Finest Years

Churchill as Warlord, 1940-45
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0007263686
Category: Great Britain
Page: 664
View: 9201

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Pre-eminent military historian Max Hastings presents Winston Churchill as he has never been seen before. Winston Churchill was the greatest war leader Britain ever had. In 1940, the nation rallied behind him in an extraordinary fashion. But thereafter, argues Max Hastings, there was a deep divide between what Churchill wanted from the British people and their army, and what they were capable of delivering. Himself a hero, he expected others to show themselves heroes also, and was often disappointed. It is little understood how low his popularity fell in 1942, amid an unbroken succession of battlefield defeats. Some of his closest colleagues joined a clamour for him to abandon his role directing the war machine. Hastings paints a wonderfully vivid image of the Prime Minister in triumph and tragedy. He describes the "second Dunkirk" in 1940, when Churchill's impulsiveness threatened to lose Britain almost as many troops in north-west France as had been saved from the beaches; his wooing of the Americans, and struggles with the Russians. British wartime unity was increasingly tarnished by workers' unrest, with many strikes in mines and key industries. By looking at Churchill from the outside in, through the eyes of British soldiers, civilians and newspapers - and also those of Russians and Americans - Hastings provides new perspectives on the greatest Englishman. He condemns as folly Churchill's attempt to promote mass uprisings in occupied Europe, and details "Unthinkable" - his amazing 1945 plan for an Allied offensive against the Russians to liberate Poland. Here is an intimate and affectionate portrait of Churchill as Britain's saviour, but also an unsparing examination of the wartime nation which he led and the performance of its armed forces.

Winston's War

Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307593126
Category: History
Page: 576
View: 5013

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A vivid and incisive portrait of Winston Churchill during wartime from acclaimed historian Max Hastings, Winston’s War captures the full range of Churchill’s endlessly fascinating character. At once brilliant and infuriating, self-important and courageous, Hastings’s Churchill comes brashly to life as never before. Beginning in 1940, when popular demand elevated Churchill to the role of prime minister, and concluding with the end of the war, Hastings shows us Churchill at his most intrepid and essential, when, by sheer force of will, he kept Britain from collapsing in the face of what looked like certain defeat. Later, we see his significance ebb as the United States enters the war and the Soviets turn the tide on the Eastern Front. But Churchill, Hastings reminds us, knew as well as anyone that the war would be dominated by others, and he managed his relationships with the other Allied leaders strategically, so as to maintain Britain’s influence and limit Stalin’s gains. At the same time, Churchill faced political peril at home, a situation for which he himself was largely to blame. Hastings shows how Churchill nearly squandered the miraculous escape of the British troops at Dunkirk and failed to address fundamental flaws in the British Army. His tactical inaptitude and departmental meddling won him few friends in the military, and by 1942, many were calling for him to cede operational control. Nevertheless, Churchill managed to exude a public confidence that brought the nation through the bitter war. Hastings rejects the traditional Churchill hagiography while still managing to capture what he calls Churchill’s “appetite for the fray.” Certain to be a classic, Winston’s War is a riveting profile of one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century.


A Study in Greatness
Author: Geoffrey Best
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9781852852535
Category: History
Page: 370
View: 3446

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"We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm." --Churchill Winston Churchill's inspiring leadership in the Second World War once made him above criticism. In recent years his record has come under attack from revisionists. In Churchill: A Study in Greatness one of Britain's most distinguished historians rebuts these charges and makes sense of this extraordinary man and his long controversial, colourful, contradictory and heroic career. Geoffrey Best brings out both his strengths and his weaknesses, looking past the many received versions of Churchill in a biography that balances the private and the public man and offers a clear insight into Churchill's greatness. "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm." --Churchill Winston Churchill's inspiring leadership in the Second World War once made him above criticism. In recent years his record has come under attack from revisionists. In Churchill: A Study in Greatness one of Britain's most distinguished historians rebuts these charges and makes sense of this extraordinary man and his long controversial, colourful, contradictory and heroic career. Geoffrey Best brings out both his strengths and his weaknesses, looking past the many received versions of Churchill in a biography that balances the private and the public man and offers a clear insight into Churchill's greatness.


