Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s 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 portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.
This volume brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation’s military response and defense, compelled President Roosevelt to support 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 20 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.
"Before his death in 2004, an ill Manchester asked former Cox newspapers journalist Reid to take his research notes and finish writing the final volume of his trilogy. The long-delayed majestic account of Winston Churchill’s last twenty-five years is worth the wait…. Manchester matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris, joining this elite bank of writers who devote their lives to one subject." (
"A big book but reads easily…. 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." ( Library Journal)
"General readers, as always, will be taken by [Manchester's] boundless abilities as a storyteller…. Essential for Manchester collectors, WWII buffs, and Churchill completists." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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FIRST AND SECOND EPISODE NOT AVAILABLE ON UK SITE
Some day, but given I just spent over 50 hours in 2 weeks listening to it, not for a while
A great man with a great task, achieved
Being read the book was a luxury that allowed me to consume it whilst driving, doing chores, and a dozen different tasks, where I couldn't possibly have read the text in the amount of reading time I would have in those 2 weeks
it is the greatest tale of the modern age - World War II, and Churchill's own part in it
On first listening to the book I thought it slightly monotone, with a poor impersonation of Churchill by the narrator. As it continued, I became blind to the tone, and found what I had considered to be an 'impression' was in fact a reading with metre and cadence that allowed Churchill's words to be read in the gravitas the man himself had. Simply a great book I couldn't stop listening to - sometimes 7 hours in a day. I wish I'd known the first 2 books weren't available on the UK site, but knowing what I do now I would still have got the book
- Broken iPod owner