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The third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's classic history. During the long period of 1688 to 1815, three revolutions took place and all led to war between the British and the French. The English Revolution of 1688 made a new enemy of an old foe; the American Revolution of 1775 saw the United States finally declare independence; and the French Revolution of 1789 reverbera The third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's classic history. During the long period of 1688 to 1815, three revolutions took place and all led to war between the British and the French. The English Revolution of 1688 made a new enemy of an old foe; the American Revolution of 1775 saw the United States finally declare independence; and the French Revolution of 1789 reverberated across Europe for years to come. Who better to capture the character and vigour of Wellington, Walpole, Nelson and Pitt than the Prime Minister who led Britain to victory in Europe in 1945?


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The third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's classic history. During the long period of 1688 to 1815, three revolutions took place and all led to war between the British and the French. The English Revolution of 1688 made a new enemy of an old foe; the American Revolution of 1775 saw the United States finally declare independence; and the French Revolution of 1789 reverbera The third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's classic history. During the long period of 1688 to 1815, three revolutions took place and all led to war between the British and the French. The English Revolution of 1688 made a new enemy of an old foe; the American Revolution of 1775 saw the United States finally declare independence; and the French Revolution of 1789 reverberated across Europe for years to come. Who better to capture the character and vigour of Wellington, Walpole, Nelson and Pitt than the Prime Minister who led Britain to victory in Europe in 1945?

30 review for The Age of Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Rollins

    This book flows through history so seamlessly I had trouble imagining how it was even written. I get the impression Churchill sat down to write out some of his thoughts on history and out popped this amazing flow. It feels as if he is just telling us what he knows and it is amazing, as if the timeline of history just flows from his heart in almost day by day order. Simply wonderful. I am thrilled there is another volume ahead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    Of course the writing is amazing--it is Winston Churchill, after all! It was interesting to read about the American Revolution from the perspective of an Englishman. It is almost exclusively focused on the history of war. There is very little about social history, but i suppose that should be expected from Churchill. It also shows his very skewed view of England's atrocities against the many peoples and countries it invaded. Of course the writing is amazing--it is Winston Churchill, after all! It was interesting to read about the American Revolution from the perspective of an Englishman. It is almost exclusively focused on the history of war. There is very little about social history, but i suppose that should be expected from Churchill. It also shows his very skewed view of England's atrocities against the many peoples and countries it invaded.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    Excellent as usual, but one gets that the narrative is being very spread thin as Churchill attempts to cover British, American, and French history all at once. Even his great ability is limited in how many ways he can describe cavalry charges, troop movements, and the firing of guns. My eyes glazed over on several pages which were mostly lists of verbs of motion. Nonetheless, exciting and informative, though I may now hold the final volume in abeyance for some time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    The third volume in Winston Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples" begins with the most dramatic assumption of power in modern English history. In the age of religious warfare, the Protestant-majority Parliament deposed its Catholic king, James II, and invited William of Orange and his wife Anne (an English princess) to take the throne. The 'glorious revolution' opens The Age of Revolution, an age which ended the long epoch of history-as-made-by-the-king and ushered in the modern The third volume in Winston Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples" begins with the most dramatic assumption of power in modern English history. In the age of religious warfare, the Protestant-majority Parliament deposed its Catholic king, James II, and invited William of Orange and his wife Anne (an English princess) to take the throne. The 'glorious revolution' opens The Age of Revolution, an age which ended the long epoch of history-as-made-by-the-king and ushered in the modern dominance of parliaments, congresses, and diets. The revolutions which felled kings in England, America, and France anchor the book, with countless European wars occupying the chapters between. Although the wars of religion are fading, state politics causes conflicts aplenty on its own, like the wars of French and Spanish succession, and the seemingly near-constant Anglo-French wars in the Netherlands. The wars leapt continents, as the Seven Years War in Europe became the French and Indian War in North America. The greatest conflict, of course, was the series of Napoelonic wars, which end the book. Throughout this long century (the book spans 127 years), the English king plays an increasingly smaller role; the 'glorious revolution' isn't the last time Parliament simply chooses to appoint its next king, and the Hanoverian succession of Georges that continues today demonstrated that de facto sovereignty lay with Parliament, not the king. Churchhill is a moderate historian, and its coverage of the American War of Independence is as genteel and even-sided as one might expect from a half-American author shared the rigors of World War II at the side of Franklin D. Roosevelt, of whom he said, "It's fun to be in the same decade with you." The conservative Churchhill is likewise careful when recording the bitter battles between Tories and Whigs, the then-dominant political parties; neither side is favored. (The long view of history aides objectivity; I doubt Churchill is so fair in his narrative of World War 2!) This is narrative history, a grand story driven by personalities like the the handsome, brilliant, dashing, gallant, honorable, endlessly clever Duke of Marlborough. Also known as John Churchill, or Sir Winston's great-great(etc)-grandfather, the attention given to him shows that this isn't quite 'objective' history, but what's the point of having famous ancestors if you can't brag about their exploits defending the Netherlands against dictators from the east? Given his own history in World War 2, little wonder he identified with the Duke's so strongly. The French revolution gives us a villain in Napoleon, and towering heroes in the form of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson to slay the Corsican dragon. All told, The Age of Revolution is quite an enjoyable survey of this period's history, of medieval kingdoms maturing into modern states, despite being largely about the wills of titanic characters and the wars they fought.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Francisca

