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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945

de Carlo D'Este

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286769,425 (4.03)32
A biography of Winston Churchill's astonishing military career from his youth through World War II.
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I've never been that interested in reading about Churchill even though I eagerly consume most books about WWII... so I wasn't expecting to like this book. However, I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed listening to this book - well, at least the first half. The early life and WWI chapters were quite interesting - Churchills upbringing as basically a spoiled brat and his self-centered childhood explain a lot. The later chapters (WWII era) were somewhat repetitious, and repetitious on the most minor of details, and so I found myself struggling to keep interested.

Overall, I recommend this book for anyone looking to add breadth to their WWII knowledge; it actually is crucial to learn about Churchill to understand the war. It's not the best book, and it dragged in the later chapters, but even with all that I think it was a good overall book about W.C. ( )
  marshapetry | Jan 6, 2015 |
I cringed my way though this book because of the redundancies, mixed metaphors, and other varieties of clunky writing that crop up on just about every page. Oh, for an editor! When I got to the end, however, I had to recognize the value of d'Este's thorough research and mature judgment. A definite keeper despite itself.
  sonofcarc | Dec 25, 2013 |
I listened to the audio book, narrated by Tom Weiner. The repetitiousness mentioned in other reviews is much easier to get through if you're doing something else while listening to the book being read to you, so I think it's a good choice for this particular book (assuming you don't want to check references). Even at that, I was ready to give up by the middle of 1943 when Churchill has his umpteenth argument with Eisenhower over the D-Day invasion. Still there was much that Churchill tried (unsuccessfully) to do at the end of the war to curb Stalin that made it worth reading to the end.

This was not the first book on Churchill that I'd read, so I appreciated the focus on the military matters. If your primary interest in Churchill is military, you'll be fine reading this alone, as it touches on most of the other major aspects of his life. If, however, you are looking for a well-rounded biography, you should look elsewhere.

Tom Weiner read very well and did a good imitation of Churchill when Churchill was being quoted. ( )
  aulsmith | May 30, 2011 |
Overall, I did enjoy this book, but D'Este has a habit of superlative saturation -- e.g. how many times can Churchill face his most trying episode of the war (I'll give you a hint, it's more than once). Also, there were more than a handful of distracting technical errors: incorrect captions, repeated words, misdirecting index. There is even a line where all of the spaces have been removed to form one superword. But one the whole, a well-written and reasoned book. ( )
  SquireMike | Mar 25, 2011 |
Churchill is a colossus of his time, a figure seemingly larger than life. Yet he was a man of both strengths and weaknesses, flaws and perfections. "Warlord" is a very detailed and effective rendition of the life of Churchill in all his warts and glory in his roles as soldier, commander-in-chief, politician, prophet and stalwart. He deserves all the accolades given to him in his time and in our own, but his life can function also as a cautionary tale for the narrow, self-absorbed focus that oft times brought him far short of the mark. The book is a good read, but its detail and focus on "A Life of Winston Churchill at War" is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it offers important insights that might well have been lost and are in fact lost in the broad strokes of more wide ranging biographies of his complete life. On the other hand, the detail is also wet plowing at times and can be wearying as the seven hundred page tome sometimes plods along. But, while one can learn much from Churchill's life, the overwhelming impression left after the book is done is this: Thank God there were men such as he in those times when great men were needed. We have, unfortunately, none such on the horizon of our present existence. ( )
  BlaueBlume | Jul 4, 2010 |
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A biography of Winston Churchill's astonishing military career from his youth through World War II.

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