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From the acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of The Theory of Everything comes a revelatory look at the period immediately following Winston Churchill’s ascendancy to Prime Minister—soon to be a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman. “He was speaking to the nation, the world, and indeed to history...”  May, 1940. Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one From the acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of The Theory of Everything comes a revelatory look at the period immediately following Winston Churchill’s ascendancy to Prime Minister—soon to be a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman. “He was speaking to the nation, the world, and indeed to history...”  May, 1940. Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one western European democracy after another fall in rapid succession to Nazi boot and shell. Invasion seems mere hours away.  Just days after becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must deal with this horror—as well as a skeptical King, a party plotting against him, and an unprepared public. Pen in hand and typist-secretary at the ready, how could he change the mood and shore up the will of a nervous people?  In this gripping day-by-day, often hour-by-hour account of how an often uncertain Churchill turned Britain around, the celebrated Bafta-winning writer Anthony McCarten exposes sides of the great man never seen before. He reveals how he practiced and re-wrote his key speeches, from ‘Blood, toil, tears and sweat’ to ‘We shall fight on the beaches’; his consideration of a peace treaty with Nazi Germany, and his underappreciated role in the Dunkirk evacuation; and, above all, how 25 days helped make one man an icon.  Using new archive material, McCarten reveals the crucial behind-the-scenes moments that changed the course of history. It’s a scarier—and more human—story than has ever been told.  “McCarten's pulse-pounding narrative transports the reader to those springtime weeks in 1940 when the fate of the world rested on the shoulders of Winston Churchill. A true story thrillingly told. Thoroughly researched and compulsively readable.”—Michael F. Bishop, Executive Director of the International Churchill Society


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From the acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of The Theory of Everything comes a revelatory look at the period immediately following Winston Churchill’s ascendancy to Prime Minister—soon to be a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman. “He was speaking to the nation, the world, and indeed to history...”  May, 1940. Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one From the acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of The Theory of Everything comes a revelatory look at the period immediately following Winston Churchill’s ascendancy to Prime Minister—soon to be a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman. “He was speaking to the nation, the world, and indeed to history...”  May, 1940. Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one western European democracy after another fall in rapid succession to Nazi boot and shell. Invasion seems mere hours away.  Just days after becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must deal with this horror—as well as a skeptical King, a party plotting against him, and an unprepared public. Pen in hand and typist-secretary at the ready, how could he change the mood and shore up the will of a nervous people?  In this gripping day-by-day, often hour-by-hour account of how an often uncertain Churchill turned Britain around, the celebrated Bafta-winning writer Anthony McCarten exposes sides of the great man never seen before. He reveals how he practiced and re-wrote his key speeches, from ‘Blood, toil, tears and sweat’ to ‘We shall fight on the beaches’; his consideration of a peace treaty with Nazi Germany, and his underappreciated role in the Dunkirk evacuation; and, above all, how 25 days helped make one man an icon.  Using new archive material, McCarten reveals the crucial behind-the-scenes moments that changed the course of history. It’s a scarier—and more human—story than has ever been told.  “McCarten's pulse-pounding narrative transports the reader to those springtime weeks in 1940 when the fate of the world rested on the shoulders of Winston Churchill. A true story thrillingly told. Thoroughly researched and compulsively readable.”—Michael F. Bishop, Executive Director of the International Churchill Society

30 review for Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    This is one of those book that you don't want to be over......I closed it and was almost tempted to start over again. A short (336 pages) beautifully written day-by-day description of the months of May-June 1940 as Winston Churchill stepped into the position of PM and was immediately faced with probably the hardest decision ever required by any country's leader. The author gives us a short biography of Churchill, his glory and his horrible mistakes in WWI (think Gallipoli), errors which led many This is one of those book that you don't want to be over......I closed it and was almost tempted to start over again. A short (336 pages) beautifully written day-by-day description of the months of May-June 1940 as Winston Churchill stepped into the position of PM and was immediately faced with probably the hardest decision ever required by any country's leader. The author gives us a short biography of Churchill, his glory and his horrible mistakes in WWI (think Gallipoli), errors which led many in the government to doubt his abilities. He was an egotist, dramatic,blustering, had a drinking problem and had changed parties twice which is usually a death knell for a politician. But the policy of appeasement of the Nazis as put forth by his predecessor, Chamberlain, was starting to wear thin and the country turned to Churchill for guidance. The majority of the book deals with the government's reaction to the retreat of the BEF to the beaches of Dunkirk and the possible loss of the entire army. Should Britain sue for peace and hope that Hitler would be generous in his demands or should they stand alone and go down fighting rather than capitulate. The author provides the reader with an inside look at the meetings of the Cabinet and the War Council, fraught with in-fighting and bad blood. He does reveal that Churchill wavered at one point in favor of peace talks but his love of country and its people would not allow him to give way. It was at this point that the rhetoric of probably the world's greatest master of the English language held sway. If words can win a battle, Churchill succeeded and his famous "we shall never surrender" speech to the people of Britain lifted morale to a high point. Additionally, his idea (and it was his idea) to send the "little ships" to rescue the BEF at Dunkirk turned a defeat into a moral victory. He had been PM for only 25 days. And the rest is history. Simply fascinating, I would highly recommend this book, even to those who may not be fans of Winston Churchill. You may become a fan after reading it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This book was published in November 2017. I understand there is to be a movie made from this book. I read everything I can obtain about Winston S. Churchill. I recently read “Alone” by Michael Korda. “Alone” dealt with the time frame of when Churchill was elected prime minister and includes lots of information about Dunkirk. This book also deals with the same time frame as Churchill becomes prime minister. But this book deals more about Churchill, the man, as well as more about his key speeches This book was published in November 2017. I understand there is to be a movie made from this book. I read everything I can obtain about Winston S. Churchill. I recently read “Alone” by Michael Korda. “Alone” dealt with the time frame of when Churchill was elected prime minister and includes lots of information about Dunkirk. This book also deals with the same time frame as Churchill becomes prime minister. But this book deals more about Churchill, the man, as well as more about his key speeches during this period. “Alone” was more about Dunkirk. The book is well written and meticulously researched. McCarten has been nominated five times for an Academy Award for his screenplays and he also is a novelist. This background has allowed him to write a most exciting book. This is definitely not a dry biography. McCarten brings Churchill to life as a man with all the weakness and greatness to be expected of a brilliant man. In some ways, you could also say this is a story of a speech. McCarten reveals to us how Churchill struggled to write one of his most famous speeches “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat”. The author points out that Churchill wrote and gave his three greatest speeches within a four-week period. I found it most interesting that Churchill drew on the skills of Plato and his colleagues as well as Cicero to learn the skill of oratory. McCarten states Churchill spent one hour of work for every one minute of speech. The book held my attention throughout the story. The book is a fast and easy read. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is about six and half hours. John Lee does and excellent job narrating the book. John Lee is one of my favorite narrators. Lee has won multiple Earphone Awards. In 2009 he won the Golden Voice Award and he has won a number of Audies in different genre over the years.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Emblematic When we think of a strong leader we imagine them in control of their domain. What is truly remarkable about Winston Churchill is that heading into his darkest hour, he had to fight battles from all sides, obviously the German forces, but also from appeasers within his own party, Chamberlain and Halifax, and his early relationship with King George VI. This book tells the story of those relationships, his challenges and his uncertainties in superb detail which is wonderfully emotive. The Emblematic When we think of a strong leader we imagine them in control of their domain. What is truly remarkable about Winston Churchill is that heading into his darkest hour, he had to fight battles from all sides, obviously the German forces, but also from appeasers within his own party, Chamberlain and Halifax, and his early relationship with King George VI. This book tells the story of those relationships, his challenges and his uncertainties in superb detail which is wonderfully emotive. The book conveys Churchill as a man with demons, with doubts, often without social grace, but when required, he had that iron will to stand up for what he believed and articulate it so well. The book gives a very atmospheric account of those days in deciding how to take Britain forward and the dialogue is fantastic, albeit we know Churchill was responsible for some of the greatest speeches and quotes we have ever heard. “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!” It is not surprising that Churchill dwelt on the themes of failure because he experienced many previously in his career. What is inspiring, however, is how he managed to overcome those and appear confident in managing the national mood in a time of war. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” This book is a wonderful account of Churchill's life during the war years and the internal and external battles he had to confront during his darkest hour. He had to tackle his opponents with the conviction that he and the nation could succeed. I would recommend reading this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    happy

    Mr. McCarten has written an interesting and mildly revisionist look at roughly the first four weeks of Winston Churchill’s (WSC) first term as Prime Minister of Great Britain in May and June of 1940. The author, who is a studies oratory, credits Churchill as being one of the great orators in history. He credits no less than three of his speeches as among the greatest of all time. He says this narrative takes place between two of those great speeches. The earliest being his speech on becoming Pri Mr. McCarten has written an interesting and mildly revisionist look at roughly the first four weeks of Winston Churchill’s (WSC) first term as Prime Minister of Great Britain in May and June of 1940. The author, who is a studies oratory, credits Churchill as being one of the great orators in history. He credits no less than three of his speeches as among the greatest of all time. He says this narrative takes place between two of those great speeches. The earliest being his speech on becoming Prime Minister – the “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears…” speech. The second is his “We will fight them on the beaches and the landing grounds…” speech delivered after the debacle at Dunkirk. His third great speech is delivered later that year after the Battle of Britain and is the “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few…” speech The author does an excellent job setting the stage for Churchill’s ascension to 10 Downing Street. He gives an overview of his political career, including his switching parties not just once, but twice. He went from Tori to Liberal and back again. Mr. McCarten looks at what that did to his standing and probably more importantly the trust fellow Conservatives had in him. He also looks at WSC's judgment. Although he was correct in his judgment of Hitler and the Nazi party, the author also looks at his many misjudgments – Gallipoli and much more recently Norway being just two, and the effect they had on his standing in the Conservative Party. Mr. McCarten brings to life Churchill’s meticulous preparation in writing his speeches. He is constantly revising and editing the speeches almost up to the moment he steps before Parliament or the radio microphone. I found it a fascinating look at the man and his methods. The author also looks at the politics of Great Britain and just why Churchill’s becoming Prime Minister was practically inevitable once Chamberlain fell. In spite of Chamberlain and the leaders of the Conservative Party distrusting him, the author opines that the only real alternative, Lord Halifax, was not a viable option. His position in the House of Lords would have prevented him from being the Conservative Leader in the House of Commons making him at best a figurehead. Now to the revisionist part of the story, the accepted narrative of WSC’s opening weeks as Prime Minister is that he never, ever considered making a deal with Hitler as France was falling apart. The author says he does not believe that and presents minutes from cabinet meetings and entries from personal diaries saying that if he could have gotten the right deal he would have taken it, even he had to cede Malta and Gibraltar to Hitler. However even the author states that by June that moment had passed. In summary, this is a very good look at one of the great men in English History and his methods of both speechifying and governing. I understand this narrative is the basis for the recent film of the same name. It is a solid 4 star read and I would highly recommend it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This is an excellent book (which was used for the screenplay for the Gary Oldman film of the same name) about Winston Churchill and his determination that inspired the cause of the British during the grim months of May and June 1940 when Hitler’s forces were conquering Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and (finally) France while his advisors and rivals such as Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain were urging a peace settlement mediated by Italy. The revelation of this book is that Ch This is an excellent book (which was used for the screenplay for the Gary Oldman film of the same name) about Winston Churchill and his determination that inspired the cause of the British during the grim months of May and June 1940 when Hitler’s