    Slightly disappointed that Jonathan Strange did not appear by the end to help defeat Napoleon but, oh well!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adam Gossman

    Too good. I love Sir Winston.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    In the style and scope of Gibbons and Macaulay; well done Sir Winston Churchill!

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Pyle

    As with the first two volumes in this four-book set, Sir Winston Churchill is nothing if not biased in favor of the English-speaking peoples and their grand march through world history. Any book of this sort must be read with the understanding that the author may have a slant inherent in their retelling of the story, based on his or her own preferences and prejudices. That being said, Sir Winston does admit to the foibles of his own people with frankness, at times even with brutality. The Preface As with the first two volumes in this four-book set, Sir Winston Churchill is nothing if not biased in favor of the English-speaking peoples and their grand march through world history. Any book of this sort must be read with the understanding that the author may have a slant inherent in their retelling of the story, based on his or her own preferences and prejudices. That being said, Sir Winston does admit to the foibles of his own people with frankness, at times even with brutality. The Preface informs the reader that the first of the revolutions to be dealt with is the 1688 English Revolution, followed by the American Revolution (1775), then close behind that the purge of the French Revolution, beginning in 1789. That this would shape world history, especially the emergence of the United States of America, was not fully understood at that time but the impact of all three of these on the history of Western Europe was clear to see. The dominance of Western Europe on the seas made this more than a provincial story. It is intriguing that the author more than once refers to conflicts primarily involving European nations as, “world wars.” Of course, since colonies had been established in the New World, as well as in Africa and the Near East (India, et al), these conflicts truly were on a world-wide scale, though most of the key battles were engaged in the European theater. Anyone interested in the topic will truly enjoy this walk through the kingdoms, empires and republics of this time. It is somewhat fascinating to see the transition from fiefdoms to kingdoms to representative democracies, as the great unwashed began to understand the power of their numbers and make their will known. Was it always done well or righteously executed? No. Sometimes it was just executed. Once the heads had rolled, the rest of the pieces were sorted out later.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Poulain

    Churchill continues his histories, from the Glorious Revolution up to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. much more interested in the battles and revolution of the age, certain events are covered in passing (Act of Union is mentioned in a summary of Queen Anne); causes of the French Revolution are summarised in 'great tomes have been written on the causes, suffice to say the political machinery did not represent the people' and most rigidly egrigiously the Industrial Revolution is covered by oblique Churchill continues his histories, from the Glorious Revolution up to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. much more interested in the battles and revolution of the age, certain events are covered in passing (Act of Union is mentioned in a summary of Queen Anne); causes of the French Revolution are summarised in 'great tomes have been written on the causes, suffice to say the political machinery did not represent the people' and most rigidly egrigiously the Industrial Revolution is covered by oblique references like Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was published. Churchill is far more interested in the so called 'Great Men' of history and names are only mentioned in reference to these figures that dominate the narrative. As Queen Anne ascends the throne the narrative pivots entirely to Marlborough (a descendant of Churchill) and the monarchy is rarely referenced. Extolling the virtues of his ancestor Churchill goes a little fast in calling his military achievements 'unequalled in the annuals of war'. The change in focus from Monarchy to Parliament, the creation of the office of Prime Minister and Europe/ America's struggle for political reform is discussed well and military leaders, particularly the aforementioned Marlborough; Clive of India; Generals of the American War of Independence; Napolean and Wellington are given plenty of depth. This is the shortest period of time covered in one of the volumes yet and still feels as though a lot of details are missed, but with the detail shown in the wars of the time its definitely worth exploring.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Walker

