The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill; Alone: 1932-1940

by William Manchester

Hardcover, 1983




Boston : Little, Brown, c1983-


Manchester challenges the assumption that Churchill's finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932-1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors-at one point he had to put up his home for sale-he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC, Fleet Street, and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement.

User reviews

LibraryThing member alwaysmlo
The first chapter in this book is without comparison. Really brilliant writing, and what a great subject for Manchester. Churchill gets my vote for man of the century.
LibraryThing member chellinsky
The Last Lion: Alone is remarkable in its depth, accessibility, and scholarship. Manchester spends nearly 700 pages developing not just the individual--Churchill--but also an extensive analysis of the people and events that shaped the man in the interwar period. The process that led to war is presented clearly and in vivid detail. There are few contemporary books that reach this level. No complaints.… (more)
LibraryThing member lunza
This biography cannot be praised highly enough. It is so detailed and yet so well written that it does not seem dense or difficult at all. The first volume covers the years up to 1932, when Churchill left the government and became a lone voice in the wilderness warning about the danger posed by Adolf Hitler. This volume covers the years of his exile, which ended in 1940 when he was unfortunately proven right about Hitler, and continues up to when he was named Prime Minister.

It is a shame that Manchester was not able to complete this work (which I guess would be at least two more volumes -- World War II and then his twilight years); I understand that someone else is going to, but it probably won't be the same.
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LibraryThing member jdmays
An exceedingly long book that only the most ardent Winston Churchill fan will read from cover to cover. Well-written and interesting for a time. Unfortunately, it seems to cover every waking moment of the subject's life to 1940. Also, the edition I have - with the picture of Churchill as a youth - is one of the ugliest book covers I have ever seen.… (more)
LibraryThing member Doondeck
Only slightly less engrossing that the first volume. What a shame that we will never get to see the rest of Manchester's work.
LibraryThing member Schmerguls
This second volume of Manchester's superb biography covers the years Churchill was out ot the Government and the time in 1939 and 1940 before he became Prime Minister. It is splendidly written and one stands in dismay to read how dangerous and short-sighted the men opposing Churchill were and how right Churchill was in calling attention to the folly of Baldwin and Chamberlain and those who supported them, The years covered by this book are doleful and can only be borne because one knows that all comes right in the end. While I lived through 1938 and1939 and 1940 with acute attention to th events of those years, I was surprised how much I did not know. This book is awesomely engrossing and tells the sad story of those years brilliantly… (more)
LibraryThing member storm1950
After reading a brief introduction to earlier works on Churchill by the author, I purchased this and enjoyed it very much. Great insite into the mindset of the politicians of the day and the history of post WW1 and preWW2.
LibraryThing member dirac
I enjoyed this book though there was just as much information not on Churchill as on him. This is not all bad as it was necessary to tell a complete story of the rise of Nazi Germany and the reactions of various governments to the aggressive regime therein located. A good read though dry at times. I am torn between 3 and 4 stars. I think I settled on 3 simply because I stopped the book a few times just to get a break. The book was well written and does provide a spectacular view of the time.… (more)
LibraryThing member stringsn88keys
Remarkable telling of Winston Churchill's wilderness years.



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