forces were conquering Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and (finally) France while his advisors and rivals such as Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain were urging a peace settlement mediated by Italy. The revelation of this book is that Churchill actually considered taking this deal. That differs from what has been the history of the man and that time, but the author has found evidence for that conclusion (and he presents it throughout the book) in the British National Archives and in Chamberlain’s unpublished journal. There was a meeting where a certain secretary was 15 minutes late, and the context of the other notes from that meeting indicate that Churchill actually discussed this option, but because that secretary did not arrive, there is no “official” note about that discussion, and that is why this is a new revelation. That does not diminish – and the author does not attempt to do so – Churchill’s brave stand in the face of overwhelming odds. Instead, it shows that the man some consider Britain’s greatest leader was only human but chose the difficult path to victory in spite of the pressures to capitulate. Other benefits from reading this book include discussions of Churchill’s three most famous speeches and how he wrote them. I know many will say “it’s just another Churchill biography,” but the new information and the perspective of this book make it worth adding to what you may think you already know.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cold War Conversations Podcast

    Concise and easily read account of the first 25 days of Churchill's premiership Anthony McCarten's book is the basis for the new film on Churchill called "Darkest Hour" featuring Gary Oldman in the lead. The book deals the first 25 days of Churchill's premiership in a concise and easy to read manner that keeps both the general reader and those that know the story interested. McCarten covers ground already detailed by many authors, however the big difference is his interpretation of the cabinet minu Concise and easily read account of the first 25 days of Churchill's premiership Anthony McCarten's book is the basis for the new film on Churchill called "Darkest Hour" featuring Gary Oldman in the lead. The book deals the first 25 days of Churchill's premiership in a concise and easy to read manner that keeps both the general reader and those that know the story interested. McCarten covers ground already detailed by many authors, however the big difference is his interpretation of the cabinet minutes and diaries where he argues convincingly that Churchill was considering peace with Hitler, contrary to the popular post-war image. I haven't seen the film yet, but apparently the Churchill family have endorsed the film, showing the man himself rather than the caricature often shown on screen. All in all a good read and an interesting interpretation of the Churchill legend. I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, but was not compelled to write a positive a review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Subtitled How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink, the book provides a fascinating insight into one of the most pivotal periods of the Second World War, namely the few weeks in May 1940 when the British Government faced the reality of German advances into Belgium and the Netherlands, the prospect of the capitulation of France, the possible entry into the war of Italy as an ally of Germany and the loss of the British Expeditionary Force pinned down in Dunkirk. The author provides the rea Subtitled How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink, the book provides a fascinating insight into one of the most pivotal periods of the Second World War, namely the few weeks in May 1940 when the British Government faced the reality of German advances into Belgium and the Netherlands, the prospect of the capitulation of France, the possible entry into the war of Italy as an ally of Germany and the loss of the British Expeditionary Force pinned down in Dunkirk. The author provides the reader with a potted history of Churchill’s childhood, school days, military service, career in journalism, marriage to Clementine Hozier and his entry to Parliament. For those interested in learning more about Churchill’s early life and his troubled relationship with his father, Randolph, I can recommend searching out the film Young Winston starring Simon Ward.   The author also provides biographical information about Winston Churchill’s main opponent in the War Cabinet, Lord Halifax. The key new ground explored in the book is the author’s contention that Winston Churchill, at the urging of Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain, did at least consider the terms on which negotiations with Germany for peace might take place. It’s clear he had significant reservations about such a course of action, both for strategic reasons and also because it flew in the face of everything he believed in. Churchill had recognised as early as 1933 the threat that a resurgent Germany might pose and had urged rearmament. At the time, this view was against the sway of public opinion and in Government circles there was greater fear about the spread of Communism than the threat from Hitler. Churchill was proved right in his warnings when on 9th May 1940 the Germans invaded Belgium and The Netherlands.  No wonder then that the idea of peace negotiations never progressed beyond discussion. Thank goodness that key figures of the time chose to record their thoughts in diaries and journals giving the author access to fascinating insights into the shifting opinions and power struggles within the War Cabinet and wider Government. The reader gets an almost ‘fly on the wall’ view of the meetings, the discussions, the arguments, the motives and the political manoeuvring of the various individuals involved. The author spends quite a bit of time examining the impact of Churchill’s oratory, dissecting key speeches and the phrases in them that have now become the stuff of legend – ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat’, ‘victory at all costs’, ‘we shall fight on the beaches’. He provides fascinating information about the literary inspirations for some of these speeches and Churchill’s meticulous preparation for them. McCarten also argues that the idea to co-opt the so-called ‘little ships’ to aid the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) was the brainwave of Churchill himself, an idea for which he has not previously been recognised. The result of the operation was that 330,000 men were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk ensuring they were available to defend Britain against a possible invasion. Among the many things that struck me whilst reading the book was the so-called ‘fog of war’. Today, our military leaders have drones, satellites and instant communication at their disposal. It’s easy to forget what it must have been like to make crucial decisions about the direction of a war based on information that could be both unreliable and/or out of date. This was a time when communication still relied on letters, telegrams or face-to-face meetings. One can’t really review a book like this without mentioning some of the idiosyncrasies of Churchill the man that it reveals. For example, his preferred breakfast tray which would contain a glass of Scotch and soda between the rack of toast and plate of eggs, his penchant for a two-hour afternoon nap followed by a hot bath from which he would rise clad only in a bath towel or sometimes not even that. Furthermore, one has to marvel at his capacity for alcohol. After the aforementioned whisky and soda at breakfast, ‘a bottle of Pol Roger champagne would be consumed at lunch, and another bottle at dinner, chased by a fine port or brandy digestif into the small hours’.  The author reports that when Churchill was asked once how he managed to drink during the day he replied, “Practice”. The author describes Churchill when he became Prime Minister as ‘an amalgam of irreconcilable parts: showman, show-off, blow-hard, poet, journalist, historian, adventurer, melancholic…’. But, by golly, if ever there was a case of the right person in the right place at the right time, it was Winston Churchill in 1940. I found this book absolutely fascinating and would recommend it to anyone interested in this period of European history or the role of leadership in time of crisis.  It has extensive references and also some fabulous photographs of which my favourite is one captioned ‘Londoners listening to Churchill’ which shows people in a pub gathered around the radio.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Written by the man who wrote the film DARKEST HOUR, this book discusses the crisis the British faced with the end of the Phony War (May) through the evacuation of Dunkirk (June). Winston Churchill was a dubious choice for Prime Minister in the eyes of many, but the other choices had been repudiated or did not seem to want the job. During this month Churchill fought the Germans, his political opponents, and, as the author asserts, his own self-doubts. Did he truly consider peace talks with the Ge Written by the man who wrote the film DARKEST HOUR, this book discusses the crisis the British faced with the end of the Phony War (May) through the evacuation of Dunkirk (June). Winston Churchill was a dubious choice for Prime Minister in the eyes of many, but the other choices had been repudiated or did not seem to want the job. During this month Churchill fought the Germans, his political opponents, and, as the author asserts, his own self-doubts. Did he truly consider peace talks with the Germans or was it a ruse? The important thing is that he managed to find the inner fortitude to stand up to all his oponents, reflecting through his unparalleled rhetoric what was needed, what had to be said, to convince the British people, and the world that Britain would not surrender to the darkness. I enjoyed the film and the book. Both reminded me of tremulous times that the world faced in 1940, which could have turned out so differently. The world should be forever grateful that men like Churchill stepped forward to lead when it was most needed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    BookHound 🐾

