The Churchill Factor

  • by Boris Johnson
  • Narrated by Simon Shepherd
  • 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The point of The Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century.
Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of multiple contradictions, contagious bravery, breath-taking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.
Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the King to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing, yet hated the destruction of war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors.
He was a celebrated journalist, a great orator, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was famous for his ability to combine wining and dining with many late nights of crucial wartime decision-making. His open-mindedness made him a pioneer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, as Boris Johnson says, 'Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces.'
The Churchill Factor is a book to be enjoyed not only by anyone interested in history; it is essential listening for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader.

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Audible Editor Reviews

One of the most revered leaders in modern history, Winston Churchill's life is revisited in this extraordinary feat of historical literature. Boris Johnson - politician, historian, journalist and author of The Churchill Factor has written the most thorough and engaging Churchill biographies available today. In this full and unabridged audiobook, narrated by well-known British actor Simon Shepherd, listen to the makings of this incredible man whose achievements and decisions paved the way for modern Britain. An absolutely necessary addition to any library. It is truly inspirational and informative listening. Available now from Audible.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

"...that you enjoyed this programme." Well, YES!

This is my first book by Boris Johnson. I bought it, not because of the author (being Belgian, I know him only because of the "Boris Bikes"), but because I'm a great admirer of Winston Churchill.

Having read a number of books about the great man, I'm quite surprised about the quality of the information contained in this book. It's a very good summation of all that is/was Churchill, bad and good alike, even if M. Johnson is a bit of an apologist concerning the "bad stuff".
I even got a glimpse about the reasons (that I really couldn't understand previously) why Brits have so many problems with the EU.

All in all, a very enjoyable book: serious, but not too much so; at times funny and at others emotional; factual, but with a (not so?) slight tint of admiration (that I share myself); well written and well read. What more to hope for?

This was my first book by Boris Johnson.
It won't be my last.
Recommended!
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- petitbilbo

People Matter

I found this account of Churchill gripping for the whole 12 hours. It is not a blow by blow biography, but an exploration of Churchill's character and place in history, over a 90 year life and 65 year career. Johnson makes a good case that Winston S. Churchill himself really did change the course of history. People do matter at critical junctures (corollary: we should chose our politicians with care).

Boris Johnson does his level academic best to be objective and critical, but his admiration and affection for his subject shine through despite himself. (And well they might - we need a few heroes in this world.) I'm not enough of a historian to be able to comment on the quality of Johnson's research or conclusions (far from), but I can give a personal aperçu of the authenticity of the picture Johnson paints. My (late) mother grew up in England during the war years, and must have imbibed deeply of the Churchillian spirit via the radio and newspapers of those times, because through this book I could see how much she had absorbed of Churchill's philosophy. Maybe it was the spirit of the age, or maybe it was him, but the sense of the importance of the individual, of freedom, of some things being worth fighting for, of a certain conception, that je ne sais quoi, of quintessential Englishness (Oh, and humour, irony, wit), reminded me so often of my mother, of things she had thought worth repeating to me, that I'm convinced Johnson has captured the spirit of the man and his times, and how he spoke to ordinary British people.

The latter chapters cover Churchill's actions and speeches on Europe, the Middle East and Communism, which are interesting background to the current situations. None of it is dull; all written with verve and pace.


Narration: I gave Simon Shepherd five stars, for doing a fine job, but I would have dearly liked Boris to have read this himself. However, I do understand that Boris has a couple of other jobs, and has to delegate some tasks.
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- Judy Corstjens

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-10-2014
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton