|Publisher:||Little Brown & Co|
|Publish Date:||Nov 2012|
|Number of Pages:||1182|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||3.55|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.5 x 10.0 x 2.5|
William Manchester was born on April 1, 1922 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. After serving as a Marine in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he completed his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts and earned his master's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He was a journalist for several years before becoming the managing editor of Wesleyan University's publications office. He spent the rest of his career at the University, serving in various roles including adjunct professor of history and writer-in-residence.
In addition to several novels, her wrote a number of historical and biographical works. Among them are The Death of a President, which won the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize and American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964. His last major work was a three-part biography of Winston Churchill, entitled The Last Lion. He received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award in 2000. Manchester died on June 1, 2004, at the age of 82.
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.
-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
(c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This third volume of Manchester's (American Caesar) massive biography of Churchill was incomplete when the author died in 2004; he passed the baton to Reid, who has done a marvelous job of patching and interpreting Manchester's notebooks into a coherent whole. The volume covers the years 1940-1965 in great detail and is nicely enhanced by Clive Chafer's narration. The authors relate that Adolf Hitler was nonplussed and unprepared when England refused to haggle or surrender like most of the European nations had done. As England stood alone, Churchill became the voice, the rallier, the bulwark for both England and the world at large.
Verdict: An essential purchase for public and academic libraries.
- Don Wismer, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME
(c). Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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 LIONbrilliantly 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.