A wonderfully well written and read biography of the greatest Englishman of the 20th century One marvels at the breadth of achievements that this man accomplished in his life A great author, a soldier and commander, a leader who served in office for many decades achieving the highest post in his nation not once, but twice, who led his nation with pugnacity and resolve through the most trying of ordeals and brought it through the darkness to victory No other leader traveled and toiled as much as he through the Second World War to ensure that Europe would once again regain its freedom and that the democracies of the West would eventually prevail over not one, or two, or three evil regimes but over all that he encountered He was the first of the western leaders to oppose the Stalinist regime and the longest standing opponent of the Nazis, Italian Fascists, and Japanese Imperialists Now off to read his Great Contemporaries, The World Crisis, and My Early Life I am so thankful that he has left us with over 40 great works to read He was very much wow. This comprehensive political biography of Winston Churchill is available on audible.com I listened to the entire content over the span of a month and while commuting The book is that engaging, and comprehensive The narration by Robert Whitfield is thoroughly British in tone and inflection and fits like a glove I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys biography or modern history. Acclaimed Historian Roy Jenkins Presents A Comprehensive Biography Of Winston Churchill, An Icon Of Modern History, From His Childhood To The Critical World War II Period And Beyond A New York Times Bestseller This Is A First Class, Well Sustained Work Of History And A Masterpiece Of Biography It Will Be A Brave, Not To Say Foolhardy, Author Who Attempts To Write Another Life Of Churchill For At Least A Decade, Perhaps Longer Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph Roy Jenkins Combines Unparalleled Command Of British Political History And His Own High Level Government Experience 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 SubjectExceptional In Its Breadth Of Knowledge And Distinguished In Its Stylish Wit And Penetrating Intelligence, Churchill Is One Of The Finest Political Biographies Of Our Time Churchill was without doubt the greatest Englishman of the 20th Century and the saviour of the western world, when Britain stood defiantly alone in 1940 41.Roy Jenkins, a great statesman in his own right, wrote before his death a mega biography of this great man, without any nuances Churchill was unpopular and considered crassly ambitious and arrogant in his political life from 1903 to 1939 Even then, he was considered a dangerous warmonger In 1945, the voters luckily remembered who he was in peacetime and he was thrown out, which led the way for social reform and the independence of India Still, he was again Prime Minister when I was born, in 1953.His life outside politics was immensely productive Books, articles, painting and building He never met Hitler he was due to do so in 1932 in Munich, but the meeting was cancelled I wonder if it would have made any difference some 8 years later By the way it took me 3 summer holidays to read this humungous work As has been noted by many a reviewer of this work, Roy Jenkins brings nothing especially new to light in this 1000 page biography Perhaps this saysabout the sheer amount of writing talent that has been sacrificed at the altar of this enigmatic character What Jenkins does effectively however, is guide the passive student of Churchill through a sniff test of literature about, and because he was an prolific diarist and letter writer by modern standards, to and by Britain s most famous political figure In doing this, he goes to great lengths to create a semblance of a continuous theme in a life that seemed to have been lived in a manner that would suggest the protagonist did not care much for close scrutiny.What view is the reader left with of Churchill, Jenkins, and Jenkins opinion of Churchill To answer this query, it is necessary to highlight the fact that this book owes its claim to balance to the fact that the biographer narrates his subject s distasteful idiosyncrasies with the precision of a critic but still manages to convince the reader of his greatness He dispels the myths in a way one would if one s aim were to counter a hagiography, but reminds the reader that these distortions on truths are not there to mask disagreeable character traits He leaves the reader wondering why one person was wrong so often, or indeed has so many chances to be wrong, yet helps one see how his moments of clearmindedness and apposite forward thinking gave Britain some of its most defining moments as a people Jenkins makes it difficult to disagree with his conclusion that despite all of Churchill s indulgences, character flaws and recurring lapses of judgement, W remains the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street This, along with the fluidity of the prose, is what makes Churchill by Jenkins a must for any follower of British politics, earns its praise as one of the most compelling works in the field and ultimately proves that it is a unique contribution to the history of writing on political history. While there s no doubt this biography was detailed its size made that evident it is a ponderous read, and lumbers along with all the speed of a glacier It also seemedconcerned with various aspects of British politics than it should have been While there s no question politics should have been covered, given who Churchill was, so often a story that should have been about Churchill s involvement in politics seemed to morph into a political discussion with a brief mention of Churchill only when it was absolutely necessary. This is a superb biography of Churchill It is one long volume, so it covers most aspects of his long interesting life, but is not as thorough as some of the specialized bios or the multiple volume bios such as by