La battaglia per la Germania 1944-1945
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Neri Pozza Editore
ISBN: 886559408X
Category: History
Page: 746
View: 733

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«La battaglia per la Germania, cominciata come il più imponente fatto d’armi del XX secolo, si concluse nella più grande tragedia umana del Novecento». Come gli studiosi di storia militare sanno, nei mesi che vanno dal 6 giugno 1944 – la data dello sbarco in Normandia – ai primi giorni del maggio 1945 si racchiude la più grande catastrofe della guerra moderna. La lunga marcia dell’esercito alleato per la conquista di Berlino, viziata da gravi incomprensioni ed errori tattici, si scontra, infatti, con un nemico tedesco ancora pienamente in forze e intenzionato a dare battaglia fino al sacrificio dell’ultimo uomo. Un apocalittico scontro finale che, dopo aver esaminato gli archivi di quattro paesi e intervistato centinaia di testimoni diretti degli avvenimenti, Max Hastings ha il merito di ricostruire con un coinvolgente e originale taglio narrativo. A partire dalle battaglie più note, come l’offensiva delle Ardenne o i combattimenti nella foresta di Hürtgen, fino al dettaglio degli episodi meno conosciuti – uno su tutti, la devastante invasione dell’Armata Rossa in Prussia orientale, nella quale morirono oltre un milione di persone –, Hastings segue le manovre di avvicinamento degli eserciti sui due fronti, restituendo abilmente le dinamiche tra soldati, ufficiali e capi insieme con le storie dei singoli. Quanto influì la rivalità tra Montgomery e Patton nella disastrosa Operazione Market Garden ad Arnhem o quella tra Žukov e Konev nell’assedio di Berlino? Quanto la sfiducia, le invidie e gli interessi politici contrastanti tra gli stati alleati allontanarono la fine delle ostilità, moltiplicando il numero dei caduti? Grande racconto storico, che riesce a tenere insieme le dinamiche militari e i drammi della popolazione civile, come l’Hongerwinter, la terribile carestia in Olanda del 1944-45 causata dall’occupazione tedesca, Armageddon è un’opera monumentale, indispensabile per comprendere l’evento in assoluto più importante e cruento del Novecento. «Un libro che tutti dovrebbero leggere». New York Times Book Review «Un’opera magistrale... unisce storie individuali, avvincenti ricostruzioni di battaglie e spietate critiche del comportamento di leader militari e politici». Washington Post Book World «Ogni leader che si accinga a una qualche operazione militare dovrebbe leggere questo libro e meditare a fondo». Wall Street Journal


A Biography
Author: Roy Jenkins
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374123543
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 1002
View: 6333

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Provides a glimpse into the extraordinary life of Britain's greatest prime minister, recreating his many accomplishments, trials, and tribulations throughout his life that contributed to his success.

In Command of History

Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War
Author: David Reynolds
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307824802
Category: History
Page: 656
View: 7347

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Winston Churchill was one of the giants of the twentieth century. As Britain’s prime minister from 1940 to 1945, he courageously led his nation and the world away from appeasement, into war, and on to triumph over the Axis dictators. His classic six-volume account of those years, The Second World War, has shaped our perceptions of the conflict and secured Churchill’s place as its most important chronicler. Now, for the first time, a book explains how Churchill wrote this masterwork, and in the process enhances and often revises our understanding of one of history’s most complex, vivid, and eloquent leaders. In Command of History sheds new light on Churchill in his multiple, often overlapping roles as warrior, statesman, politician, and historian. Citing excerpts from the drafts and correspondence for Churchill’s magnum opus, David Reynolds opens our eyes to the myriad forces that shaped its final form. We see how Churchill’ s manuscripts were vetted by Whitehall to conceal secrets such as the breaking of the Enigma code by British spymasters at Bletchley Park, and how Churchill himself edited the volumes to avoid offending postwar statesmen such as Tito, Charles de Gaulle, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. We explore his confusions about the true story of the atomic bomb, learn of his second thoughts about Stalin, and watch him repackage himself as a consistent advocate of the D-Day landings. In Command of History is a major work that forces us to reconsider much received wisdom about World War II. It also peels back the covers from an unjustly neglected period of Churchill’s life, his “second wilderness” years, 1945—1951. During this time Churchill, now over seventy, wrote himself into history, politicked himself back into 10 Downing Street, and delivered some of the most vital oratory of his career, including his pivotal “iron curtain” speech. Exhaustively researched and dazzlingly written, this is a revelatory portrait of one of the world’s most profiled figures, a work by a historian in full command of his craft. “A fascinating account that accomplishes the impossible: [Reynolds] actually finds something new and interesting to say about one of the most chronicled characters of all time.” –The New York Times Book Review A New York Times NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A BEST HISTORY OF THE YEAR SELECTION –The New York Sun NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.