    The third volume in Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples, The Age of Revolution is a holistic history of the revolutions, including the English one, that shaped the British Empire. Churchill's mastery of military campaigns and knowledge of political leadership and diplomacy inform a lively, highly digestible analysis of revolutions and conflicts from the late 18th century to Napoleon's 1816 defeat at the battle of Waterloo. Churchill's colourful descriptions make for man The third volume in Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples, The Age of Revolution is a holistic history of the revolutions, including the English one, that shaped the British Empire. Churchill's mastery of military campaigns and knowledge of political leadership and diplomacy inform a lively, highly digestible analysis of revolutions and conflicts from the late 18th century to Napoleon's 1816 defeat at the battle of Waterloo. Churchill's colourful descriptions make for many you-are-there pivotal moments, including this one marking the fall of Napoleon's armies under a charge led by the Duke of Wellington: "Ney, beside himself with rage, a broken sword in his hand, staggered, shouting in vain, from one band to another."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    Review title: The English-speaking peoples start speaking with an accent A note about the structure of Churchill's four-volume history of the English speaking peoples: each volume is equally divided into three books (a total of 12 then for the set), each covering a major era or event in the history, sometimes spanning centuries in the first couple of books as there is little recorded history to report, and sometimes covering just a few years or decades--or a less-great event than others. This is Review title: The English-speaking peoples start speaking with an accent A note about the structure of Churchill's four-volume history of the English speaking peoples: each volume is equally divided into three books (a total of 12 then for the set), each covering a major era or event in the history, sometimes spanning centuries in the first couple of books as there is little recorded history to report, and sometimes covering just a few years or decades--or a less-great event than others. This is the case in Book VII that opens this Volume 3, where there is interminable and uninteresting descriptions of European battles in the early years of the 18th century. While Churchill accurately and interestingly describes this era as the First British Empire in Book VIII that follows, he spends more time than modern or American readers will have patience for on the the establishment of it. So again, I can't give this volume an uncompromised +5 "What a Classic rating!" It is certainly worth the time to read, however. As I noted at the end of my previous review, I was anxious to see how Churchill the Prime Minister in the midst of a bitterly-fought World War with English-speaking peoples from around the globe allied in defense of freedom would commune with Churchill the historian documenting an era when the two major bodies of English-speaking people were at also war but with each other--not once, but twice. It didn't take Churchill the politician to speak--on p. 24 of the 1957 Dodd, Mead & Company edition, in reference to opposition politicians in his home country: They did all they could to belittle and undermine the strength of their country. In the name of peace, economy, and isolation they prepared the ground for a far more terrible renewal of the war. Their action has been largely imitated in our own times. . . . In each case short-sighted opinions, agreeable to the party spirit, pernicious to national interests, banished all purpose from the State and prepared a deadly resumption of the main struggle. And as I suspected, desperately needing and thankful for the 20th-century support of his American allies, Churchill the politician treads gently on the American revolution, labeling it in a sly twist of wording essentially a revolution toward English manners and political morality! (p. 256): The new nation that had with difficulty struggled into being was henceforth fortified with something unheard of in the existing world--a written Constitution. At first sight this authoritative document presents a sharp contrast with the store of traditions and precedents that make up the unwritten constitution of Britain. Yet behind it lay no revolutionary theory. . . but an Old English doctrine, freshly formulated to meet an urgent American need. The Constitution was a reaffirmation of faith in the principles painfully evolved over the centuries by the English-speaking peoples. It enshrined long-standing English ideas of justice and liberty, henceforth to be regarded on the other side of the Atlantic as basically American. While in the main true and well put, the modern and American reader (like me) wonders which side of the Atlantic Churchill meant to be taken as "the other", and with what emotion and language Churchill revealed his private feelings behind closed doors to his British friends and family! Of course, the modern Allies were a many-sided affair, and included the occupied French nation with which Churchill the historian was busy documenting a bitter warfare and which his ancestral home was fighting a rear-guard action to contain the violent and virulent Revolution in support of the Rights of Man, as the French proletariat so boldly put it in caps. So Churchill saves his most animus for the French revolutionaries, safe in the knowledge that 150 years later their remnant was all dead and all but forgotten or submerged in subsequent upheavals and retrenchments. He references Burke approvingly in criticizing the French revolution because it was "not a dignified, orderly change, carried out with due regard for tradition, like the English Revolution of 1688." A priceless revelation of the British mind and mindset, to criticize a revolution for being undignified and unorderly! And in covering the War of 1812--which while a mere sidelight of the European contagion for the British, was a founding and formative event for the young American nation, even to giving us our anthem--Churchill again emphasizes the conservative and essential fraternal nature of the "futile and unnecessary conflict." While to the Empire-building victors the war was a trifling affair easily settled to the benefit of all, again Churchill's subconscious awareness of Britain's enduring superiority speaks loudly in his concluding sentence: "On the oceans the British Navy ruled supreme for a century to come, and behind this shield the United States were free to fulfil their continental destiny." Gee, thanks, Dad! When can we borrow the keys to your ocean? But these are perhaps inevitable nitpicks of a narrative history of such scope by a writer of such stature. Churchill, after the lapse into boredom in the first book in this volume, does a great job of building interest and momentum throughout the momentous events of the 18th century, leading up to and concluding with the disposition (twice!) of Napoleon in the 19th.. Churchill will wrap up the next 100 years and bring the story home to the outskirts of the 20th century in the final installment volume of his classic history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gina Johnson

