 13, 2017 – Shelved
July 17, 2017 –
page 7
July 22, 2017 –
page 16
August 1, 2017 –
page 24
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: adventure
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: africa
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: animals
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: architecture
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: art
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: asia
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: biography
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: canada
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: egypt
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: england
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: epic
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: europe
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: germany
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: france
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: greece
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: history
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: readwithhusband
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: war
August 4, 2017 – Shelved as: ww1
August 4, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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message 1: by Melora (new) - added it

Melora You make it sound rather irresistible! Major time commitment, but I've put it in my list -- thanks for the excellent review!

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