Bomber Command

Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Zenith Press
ISBN: 1610588630
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 9615

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DIVBomber Command’s air offensive against the cities of Nazi Germany was one of the most epic campaigns of World War II. More than 56,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew and 600,000 Germans died in the course of the RAF’s attempt to win the war by bombing. The struggle in the air began meekly in 1939 with only a few Whitleys, Hampdens, and Wellingtons flying blindly through the night on their ill-conceived bombing runs. It ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Mosquitoes, equipped with the best of British wartime technology, razing whole German cities in a single night. Bomber Command, through fits and starts, grew into an effective fighting force./divDIV /divDIVIn Bomber Command, originally published to critical acclaim in the U.K., famed British military historian Sir Max Hastings offers a captivating analysis of the strategy and decision-making behind one of World War II’s most violent episodes. With firsthand descriptions of the experiences of aircrew from 1939 to 1945—based on one hundred interviews with veterans—and a harrowing narrative of the experiences of Germans on the ground during the September 1944 bombing of Darmstadt, Bomber Command is widely recognized as a classic account of one of the bloodiest campaigns in World War II history. Now back in print in the U.S., this book is an essential addition to any history reader’s bookshelf./div

Six Minutes in May

How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
Author: Nicholas Shakespeare
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473521718
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 528
View: 5950

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*** Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist *** ‘A gripping story of Churchill’s unlikely rise to power’ Observer London, May 1940. Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking the helm, but in Six Minutes in May Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction. It took just six minutes for MPs to cast the votes that brought down Chamberlain. Shakespeare moves from Britain’s disastrous battle in Norway, for which many blamed Churchill, on to the dramatic developments in Westminster that led to Churchill becoming Prime Minister. Uncovering fascinating new research and delving into the key players’ backgrounds, Shakespeare gives us a new perspective on this critical moment in our history. ‘Totally captivating. It will stand as the best account of those extraordinary few days for very many years’ Andrew Roberts ‘Superbly written... Shakespeare has a novelist’s flair for depicting the characters and motives of men’ The Times ‘Utterly wonderful... It reads like a thriller’ Peter Frankopan LONGLISTED FOR THE HWA NON-FICTION CROWN 2018

Now the War Is Over

A Social History of Britain, 1945-1951
Author: Paul Addison
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571296293
Category: Great Britain
Page: 280
View: 1828

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'An excellent book.' Angus Calder, London Review of Books First published in 1985, based on an acclaimed BBC TV series, Paul Addison's "Now The War is Over" examines the great changes in British society that followed hard upon what had been the most destructive war ever known: years of recovery and reform, as Britain was reshaped by high ideals and a collective desire to enjoy the fruits and opportunities of peacetime. Labour was elected in 1945 on a wave of what Addison calls 'Forties collectivism.' Soon Britons would have the benefits of Beveridge's Welfare State, new housing, secondary education for all and, in July 1948, the dawning of the National Health Service. But new interests in consumerism and the pursuit of affluence were also emerging and, as Addison shows in this rich and fascinating study, would prove just as influential as the efforts of government.


The Boy Who Went to War
Author: Giles Milton
Publisher: Sceptre
ISBN: 144471628X
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 9887

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Wolfram Aïchele was nine years old when Hitler came to power: his formative years were spent in the shadow of the Third Reich. He and his parents - free-thinking artists - were to have first hand experience of living under one of the most brutal regimes in history. Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War overturns all the clichés about life under Hitler. It is a powerful story of warfare and human survival and a reminder that civilians on all sides suffered the consequences of Hitler's war. It is also an eloquent testimony to the fact that even in times of exceptional darkness there remains a brilliant spark of humanity that can never be totally extinguished.

Monte Cassino

Ten Armies in Hell
Author: Peter Caddick-Adams
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199974640
Category: History
Page: 396
View: 7772

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Offers an authoritative account of the lesser-known yet devastatingly brutal battle waged by the Italian campaign during World War II.

All Behind You, Winston

Churchill's Great Coalition 1940-45
Author: Roger Hermiston
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
ISBN: 1781314845
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 6269