    AmblesideOnline year 9...woohoo!!! We’ve finished the 3rd book of Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples!!! This one has a lot more battles and battle descriptions than the first two did but I still really enjoyed it and learned a LOT. It pretty much ends right after Waterloo. I hadn’t ever really understood much about Waterloo before reading Les Miserables and this really gave some bones to what I had gotten from that (and now my freshman has the bones on which to put the flesh of AmblesideOnline year 9...woohoo!!! We’ve finished the 3rd book of Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples!!! This one has a lot more battles and battle descriptions than the first two did but I still really enjoyed it and learned a LOT. It pretty much ends right after Waterloo. I hadn’t ever really understood much about Waterloo before reading Les Miserables and this really gave some bones to what I had gotten from that (and now my freshman has the bones on which to put the flesh of the story next school year when she read Les Mis!)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This was the third volume of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. This volume health with the years from the Glorious Revolution to the end of Napoleon. This book also included a few chapters on America including the Revolution, the first three Presidential Administrations, and the War of 1812. I enjoy Churchill's writing style and find these survey books interesting to read - they also make me want to find books that are more in-depth on a variety of topics. This was the third volume of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. This volume health with the years from the Glorious Revolution to the end of Napoleon. This book also included a few chapters on America including the Revolution, the first three Presidential Administrations, and the War of 1812. I enjoy Churchill's writing style and find these survey books interesting to read - they also make me want to find books that are more in-depth on a variety of topics.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Quite enjoyable to see this notable Brit expounding on American history. Churchill has a definite penchant for understatement. Lots of battles and maps in this one as both European empires and the new United States expanded borders. I appreciated the entire 3rd section "Napoleon" as my knowledge of the emperor/general was limited. Quite enjoyable to see this notable Brit expounding on American history. Churchill has a definite penchant for understatement. Lots of battles and maps in this one as both European empires and the new United States expanded borders. I appreciated the entire 3rd section "Napoleon" as my knowledge of the emperor/general was limited.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ken Barry

    Great way to learn history. Winston Churchill makes learning history fun with his style of writing. Coming from a background of not liking history or enjoying reading, his books have ignited the love of both. I can't wait to dig into volume 4. Great way to learn history. Winston Churchill makes learning history fun with his style of writing. Coming from a background of not liking history or enjoying reading, his books have ignited the love of both. I can't wait to dig into volume 4.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonah

    Should be required reading for high school students.

  17. 4 out of 5

    michael J Monteith

    Great read Very clear and descriptive. Easily followed and a great descripter with a clear outlook. Very unambiguous and easily followed and clear viewed. Truly worth reading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    I thought it was thourough, but it was a little bit biased. Since the author's Grandfather was the Duke of Marlborough, he talked exessively of him. I thought it was thourough, but it was a little bit biased. Since the author's Grandfather was the Duke of Marlborough, he talked exessively of him.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Book collector

