The Second World War by Winston S. Churchill

The Second World War

Churchill’s history of World War II is, and will remain, the definitive work. This is Churchill’s own abridgement of his original six-volume history.

Details The Second World War

TitleThe Second World War
Release DateFeb 1st, 2011
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, Audiobook, War, Politics

Reviews The Second World War

  • Chris Walker
    Churchill's six volume history of the Second World War sat on my parents' bookshelves for decades and now sit on mine, unopened. I was therefore grateful to see that BBC Audio has produced Churchill's abridged history (four volumes rather than six) on CD, narrated by an actor with a passable immitation of Churchill's speaking style. Churchill himself said: "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it" and it is with this in mind that you ...
  • Maria
    Winston Churchill's history of the Second World War. Showing the British insider's perspective on the rise of Adolf Hitler, the steps of appeasement and then invasion of Poland and the declarations of war.Why I started this book: The second book Their Finest Hour was on the Navy's Professional Reading list, but it seemed strange to just read one book in the series.Why I finished it: Loved listening to the narrator's accent... and I have a growing...
  • Ross
    This is the horrible story of the events leading to the start of the war.Reread some 50 years later, still 4 stars. Riveting history by the most important figure in the war. I am going through this series again to revisit the evils and follies of nations. The errors of judgement by the European politicians and military were both unspeakable and unbelievable. On the side of evil on the one hand and blind pacifism on the other. Churchill does attac...
  • Jeff Yoak
    I'm going to come back to this. It both requires more attention than my bits of time while commuting allow and could use some more background on the history of the war before I start. I love the writing style and the information is excellent, but I need an overview of the history before I can appreciate this first-hand account. It is too much written as commentary on what everyone must have known when it was written for me to be able to get all I...
  • Leah
    Theatrical, informative, glorious, compelling, with glowing coals of humour as well as the occasional Hemingway-esque aside that caught me completely by surprise. I have never found anyone who used the word 'good' with such considered intention until listening to this, and it has made me think quite differently about the meanings of words we take for granted. A complete masterpiece.
  • PJ Wenzel
    His writing is superb and his perspective unrivaled (as he reminds you along the way). If you've never taken the time to read the larger volumes of literature from either Mansfield or Shirer, then this will suit you just as well. The problem will be, as is with all of the literature surrounding these momentous events, that there is so much to say and take in, and it can be a bit overwhelming. What I like about Churchill's narrative is how he seek...
  • Rich Hasler
    What an amazing account and such insights in the mind and character of a true statesman. The revisionists must be attacking this with a furor these days of petty and inept "leadership" or simply absent leadership. For me the story is chilling. we are seeing the world stagger towards global conflict and feel the distraction of its leaders by non issues. Yet, Churchill himself noted that no challenge is ever the same. WWI did not present the same c...
  • Paul
    This is the first of a set of four books Winston Churchill wrote, documenting WWII and his involvement. It is a fantastic read from a historical sense, but even more amazing is the perspective he provides on the political disaster that precipitated WWII. A dry historical textbook on the same accounts would not have nearly the drama and feeling that comes through from his own accounts of political figures, generals, English leaders and evil powers...
  • Melinda
    Listening to this on audiobook, read by Christian Rodska. Excellent. Churchill's perspective is of course priceless. Excellent read, VERY VERY worthwhile.
  • Vince Mattaliano
    This is one of the most outstanding books on the beginnings of the second world war, that I have ever read! One of the outstanding items, was Churchill's engaging ability as an author. Anyone who hasn't had a chance to experience a first person account beginnings World War II should read this volume. I can't wait to go through the other volumes in this series.
  • JP Jennings
    As an historian, I was impressed by the intricate details often left out of history due to their "boring" nature. However, Churchill related this through his eyes and included details that were not only historically important but allowed for a "fleshing out" of why the Second World War had to occur. I am looking forward to the second volume.
  • Gregg Hlavacek
    He really belabored the point of the German aggression and armament while Europe sat idly by over and over again to the point of being annoying to the reader. I get it. War prep wasn't what it should be. Hitler could have been stopped at multiple junctures. But this book could have been half as long as more effective.
  • Kate
    I have very strong memories of my deceased father reading this series by Churchill. I bought this book out of curiosity and found it oddly comforting. Churchill's prose is extraordinary and the topic interesting. Note: I am not endorsing his more problematic views and actions, simply commenting on this book.