    This book was phenomenal. The tension of the darkest time of British wartime history was palpable. You can really get a sense of the huge pressure that Churchill was under during this time. Not only was he a newly minted Prime Minister of Britain, but he had the tension of guiding a nation through the war and to victory. Culminating in the parliamentary session in which he made what is arguably his most famous speech, the author carries the reader through the darkest days of British history alon This book was phenomenal. The tension of the darkest time of British wartime history was palpable. You can really get a sense of the huge pressure that Churchill was under during this time. Not only was he a newly minted Prime Minister of Britain, but he had the tension of guiding a nation through the war and to victory. Culminating in the parliamentary session in which he made what is arguably his most famous speech, the author carries the reader through the darkest days of British history alongside Churchill, and leaves you cheering. I can't wait to check out the movie that was based on this book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ned

    Compelling read and original interpretation of Churchill’s proximity to settling with Hitler. I learned a great deal new about this most unique character, and I thought I knew a bit. Just w precarious the world was in May 1940 and how perilously close Europe was to becoming a fascist empire. I hadn’t realized that France and England were the main bulwarks- but I was aware of the US lateness to the game. Thematically this book is about the power and mechanics of peroration, where Churchill realiz Compelling read and original interpretation of Churchill’s proximity to settling with Hitler. I learned a great deal new about this most unique character, and I thought I knew a bit. Just w precarious the world was in May 1940 and how perilously close Europe was to becoming a fascist empire. I hadn’t realized that France and England were the main bulwarks- but I was aware of the US lateness to the game. Thematically this book is about the power and mechanics of peroration, where Churchill realized that words alone would give hope and the sustenance to nations about to give up. He was a scholar of speech, and fan of Cicero, using ancient Roman technique to succeed. It gave me ideas about my own leadership style and how I might motivate people who need it. Mostly it gave me an appreciation of the importance of politics during war and, always, the sheer human tragedy that the western world endured before I was born.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    It's a short and focused book that does what it says it will do, which is useful. I wasn't interested in reading a hagiography of Churchill and was grateful that McCarten at least hints at some of his flaws. Still, this was an interesting moment and a riveting book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Camie

    I spoiled this book for myself by seeing the film first. It's an excellent movie with Gary Oldman making a major transformation into Churchill.Where the book is more speeches and strategies, the movie showed a more human side of Churchill and his wife Clementine who were married over 40 years and buoyed each other up as they aged and faced difficult problems. In the movie there was also a young stenographer who was very helpful to an aging and forgetful Winston who sometimes required help in the I spoiled this book for myself by seeing the film first. It's an excellent movie with Gary Oldman making a major transformation into Churchill.Where the book is more speeches and strategies, the movie showed a more human side of Churchill and his wife Clementine who were married over 40 years and buoyed each other up as they aged and faced difficult problems. In the movie there was also a young stenographer who was very helpful to an aging and forgetful Winston who sometimes required help in the proper mores and wording of the times. I'm giving the book 3 stars and highly recommending the movie to anyone who is interested in this period of time. I especially encourage watching it on DVD and then watching it again with the Editor's comments. So very interesting and educational Book 3 stars Movie of same name 5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire. A brilliant performance of Gary Oldman, as usual.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    4.5 stars “Churchill later said of the great task that had fallen upon him, namely to give a voice to the people of Britain, that it was they who ‘had the lion heart’ and he merely ‘had the luck to be called upon to give the roar. At this moment in the darkest hour, the roar had never been louder.” This novel provides a fascinating and intricate insight into a pivotal period of Britain’s history. Covering only a limited part of Churchill’s leadership, the novel amazingly enough did not bore or lac 4.5 stars “Churchill later said of the great task that had fallen upon him, namely to give a voice to the people of Britain, that it was they who ‘had the lion heart’ and he merely ‘had the luck to be called upon to give the roar. At this moment in the darkest hour, the roar had never been louder.” This novel provides a fascinating and intricate insight into a pivotal period of Britain’s history. Covering only a limited part of Churchill’s leadership, the novel amazingly enough did not bore or lack my attention as a reader. In fact, I was more invested in the story as it gave an in-depth analysis into those dark days during May, in a way that no other novel has yet explored. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-researched novel of Churchill’s life and would very much recommend it. Also, the formatting of the chapters is so unique and captivating.