    Impressive all round from the great man, Winston Churchill. Very well written and engaging history of Britain. Passionate and articulate and a subject obviously very close to his heart. A great read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    The Age of Revolution is an apt title for this third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's four-volume History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Throughout the book, the world is in a constant state of flux brought about by wars and, naturally, revolutions. The book opens with England taking its place as a great world power and immediately becoming involved in the War of Spanish Succession. No sooner than they've closed the book on that conflict, it seems, did Britain become embroiled in what Churchi The Age of Revolution is an apt title for this third volume of Sir Winston Churchill's four-volume History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Throughout the book, the world is in a constant state of flux brought about by wars and, naturally, revolutions. The book opens with England taking its place as a great world power and immediately becoming involved in the War of Spanish Succession. No sooner than they've closed the book on that conflict, it seems, did Britain become embroiled in what Churchill calls "The First World War" and what we Colonials call the French and Indian War. As American history buffs know, it wasn't long after the French and Indian War wrapped up that the American Revolution (right on) wrenched control of the thirteen colonies from Britain's grasp. It was particularly interesting to read about the American Revolution from the British perspective; Churchill did a fairly good job of covering it - you can read a slight indulgent affection for the U.S. in his writing, even though he takes pains to cover it up - but he does lay most of the blame or responsibility for losing the colonies on the blunders of various British commanders. Of course, in a British view of the Revolution, they couldn't credit the genius of Washington with actually winning the war, but it's fair enough said that much of Washington's success was due to luck and being in the right place at the right time. And it's true that without some mistakes and misjudgments by the British (soldiers and politicians alike), we might all be British subjects even today. But I was disappointed that there was very little mention of the aspects of the Revolution for which Americans are most proud - Washington's glorious victory over the Prussians, crossing the Delaware, or his silent march to the hills above Boston, for instance - received no mention. Disappointed, but not surprised. Nor did Churchill discuss the Constitutional Convention, and I did think that was a poor omission - seeing as the Constitution laid the framework for the longest-surviving Republic and is a very important document in, you know, the history of the English-speaking peoples. If the Magna Carta got its own chapter in an earlier volume - and it did - then the American Constitution deserved its own chapter too. But enough of my Yankee pride. The British didn't have much time to catch their breath after the Revolution, because the Yanks had apparently given the French some fancy ideas of their own. But those ideas revolved more around the guillotine and less around creating a lasting democracy. And, indeed, the first French experiment with democracy did not last. After they finished with their revolution, you see, the French soldiers needed something to do. They weren't exactly cut out for farming (anymore). Enter Napoleon. The Brits spent the rest of Volume 3 chasing Napoleon all over Europe (several times) - with a brief interlude Stateside for the War of 1812 (which Churchill maintains was all about Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun wanting to annex Canada. But haven't we all toyed with the idea of annexing Canada, at some point or another?). I actually really enjoyed the British perspective on the War of 1812 - more so than on the Revolution, which I already know a fair bit about, being something of an American Revolution buff. For instance, did you know that New England was so opposed to the War of 1812 that representatives from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut met to consider secession? Me, neither. They certainly don't teach that in American History classes. All in all, The Age of Revolution is neck-and-neck with The Birth of Britain as my favorite volume in this history. I loved the non-stop action and the fresh perspective on some historical events with which I was already relatively familiar. (Say what you like, but it's easier to retain details when the names of people and places already ring a bell. Just try studying for the AP European History exam and remembering all of those random wars and treaties, and you'll see what I mean.) I'm looking forward to diving into the next volume!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I first attempted Book 1 in this broad multi-millennia spanning series but did not make it past half-way. I then tried Book 4 (The Great Democracies) and really liked it. This had most of the same positives and negatives as that; it was short and concise (311 pages for a 115 years of *can't say world* history) which gave a nice introduction to the forces of philosophy and ideas and public feeling ebbing and flowing through the 18th century. I gives great introductions to the timeline of Prime Mi I first attempted Book 1 in this broad multi-millennia spanning series but did not make it past half-way. I then tried Book 4 (The Great Democracies) and really liked it. This had most of the same positives and negatives as that; it was short and concise (311 pages for a 115 years of *can't say world* history) which gave a nice introduction to the forces of philosophy and ideas and public feeling ebbing and flowing through the 18th century. I gives