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Churchill

Lu par : Robert Whitfield
Durée : 38 h et 18 min
4 out of 5 stars (3 notations)
Prix : 35,87 €
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Description

Winston Churchill is an icon of modern history, but even though he was at the forefront of the political scene for almost 60 years, he might be remembered only as a minor player in the drama of British government had it not been for World War II. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.

From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself. Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood (writing) as well as his professional life (politics), how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other - with its changes of allegiance (from the Conservative to the Liberal and back to the Conservative Party), its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks - and for decades, especially the crisis years of the late 1930s and the terrifying 1940s, when at last it was clear how vital Churchill was to the very survival of Britain. He evaluates Churchill's other accomplishments, his writings, with equal authority.

Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.

©2001 Roy Jenkins (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critiques

"A first-class, well-sustained work of history and a masterpiece of biography." ( The Sunday Telegraph)
"This is far and away Churchill's best one-volume biography." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.)

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Notations

Global

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. Ray
  • 15/12/2002

Best of British Political Soap Opera

This is a LONG book (and thus great value for money). You get not only the portrait of Churchill as a confident, sometimes bungling, always charistmatic figure, but also Jenkins's insights into the British political scene. For instance, when he says that chancellors of the exchequer often expect to become prime minister, he making a wry comment on his own lost expectations. There is just enough analysis and just enough political gossip to make it all fun, and even to sustain suspense, given that we know how it is all going to turn out. The reader is great. He "does" Churchill just well enough to be believable, but not with such emphasis as to be annoying. I have listened to all 25 disks and when my Altzheimers does its job I'll start all over again. The ONLY negative is the time it took to download!

56 sur 57 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 18/12/2007

Very Detailed

This book is a filled with detail and very well described events. I had little knowledge of the life of Winston Churchill or the workings of the government he briefly led before reading this book. I can say that Jenkins left no stone unturned and has written a truly exceptional book.

The narration is exceptional. No annoying flaws in the narrators reading style and maintains a steady pace.

Only 4 stars due to the, in my opinion, overuse of insignificant names throughout the book which made some sections slightly difficult to follow.

16 sur 16 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Arthur
  • 29/10/2006

A Political Lifel

This is a gossipy, chatty, sometimes catty and not always favorable biography of Winston S. Churchill. Among other things, the author was a former MP and political insider holding various offices in government. His father, Arthur Jenkins was a parliamentary private secretary to Clement Attlee - the man who defeated Churchill immediately after WWII. Some of Churchill's most famous aphorisms were insulting to Clement Attlee (A modest man, who has much to be modest about) and one wonders how Roy Jenkins felt about that and if it had any influence on the book.

Regardless, the book presumes the reader is more acquainted with English history and the English system of government than is likely for most Americans. The book focuses almost entirely on the inner political workings of government during Churchill's (and Jenkin's) time. It's also marred by diversions about various political figures who appear only briefly and don't have much to do with Churchill. The reader in England may be familiar with these characters and be interested in what happened to them but the American reader will not. It's almost more of a memoir than a biography because the author often inserts himself especially in the years in which he served in Parliament with Churchill.

I would first recommend William Manchester for a more complete picture of Churchill, even though it's longer and, ironically, incomplete.

I will say the voice characterizations by Robert Whitfield are excellent. By a change in accent or tone he is able to indicate a change in speaker leaving no doubt who is being quoted. This was extremely helpful. In particular, he does a decent imitation of Churchill himself. Even 40 years after his death, Churchill's words and voice are so familiar that it would be disconcerting to hear them spoken any other way.

18 sur 19 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Harris
  • 28/01/2003

Churchill for the Researchers

A hefty volume that just might be the way to go for someone doing their PHD thesis, it leaves a lot to be desired for a reader just trying to get a sense of the era. While it shows Churchill to be at times pragmatic, and at other times bumbling, it dwelt too much on each speech that he gave and each bill that he voted on. Even though Jenkins made a noble effort to "Americanize" his view of Parliament, the British election system, etc., the book is probably a bit to heavy for the American public unfamiliar with many of the British terms. In summary, a interesting work for research purposes but too heavy for everyday reading.

25 sur 27 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • 15/02/2003

long, but worthwhile

This book was the cradle to grave story of Winston Churchill. The detailed account of his early years and rise to public office gives the listener a glimpse into one very interesting fellow. With the understanding of Churchill that I gained through listening, the actions in World WarI and World War II can be seen through another lens.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Zachary Brannock
  • 10/06/2004

I have a great attention span; this one beat me

I really do not enjoy disparaging something that someone has obviously worked so hard to make, but I owe it to my fellow commuters. Do not get this book. This is the only audible book that I failed to finish. Almost every sentence follows the established format of a persuasive essay - which would be fine if a sentence could be a persuasive essay, but it clearly should not be.
Each sentence begins with a lengthy introductory portion wherein the basic premise of the sentence is set forth and multiple facts are spilled out, then there is a maddeningly distracting section which attempts to concede to various opposing view points, followed, then, by several more sections that provide evidence to support the introductory portion, and this may, or may not, be followed by a concluding section which may, or may not, summarize the prior analysis - and all of this within the confines of a capital letter and a period.
Now, if you enjoyed my last sentence, then, by all means, buy the book. And if you are a commuter, then it is accurate to say that there are literally miles of these sentences. If you are interested in Churchill, then stick with William Manchester.

