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William Manchester, Paul Reid - The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 NOTE – The sheer size of the book (42 CDs) has resulted in over 1,000 tracks. Some players or programs have trouble going over 999, so I am offering this book in two ways. This torrent is an 80 kbps rip (EAC FLAC Burst Mode – tested, then converted to 80 CBR with dBPoweramp) of the book exactly as offered on the CDs. In the second torrent, I have joined them into one large file with MP3Surgeon2004, then split them into 43 CD-sized sections. My SansaClip mp3 player choked on the first one, but accepted the second version. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-lion-william-manchester/1112614901?ean=9780316547703 Overview Spanning the years of 1940-1965, THE LAST LION picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister-when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. THE LAST LION brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America's beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States. More than twenty years in the making, THE LAST LION presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring. Library Journal This is the final volume of Manchester's magisterial Churchill biography begun more than 30 years ago and producing its first two volumes in 1983 and 1988, after which Manchester moved ahead with this volume. However, with the decline of his health, he was unable to continue writing and asked Reid (former features writer, Cox Newspapers) to collaborate with him. Manchester died in 2004 and Reid took over, using Manchester's vast collection of notes, interviews, and other sources to complete this massive work. Manchester's voice permeates the text and the narrative is true to his style. Churchill is revealed, warts and all, as a complex man, given to temper tantrums and moments of brilliance as he led Britain and its empire to victory in World War II. The great majority of this volume is devoted to the war, which most will agree encompassed Churchill's finest hours. VERDICT This is a big book but reads easily, filled with anecdotes from the principals. Although not a practiced historian, Reid learned well from Manchester, and the finished book is a worthy conclusion to what must be considered one of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. An essential conclusion to Manchester's magnum opus. Kirkus Reviews A (very) posthumous study of the late, great British leader by the late, great popular historian, aided by journalist Reid. Just before Manchester (A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance--Portrait of an Age, 1992, etc.) died in 2004, he handed over the task of finishing his Churchill biography to Reid, who retains Manchester's habit of writing at extreme length, and it's clear where Manchester left off in his own primary research: Though the book spans the years 1940 to Churchill's death in 1965, roughly only one-tenth of it covers the "lion's" last 20 years, while the vast bulk is given over--fittingly enough--to Churchill's leadership as British prime minister during World War II. The documentation would not pass a professional historian's muster, but Manchester never wrote for historians, and general readers, as always, will be taken by his boundless abilities as a storyteller. Manchester also saw patterns that may not have been apparent to most other writers. Whereas Hitler was famously known as an artist manqué, Churchill "came at every issue with a painter's eye," whether developing a battle plan for the invasion of Italy or "parsing geopolitical matters such as continental hegemony." The great-man theory of history, too, may be passé in academia, but Manchester/Reid gladly subscribe to it, with an account of the friendship of Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (and rivalry with Josef Stalin) that is both searching and unsentimental. The authors clearly admire Churchill, for reasons that they make evident throughout, but there is little in the way of hero worship. Indeed, their critical account of Operation Torch--which Dwight Eisenhower exaggeratedly called "the blackest day in history"--is thorough and convincing, and it does not reflect well on the cigar-chomping PM. The manuscript is replete with Manchester's journalistic flourishes, some of which cross into cliché, and it's as much a monument to the author as to its subject. Essential for Manchester collectors, WWII buffs and Churchill completists.
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