great introductions to the timeline of Prime Ministers, and Presidents, and the many characters across the period, some who draw more attention than other, though not undeservedly. Churchill likes to focus on the American story, and the English wars with France that raged around the world during the period. It does not include much on other parts of history - briefly it talks about India before the British, but there is Africa, Russia, South America which aren't talk about. This is allowed because he focusses on the English Speaking Peoples so nicely gets around this problem, and creates a wonderful continuity and sense of unity between two peoples. Churchill could have many reasons for this, such as helping to create a sort of 'Special Relationship' that he worked so hard for during WW2, but also because it is most accessible to English readers and it very interesting. Clement Atlee suggested these books should instead be titled 'things that interest me.' I think there is a lot of truth in Atlee's statement of Churchill's intent. The first part is on the war of the Spanish Succession in the early 1700's, with the brilliant British general, the Duke of Marlborough (Churchill's ancestor, a character that deserves a greater look). We see the rise of the first British Empire and the political struggles at home, and the seemingly near-constant warring of the French around the world against the British for global dominance. We then witness the American War of Independence and the fall of the 1st British Empire, and the birth of the second phase in Britain's Imperial destiny. We conclude with the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte and the War of 1812. There are some really interesting times in here. Twice, once in 1776 and in 1812, Britain removed trade policies towards America that had antagonised the Americans. But because of the length of sea voyages word never reached them in time, and the Americans started a war over the issues and policies that they believed (or made others believe) were still in place. Who says history isn't interesting? I for one, am glad of modern communication that can solve such tragedies as this. The writing is sublime, and nothing less than you would expect of someone known for his oratory skills, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This makes it very easy to read compared to many other history books. I love to read Churchill's work because it is as if you are speaking to the man himself when you read his works. His bias is easy to spot, an library shelf wanderer who stumbles across these may read certain statements as fact, not because of necessary evidence or reason, but because Churchill's immense reputation brilliantly masks his bias, and allows shaky statements to seem like concrete pillars to the unsuspecting reader. Were this another historian, I may take more of an issue with it, but I choose to read these because they are very helpful for introductions to histories and because they are fun to read, but also because Sir Winston Churchill wrote them. Armed with a pinch of salt, one should definitely read these books! I intend to now read further into the various topics, such as Napoleon, which was covered in a horrendously small number of pages, and the war of the Spanish Succession.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Winston Churchill was without doubt the greatest man to live in the 2nd millennium A.D. When the whole world was either neutral, allied with or dominated by Nazi Germany, only England stood against it. England was ready to fight but needed someone to provide the leadership and Churchill, the right man and the right time, provided it. It could so easily have gone the other way. Churchill, the son of and English father and American mother was all English but always believed that those nations whic Winston Churchill was without doubt the greatest man to live in the 2nd millennium A.D. When the whole world was either neutral, allied with or dominated by Nazi Germany, only England stood against it. England was ready to fight but needed someone to provide the leadership and Churchill, the right man and the right time, provided it. It could so easily have gone the other way. Churchill, the son of and English father and American mother was all English but always believed that those nations which had been part of the British Empire were forever connected by English law and language and, in time of dire necessity such as Hitler’s onslaught, would come together in common cause. As well as being a career politician, among many other things, Churchill was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, receiving one for “History of the English Speaking People.” I have read each of the four volumes at different times as well as reading them in order at the same time and suggest reading them together. While still holding up as history even though written in the 1950’s, the books are a joy to read as you can imagine Churchill’s voice as you read the words. Not everything in history is covered only those things judged important by Churchill. For instance, the industrial revolution is given short shrift and the American Civil War is dealt with voluminously. The four volumes in the set are: I: “The Birth of Britain” which covers the early English history from Roman times to the Tudor dynasty in 1485 II: “The New World” which covers the 1485 to 1688, the age of discovery and exploration, the surmounting of royalty by parliament in England including the English Civil War III: “The Age of Revolution” which covers 1688 to 1815 including the Napoleonic Wars IV: “The Great Democracies” which covers 1815 to about 1910 and the end of the Boer Wars. The set is excellent and I recommend it highly. Also, the set is not the last word by Churchill as he continues the story in his four volume sets on WWI and WWII which I will read soon.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony Cavicchi