  • Simon deVeer
    Leading up to what Churchill would eventually call the unnecessary war there were countless times when the allies could have thwarted the rising Third Reich. The first book of this multipart series focuses on events at the end of the first world war, up to the beginning of Hitler's aggression. Great record of facts leading up
  • Ishmael
    Just to say, I can't imagine this read by any other than Christian Rodska. It's like listening to Christian Baskous reading Charles Bukowski. In my head, their voices are coming out of the mouths of Churchill and Bukowski themselves.
  • Tom Edwards
    Interesting read however slightly difficult to follow as it references political figures who as of today as mostly unknowns, but non the less insightful.
  • Suzanne
    "I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial..." "I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial..." ❤❤
  • Peter Fedichev
    the history first hand, bummer!
  • Sophie
    The history and writing are great obviously. It’s Churchill after all, but I found the reader of the audiobook very old fashioned and annoying.
  • David Manson
    This was a really interesting listen over the past few days. There are lots of very interesting opinions on the pre-war era that I had never thought about.
  • Anne Cupero
    I love reading/hearing Winston Churchill. Such a powerful writer, and present for so much of current world history.
  • Ryan Middlebrook
    Winston Churchill by any account must be one of the most amazing statesmen of the 20th century. His unparalleled position at the highest levels of government through both World Wars puts him in a unique position to reveal the forces at work in the interregnum between the two. In Milestones to Disaster, he does just that – not as he says as a “history” – but as an eyewitness account to be used by future historians. The fact that he is hims...
  • Gyoza
    This is the first volume of the abridged version of Winston Churchill's series on the Second World War. It mostly covers the events leading up to the war, from the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the formation of the League of Nations, the defense treaties of Locarno, and the unwise manner in which the treaties were enforced, with the former Allies putting undue emphasis on Germany's reparations payments while at the same time being lenient ab...
  • Courtney
    Amazing to hear Churchill's unique perspective on the buildup to and earliest days of the Second World War. It's a very detailed memoir, but for all its detail, it manages not to be mired in the minutiae. With Christian Rodska's narration, it becomes a very flowing, easy-to-follow narrative, even for someone unfamiliar with the vagueries of British Parliamentary politics. And Churchill's knack for the pithy turn of phrase is on full display--I do...
  • Matt Maples
    If you want to learn about leadership then read about leaders, and if you want to learn about history then read those who lived it. This book checks both of these boxes, and I found it to be engaging and very eye-opening. I learned a great deal about the preWorld War II period, about the development of Nazi Germany, and about how the Allies failed to stop the war numerous times before it started. Being an American I have generally learned about t...
  • Craig
    A well written account of events in Europe from 1919 through 1940 which led to the rise in power of Nazisim in Germany and the resultant World War. Churchill focuses mainly on the collective thinking and actions (or inaction) of the British ruling leaders (Baldwin, Chamberlain, Eaton - and Churchill himself). He cites certain points in time and actions not taken (but should have been taken) which could have prevented Hitler and Nazism from coming...
  • Rick Davis
    As Churchill points out in his introduction, this is not a history book, but rather a personal memoir of the years leading up to the Second World War by someone in a position to have a good view of the proceedings. This was an engrossing book, made even better by the fact that the reader of the audiobook sounds like Winston Churchill. I enjoyed the time spent in this period of history and with Churchill, and I feel like I now have a much better u...
  • R. August
    I started this because of the movie "The Gathering Storm" about Churchill prior to becoming First Lord of the Admiralty, specifically because of the language used in Churchill's speeches - the flow of "proper English." Hoping to encounter more of the same I came to this series and was no disappointed. I've enjoyed the formal British English of this almost as much as the content, though Churchill writes assuming an already established knowledge of...
  • Ken30MU
    Really good insight into what happened before WW2. A ton of information. I gave it 4 stars because it was hard for me to digest it all in the car for an audiobook. Definitely recommend for reading.The book mixed facts with Winston's thoughts and perceptions. I enjoyed the parts where Winston spoke in the first person best.This is just the first book in the series. This book covers all the events that lead up to WW2. Perfect if you've ever wondere...
  • Michael Kerr
    The time commitment required to read Churchill's exhaustive account of the war has always proven daunting to me so I was glad to find it available on audio. The narrator's plummy accent is not bad, though lacking the resonant assurance of the original, and I'm looking forward to listening to part 2 sometime soon. The narrative clears up a lot of the circumstances around the march toward war and Churchill's clear style carries the reader along wit...