The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill

Alone (1983); Visions of Glory (1988)
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill - Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 (1983)
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill - Alone, 1932-1940 (1988)

Dozens, if not hundreds, of biographies have been written about Winston Churchill, but none are as insightful, or as gracefully written, as this brilliant work by William Manchester. The book is in two parts: Visions of Glory, which covers the first 58 years of Churchill’s life; and Alone, detailing the 1930s, when Churchill was out of government. That’s right; two volumes and some 1,600 pages and Churchill isn’t even prime minister yet. But don’t forget that Churchill was not merely a politician. He was a soldier, writer, painter, adventurer, and participant in just about every major world event between the late 1890s and the late 1950s. He was also a captivating character with a devilish wit, and to delve into these pages is a joy.

The author, William Manchester, had hoped to continue the story of Churchill’s life, but passed away at age 82 before the third and final volume, Defender of the Realm, could be completed. That work has now been finished by Paul Reid and is scheduled for publication in late 2012.

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