    Churchill continued his fabulous History of the English Speaking Peoples with a tour de force of Marlborough, Walpole, and both the Pitts. In my reviews of other volumes, I've waxed eloquent on how readable Churchill makes his stories and insights--this volume is no exception to that. Churchill covers his great ancestor Marlborough in detail (interesting to me since I think American audiences often cover English history up to Jamestown in 1607 and then skip ahead to 1776) and his campaigns on the Churchill continued his fabulous History of the English Speaking Peoples with a tour de force of Marlborough, Walpole, and both the Pitts. In my reviews of other volumes, I've waxed eloquent on how readable Churchill makes his stories and insights--this volume is no exception to that. Churchill covers his great ancestor Marlborough in detail (interesting to me since I think American audiences often cover English history up to Jamestown in 1607 and then skip ahead to 1776) and his campaigns on the continent of Europe against Louis XIV. He also includes passages on American colonization, the conquests of Canada and India, and the Jacobite rebellions. From Marlborough to Walpole to Pitt the Elder and Pitt the Younger, Churchill also explains the rise of responsible government (to parliament) and the emergence of the Prime Minister. (I wrote a musing on 2016 based off Churchill's explanation of the emergence of the British political parties https://www.facebook.com/notes/tony-c...) In regard to the American Revolution, Churchill takes a sympathetic stance, largely echoing Edmund Burke and the Rockingham Whig faction that negotiated an end to the war.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    Really good read. From reading a Churchill biography recently, I learned that Churchill had assistants do the research and he put it all together. It seems the final words and thoughts are his, at least. He was a remarkable writer and I’ve very glad for these four books - this is the third. It adds to the depth of understanding history. Interestingly, Churchill never discussed Sally Hemings when discussing Thomas Jefferson. Nor did he focus on slavery when discussing the founding of the US - sha Really good read. From reading a Churchill biography recently, I learned that Churchill had assistants do the research and he put it all together. It seems the final words and thoughts are his, at least. He was a remarkable writer and I’ve very glad for these four books - this is the third. It adds to the depth of understanding history. Interestingly, Churchill never discussed Sally Hemings when discussing Thomas Jefferson. Nor did he focus on slavery when discussing the founding of the US - sharp contrast to, for example, contemporary historian Jill Lepore in These Truths. My working hypothesis is that this has more to do with reading history through the lens of the time that it is written about, than anything else. Although, the accurate history of Hemings I Kelly wasn’t fleshed out in the 1950’s when this book was written. My AP history teacher, Ms. Wilt, spent an entire year drilling into our heads that historical commentators cannot avoid being a product of their time and we need to read history books written in many different eras to get a more accurate picture of the history we are reading, but also the times the author was writing in So many books! So little time!!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Sinstadt