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On 14 May 1940, the Evening Standard published a cartoon with the caption ‘All Behind You, Winston’. It showed Churchill, the freshly installed prime minister, rolling up his sleeves to confront the oncoming menace of Nazi Germany. In his wake, leading the endless ranks of the British people, marched the most prominent figures of his new coalition government. It was a potent expression of a moment when Britons of every class were truly all in it together. It also contained a truth that Churchill’s titanic historical reputation has since eclipsed: that neither he nor the country would have prevailed but for the joint effort of this remarkable ‘ministry of all the talents’. Indeed, without the vital support of the Labour Party, and its leader Clement Attlee, Churchill might never have become prime minister at all. Now Roger Hermiston tells the story of the men – and women – who steered Britain through its darkest hour, showing how they helped to win the Second World War, and how they laid the foundations of the ‘New Jerusalem’ that followed. Along the way, he explores the roles played by characters as diverse as the mercurial newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook, who supplied the planes that won the Battle of Britain; the pugnacious trade union baron Ernest Bevin, who kept the nation working; Lord Woolton, the minister for food – a man so widely loved he was dubbed ‘Uncle Fred’; and Sir John Anderson, one of the first people to contemplate the awful power of the atom bomb. Hermiston also considers the achievements of more junior ministers, including the only two women in Churchill’s government: the left-wing firebrand Ellen Wilkinson, and the Conservative Florence Horsbrugh, who played a pivotal role alleviating the suffering inflicted by the Blitz. Five years after that cartoon, Churchill predicted that history would shine a light on ‘every helmet’ of his ‘great coalition’. As it was, many were forgotten. This book seeks to recover their memory, and to celebrate a generation of politicians who rose above party to put their country first.


The World at War, 1939-1945
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307957187
Category: History
Page: 672
View: 8318

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From one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences. World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives—an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments—Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in real human context. Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India. Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century. From the Hardcover edition.

Never Give In!

Winston Churchill's Speeches
Author: Sir Winston S. Churchill
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1472527518
Category: History
Page: 624
View: 3826

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A great statesmen, a masterful historian whose writings won him the Nobel Prize for literature and a war-time leader with few peers, Sir Winston Churchill is remembered perhaps most clearly today for the sheer power of his oratory: the speeches that rallied a nation in its darkest hour and steeled that nation for victory against the might of the Fascist powers. Never Give In! celebrates this oratory by gathering together Churchill's most powerful speeches from throughout his public career. Carefully selected by his grandson, this collection includes all his best known speeches - from his great war-time broadcasts to the "Iron Curtain" speech that heralded the start of the Cold War - and many lesser known but inspirational pieces. In a single volume Never Give In! provides a powerful testimony to one of the great public figures of the 20th century.

Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield

Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0007344104
Category: Political Science
Page: 384
View: 3539

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An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of sixteen ‘warriors’ from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings.

The Roar of the Lion

The Untold Story of Churchill's World War II Speeches
Author: Richard Toye
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199642524
Category: History
Page: 309
View: 2053

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Describes the reactions to Churchill's wartime speeches, documenting that there was criticism and dissent as well as the perceived mass enthusiam by the people of Great Britain.


The Greatest Briton Unmasked
Author: Nigel Knight
Publisher: David & Charles Publishers
Category: Prime ministers
Page: 384
View: 7165

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Assesses Winston Churchill's political career. This book challenges the sentimental image of the great wartime leader and argues that Churchill's impact on Great Britain was, in fact, consistently disastrous. It also covers Churchill's time as pre-war Chancellor and his contradictory economic policies.

The Fringes of Power

Downing Street Diaries, 1939-1955
Author: John Colville
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 9781842126264
Category: Civil service
Page: 738
View: 5210

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At the outset of the Second World War, John Colville, a young diplomat, was seconded from the foreign office to Number 10 Downing Street. For nine of the next sixteen years, he served three prime ministers - briefly Neville Chamberlain and Clement Attlee - but for much of that time as Private Secretary to Winston Churchill. During those momentous years Colville kept a diary, though this was forbidden by wartime regulations, locking it nightly into his desk at Number 10. Colville seldom left Churchill's side and the insights and observations he records paint an invaluable portrait of the nation's most famous leader both in times of war and peace. Transcribed and edited by Colville before his death, this new edition includes new material, both from the war period and from the time when he was private secretary to the then Princess Elizabeth when she became engaged and then married Prince Philip.

The Secret War

Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062259296
Category: History
Page: 640
View: 9698

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From one of the foremost historians of the period and the acclaimed author of Inferno and Catastrophe: 1914, The Secret War is a sweeping examination of one of the most important yet underexplored aspects of World War II—intelligence—showing how espionage successes and failures by the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, and Japan influenced the course of the war and its final outcome. Spies, codes, and guerrillas played unprecedentedly critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history

Churchill, the Struggle for Survival, 1945-1960

Author: Lord Moran,Charles McMoran Wilson Baron Moran
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786717064
Category: History
Page: 480
View: 5753

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A second installment of the acclaimed series spans a twenty-year period after World War II leading up to Churchill's death, in a volume that offers insight into his contradictory personality, legendary Iron Curtain speech, role in the Cold War era, and more. Original.