Gilbert or Manchester Jenkins is a longtime parliamentary insider, so the focus of the volume is political The author is well acquainted with and makes good use of rich documentary sources to great effect and without being too tedious Churchill had an amazing life and was the early version of Where s Waldo for critical world events He began his military career in NW India and Afghanistan, then moved to the Sudan, where he took part in the expedition to avenge Gordon, and in doing so rode in the last British Calvary charge He then went to the Boer War as a correspondent and became a media star after being captured and then escaping As first Lord of the Admiralty, he led the British Navy in changing over to oil power and thus making the Middle East important He survived a massive failure at Gallipoli which got Rupert Murdoch s father started in journalism and reemerged in government to among other things lead Britain back onto the gold standard in 1924 at an overvalued rate His reemergence to central importance in the 1930s and 1940s is better known but also well discussed here Even his final premiership in the early 1950s is interesting and shows someone who has stayed on a bit too long.Jenkins is very effective throughout but I thought he was most effective in showing how Churchill put together the political coalition in the 1930s that returned him to power and made him the perfect person to lead Britain in WWII Nearly anything about Churchill is interesting, but this was a really engaging book which is hard to say about most 900 page volumes. I wanted to read a biography of Churchill because I am aware that although some people see him as a hero figure that saw the Brit s through WW2, there are contradicting views I had a vague knowledge of problems in WW1 and some issues with letting groups of people down at the end of WW2 I did feel that reading a biography of Churchill gave me an amazing overview of the history at the turn of the century and into the early 20th century Although Jenkins did address Churchill s actions in the Dardanelles in WW1 and his imperfections of character I also felt that may be writing a biography of a winner of the Nobel prize for literature and a renown wordsmith made Jenkins feel he had to compete I enjoy the challenge of looking up the odd new word but I felt that Jenkins used complicated, unnecessary words when others would have done Looking up 2 or 3 words a paragraph can be irritating and when they do not add clarity I question their use There were also puzzling details in places with details lacking in others For example, it was explained that Casablanca became better known for the film rather than the conference, but that did not help in anyway and for those of a younger generation might not mean anything at all However a little way down from this there is talk of De Galle s strong but alienating charisma and some explanation of this would have been very helpful The term Halifax style negiotiated end of the war was also lost on me but that I needed to know. A compelling biography of Churchill As the author is also a long standing member of the British Parliament the emphasis through out is on Churchill s political side This is justified as Churchill s primary life objective was to achieve political success and longevity We follow him as he rises through the Conservative party, switched to the Liberals, and then with the demise of that party, returns back to the Conservatives Churchill was always a meteor He was a welcome and vibrant addition to any party and his goal was to have a role in the cabinet This meteor caliber was recognized early on he held cabinet posts in his early thirties His written output by speeches, newspaper articles and books was immense and of high quality.Mr Jenkins explains well the political relationships in Churchill s long career from Asquith and Lloyd George to Chamberlain and Anthony Eden Churchill was always a strong individualist somewhat adding to the peril of his livelihood Even though his eloquent Munich address condemning Chamberlain s handing over of the Sudetenland to Hitler is retrospectively seen to be correct at the time he was highly criticized and forced to keep a low profile in order to maintain his membership in the Conservative Party.Mr Jenkins is less comfortable describing Churchill s family relationships There is little on his children, most of it being on Randolph Given the longevity of his marriage not very much is said on Clementine They did spend much time apart traveling in another biography I read by Ralph Martin he speculated that she may have had a brief affair during a sea voyage she took The author does elaborate on the peculiar relationship Churchill had with both his parents Randolph and Jennie There is no mention of the suicide of his daughter Diana in 1963.Mr Jenkins does speculate on the relationship with Roosevelt and why he did not attend his funeral in 1945 However Jenkins is incorrect when he states that Roosevelt was semi comatose during the Yalta conference in 1945.Nevertheless this is very entertaining with a great deal of humour throughout Churchill led an extraordinarily active life and the author captures the low points and the glorious ones when he became the beacon of the Western World. I loved Churchill s History of the Second World War, so when this book came out, I bought it It had had good reviews from people who pointed out how well qualified Jenkins was to write about his illustrious predecessor, having himself had top posts in the British Government.Well I wish I could say I knew why it didn t come together I just didn t feel very gripped by the story, which is funny, because Churchill had a truly incredible life Maybe there was too much detail, or Jenkins isn t that good at sketching character, or he was too intimidated by his huge admiration for Churchill to venture any speculative or controversial analysis I read the whole thing, and of course there were a number of good stories, but I still felt disappointed.