21 sur 23 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • KMH
  • 24/04/2004

Too much little stuff

This is a big book about a larger than life man. The book captures you early on and then somewhere around WW1 it let me go and it seemed like a chore to stick with the minutia especially between the wars. There seemed to be just too much detail in this book

12 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 02/05/2007

Lengthy, Well Written, Excellent Narration

If you only want to get an overview of the man's life, this book is not for you. This book is for the reader who knows the basics of Churchill's long career but who would like to learn more (many more) of the details in between.

Churchill has his strengths and his flaws and this book isn't shy about exploring them in detail through each phase of his life. One quote that stands out in my mind is one where his young grandchild gets through the usual attendants and enters Churchill's study and asks "Grandpapa, is it true that you are the greatest man in the world?" To which his sweet grandfather answered: "Yes, now bugger off".

I found the narration excellent. Not only did the narrator imitate a good Churchill but he switched to good Scots, Welsh, Afrikaner, American and working class English accents with ease.

16 sur 18 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ddh
  • 16/10/2008

Excellent reading of an Excellent book

The reader, first of all, was wonderful. He provided realistic voices to the characters including the women (which many male readers get wrong).

The book was fascinating. A wonderfully complete biography of Churchill. I gained a very good understanding of Churchill's strengths and weaknesses without distracting from his incredible role in history.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adam E Schussheim
  • 02/04/2008

Very Good But Very British

A little too focused on details of British Parliament. This is not surprising since it is written by a Parliament Member but as a parochial American, some of the details were hard to follow. Overall, excellent though with great information and insight.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Albrecht
  • 26/11/2011

A Good Book Well Read

There's probably no other statesman in the 20th century who has had such a rich life, and probably no more entertaining biography narrating it. But that's for historians and literary critics to judge. I've found it very instructive and highly entertaining, and couldn't help but admire Robert Whitfield's performance in reading it out loud. The countless quotations are all delivered in a special voice reflecting the character of the personality who enunciated it, and the spirit in which it was pronounced, without interfering with the steady pace of the narrative. Most importantly, all quotations of the Great Man Himself are delivered in a very successful imitation of his voice. Not only adds it greatly to the entertainment value, it also makes the narrative easier to follow. This is quite an achievement. The book is a must-have for audio book lovers and Churchill fans.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 21/03/2011

Detaillreiche Nacherzählung von Churchills Leben

Roy Jenkins erzählt über Strecken mit fast schon buchhalterischer Genauigkeit von Churchills Leben. Dadurch entstehen dichte Bilder von Churchills Wirken und von seinen Schwächen. Was gelegentlich zu kurz kommt ist die Einordnung von Churchills Wirken in den Kontext der jeweiligen Zeit. Beispielsweise erfahren wir, dass Churchill zu Beginn seines politischen Wirkens ein strikter Gegner des Flottenausbaus war und später, in den dreißiger Jahren, zum vehementen Ausbaubefürworter wurde. Die Hintergründe seiner früheren Einstellung und die Gründe seiner Widersacher für ihre Politik werden jedoch nicht nachvollziehbar dargestellt. Man kann Churchills Standpunkt nur zur Kenntnis nehmen, selbst bewerten kann man ihn nicht. Dies ist symptomatisch für weite Teile des (Hör-)buchs, muss jedoch nicht stören, wenn man sich diese Informationen woanders holen kann und möchte. Churchill wird hier überwiegend nicht "eingeordnet". Jenkins hält sich meistens nicht damit auf, über Churchill nachzudenken und seine Erkenntnisse darzulegen und Einsichten zu begründen. Vielmehr lässt er sich von der Fülle des Materials aus den offiziellen Biographien und der Korrespondenz Churchills dazu verleiten, deren wesentlichen Inhalt und die vielen Stationen zusammenzufassen. Ein wenig unterliegt er dabei der gleichen "Schwäche" wie der Churchill vorgeworfenen Vorliebe für das Reisen und die summits (nach dem Motto "Hauptsache, wir sind unterwegs, egal, was dabei herauskommt"). Das macht das Hörbuch nicht weniger hörenswert, sondern für Churchill-Neugierige vielleicht zum idealen Einstieg. Sehr interessant sind die Einblicke in Churchills Anfänge sowie die zu seinen Finanzen und seiner "geschäftlichen" Seite als Journalist und Redner. Churchills Karriere vom jungen Kavalleriefähnrich aus altem Adel und Kriegskorrespondenten am Hindukusch und im Sudan zum Minister im 1. Weltkrieg und zweimaligen Premierminister des Vereinigten Königreichs und Totenwächter des Empire ist einmalig!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mici
  • 15/10/2017

Very enjoyable account of Churchill's life

Roy Jenkins, retired MP, has written a well versed account of the life of Winston Churchill. Detailed but never boring he explores the early life, first and second "Wilderness Years" and the trumendous undertaking of Churchill to save Western civilisation from collapse and Britain from imminent invasion by the Nazi Reich.
Jenkins is aware of all other Churchill biographies and the contents of the Churchill archive and thus can give precision where others chose to focus on actual events instead of giving a partisan account of the events.

A few more chapters on Churchill's last ten years of life would have been desireable, but this is of course well beyond sincere criticism.

Robert Whitfield is an excellent speaker (his Churchill is very close to the original), only the audio quality is just good.