    In this volume, the English speaking people on the other side of the Atlantic are woven into Churchill's masterly narrative. The period is dominated by war and revolution - igniting what Sir Winston calls the first true world war. The history unfolds as a series of events - bloody battles with thousands of casualties, intercut with fundamental political issues that transform the way we are governed today. But all is seen in terms of the personalities of the age. There is Marlborough, a great gener In this volume, the English speaking people on the other side of the Atlantic are woven into Churchill's masterly narrative. The period is dominated by war and revolution - igniting what Sir Winston calls the first true world war. The history unfolds as a series of events - bloody battles with thousands of casualties, intercut with fundamental political issues that transform the way we are governed today. But all is seen in terms of the personalities of the age. There is Marlborough, a great general; there are the Pitts, Prime Ministers of contrasting character; in the United States there are the first three presidents, Washington, Adams and Jefferson, plus Hamilton who should have been president; and there is Naploeon, victim of unwarranted ambition in Egypt and in Russia, finally brought down by his nemesis, Wellington. One does, though, wonder whether Churchill's account of Waterloo might have been modified had he had the benefit of the research of of later historians. Peter Hofschroer's Wellington's Smallest Victory, for example, casts the Duke in a rather different light.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Richard Barnes

    Churchill's History is not exactly an unbiased work - he sees the destiny of the English Speaking Peoples as one that sweeps through the tumult of history always striving towards a leadership of the free world, leading with freedom of speech and trade. However, he does not gloss over the bad bits - he will call tyranny tyranny regardless of whether its the English doing it or otherwise. Some parts of this can be dry, the seemingly endless series of wars in Europe where nothing much is achieved dra Churchill's History is not exactly an unbiased work - he sees the destiny of the English Speaking Peoples as one that sweeps through the tumult of history always striving towards a leadership of the free world, leading with freedom of speech and trade. However, he does not gloss over the bad bits - he will call tyranny tyranny regardless of whether its the English doing it or otherwise. Some parts of this can be dry, the seemingly endless series of wars in Europe where nothing much is achieved drag on somewhat but when the American War of Independence kicks in, followed by the rise and fall of Napolean Churchill hits his stride. His descriptions of Trafalgar and Waterloo, as defining events in the English psyche are rousing. His careful work on the evolution of the American constitution is illuminating. Suitably concise, considering the wide sweep of events taken in, very readable and at times, majestic.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Covers all the high points of the 18th century and then some, including the appointment of a minister who had such a large personality that he became known as the “prime” minister, Britain’s wars against Louis XIV on the European continent, which in turn spawned both the American Revolution (Americans were angered by Parliament’s clumsy efforts to recoup the cost of their European war) and the French Revolution (the French people were angered by the king’s clumsy efforts to recoup the cost of th Covers all the high points of the 18th century and then some, including the appointment of a minister who had such a large personality that he became known as the “prime” minister, Britain’s wars against Louis XIV on the European continent, which in turn spawned both the American Revolution (Americans were angered by Parliament’s clumsy efforts to recoup the cost of their European war) and the French Revolution (the French people were angered by the king’s clumsy efforts to recoup the cost of their European war), followed closely by Britain’s accidental conquest of India, the intentional conquests of Napoleon, and the British-Canadian-American War of 1812. Whew. Nelson gets his due mention, along with Pitt and Marlborough, but Churchhill’s interest extends no further than commanding generals, so if there were other capable officers below Marlborough or Wellington, we will never hear about them here. On to Volume IV, the British Empire and the American Civil War!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Damon Henrichs

    Mixed feelings about this whole series of books. On the one hand, the history is a little spotty. I find myself looking up events on Wikipedia to learn what Churchill is actually talking about, because he often assumes you already have a working knowledge of what he is talking about . . . which is fine when he's talking about the American Revolution, but difficult to follow when he is talking about William Pitt the elder. Still, it is Churchills take on history, which is engaging reading. One mor Mixed feelings about this whole series of books. On the one hand, the history is a little spotty. I find myself looking up events on Wikipedia to learn what Churchill is actually talking about, because he often assumes you already have a working knowledge of what he is talking about . . . which is fine when he's talking about the American Revolution, but difficult to follow when he is talking about William Pitt the elder. Still, it is Churchills take on history, which is engaging reading. One more of these to get through and then on to his WWII tomes, which I AM looking forward to. A) I have a good working knowledge of the subject matter (which seems to be a pre-requisite to read his books) and B) He has a truly unique insider perspective of not just what happened, but what led to decisions that were made.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Covering the Reign of William of Orange, (William III and wife Mary who became Queen) College of William and Mary named after these two. College to many of the early generation of America including Jefferson, Monroe, Tyler and Chief Justice John Marshall, through the continued wars in England highlighting the Duke of Marlborough (relation to Winston Churchill). Continuing with what is considered the first Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Robert Walpole whom many consider one of the greatest states Covering the Reign of William of Orange, (William III and wife Mary who became Queen) College of William and Mary named after these two. College to many of the early generation of America including Jefferson, Monroe, Tyler and Chief Justice John Marshall, through the continued wars in England highlighting the Duke of Marlborough (relation to Winston Churchill). Continuing with what is considered the first Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Robert Walpole whom many consider one of the greatest statesman in British History down through the american colonies, and eventual war for independence, the constitution, the William Pitt years, on into the final closing parts of the book that deal with the French revolution and Napoleon. Curiously I found this volume a bit tiresome in parts, the writing is always stylish but lagged in areas.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Churchill’s broad history, which he began writing in the “wilderness years” of the 1930s and only finished in the 1950s, is the story of great leaders rising to the occassion when war or political crisis threatens. In this, the third volume, he focuses on the three revolutions between 1688 and 1789, and the Duke of Marlborough, “Good” Queen Anne, Robert Walpole, William Pitt, Robert Clive, Lord Nelson, George Washington, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington figure prominently. Churchill takes a c Churchill’s broad history, which he began writing in the “wilderness years” of the 1930s and only finished in the 1950s, is the story of great leaders rising to the occassion when war or political crisis threatens. In this, the third volume, he focuses on the three revolutions between 1688 and 1789, and the Duke of Marlborough, “Good” Queen Anne, Robert Walpole, William Pitt, Robert Clive, Lord Nelson, George Washington, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington figure prominently. Churchill takes a classical view of history reminiscent of Plutarch and Gibbon, but in this volume, which one senses he wrote after seeing Britain through the perils of World War II, the prose is crisp and the insights on leadership are gleaned from hard-won experience.

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