by William Manchester, 1984, Unabridged Audiobook version read by Frederick Davidson, 2012, Blackstone Audio
This is a very good book, enhanced greatly by the reading of Frederick Davidson. There were times when I thought I was listening to Winston, himself, rather than Mr. Davidson.
In regard to the content of the book, I had read Citizens in London which disclosed a great deal of information about the various affairs of Churchill’s daughters and daughter-in-law. This book went into quite a bit of detail regarding the indiscretions of Winston’s mother, Jenny, and his father, Randolph, as well as the morals of the upper class in England in those times. Winston and his wife, Clementine, however, seem to have had a very stable, loving and faithful relationship. This was very interesting, given the looseness of the prior and following generations.
I was very impressed with Clementine and the sage advice she provided Winston, who was somewhat of a hothead at time. The letters she and Winston wrote to each other are almost of the same quality that John and Abigail Adams wrote. She was quite a lady.
Finally, the book went to great lengths to dispel some of the blame that Churchill received for the Gallipoli disaster. It seems apparent that much of the blame should be placed on Lloyd George and the cabinet’s dithering when a decision to attack Constantinople was needed. Kitchener’s last minute intervention also had much to do with creating the fiasco. If the English ships had sailed on to take Constantinople as originally planned, the entire campaign in Gallipoli could have been avoided and, perhaps, would have even shortened World War I.
My only criticism of the book may be the amount of detail that it contains. I must admit I was lost sometimes when the author delved into the various players in the political scene. Also, it seems he recited every single letter Churchill ever wrote to his mother, his governess, and later, his wife. It seemed to be a bit of overkill after a while.