  15. 5 out of 5

    LAPL Reads

    Darkest hour is a thrilling companion piece to the movie of the same name. In early May 1940, Winston Churchill was an unlikely figure to be asked to become Prime Minister by King George VI. Derided as a turncoat by his fellow Conservatives for his former membership in the Liberal Party, and pegged as an imperialist by his Labour Party foes, Churchill was a compromise choice to head up a fragile coalition government during wartime. Churchill’s previous failure as a military leader during the Fir Darkest hour is a thrilling companion piece to the movie of the same name. In early May 1940, Winston Churchill was an unlikely figure to be asked to become Prime Minister by King George VI. Derided as a turncoat by his fellow Conservatives for his former membership in the Liberal Party, and pegged as an imperialist by his Labour Party foes, Churchill was a compromise choice to head up a fragile coalition government during wartime. Churchill’s previous failure as a military leader during the First World War was overlooked because he had by far the most wartime experience of any senior government official. From the beginning of his tenure as Prime Minister, Churchill had to fend off the entreaties of the Conservative pro-appeasement members of his Wartime Cabinet. Lord Halifax and the former Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, longed to make peace with Hitler and Mussolini while the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were falling under Nazi domination. Churchill countered by making the first of his great Parliamentary speeches as Prime Minister: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the French Army valiantly tried to hold off the German advances. By late May 1940, the allied cause looked dire. France was on the verge of military surrender to the Germans. Four hundred thousand British soldiers were trapped on the beaches of France, and all of Western Europe would be under Nazi domination if the soldiers could not be evacuated. Every private sailing vessel on the East Coast of England was summoned for the rescue effort in Dunkirk. By a stroke of good luck, poor air visibility prevented the German Luftwaffe from massacring the BEF, and the vast majority of British soldiers were able to escape to their home country without injury, in a week's time. Right after the Dunkirk evacuation, Churchill made the second great speech of his tenure in Parliament. He moved the British nation, during its gravest periods, with his oratory, when the British fighting spirit barely held off the forces of appeasement: “Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen into the grip of the Gestapo … we shall not flag and fail … We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Darkest hour is a compelling narrative of how Winston Churchill achieved greatness during the Second World War because of his steadfast opposition to Nazi aggression. Reviewed by David B., Librarian, InfoNow,

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I wanted to like this book much more than I did. It did nicely recount some of Churchill's pivotal speeches and their context, but otherwise the book was mostly a careful detailing of the inner machinations and politics of Parliament in the few weeks preceding and following Churchill's installation as prime minister. I thought both the war and Churchill's inner life and outward speeches would make more interesting foci for the book than the maneuverings of the politicians surrounding him. Also, e I wanted to like this book much more than I did. It did nicely recount some of Churchill's pivotal speeches and their context, but otherwise the book was mostly a careful detailing of the inner machinations and politics of Parliament in the few weeks preceding and following Churchill's installation as prime minister. I thought both the war and Churchill's inner life and outward speeches would make more interesting foci for the book than the maneuverings of the politicians surrounding him. Also, even though I am fairly familiar with the events and course of WWII, the book would've benefited greatly from a few maps detailing the progress of the war that the text mentions passingly as context.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    I've now read the book and watched the movie, Darkest Hour. Here's my assessment: In the movie, Gary Oldman gives an excellent performance as Winston Churchill. Kristin Scott Thomas is perfect as his wife, Clementine. The film's pace keeps moving and doesn't get bogged down in too many details. It's quite a challenge to keep track of the names and positions of all those English politicians. The book focuses more on Churchill's background and rise to power. Sometimes the book delves into minutiae I've now read the book and watched the movie, Darkest Hour. Here's my assessment: In the movie, Gary Oldman gives an excellent performance as Winston Churchill. Kristin Scott Thomas is perfect as his wife, Clementine. The film's pace keeps moving and doesn't get bogged down in too many details. It's quite a challenge to keep track of the names and positions of all those English politicians. The book focuses more on Churchill's background and rise to power. Sometimes the book delves into minutiae that only serious Churchill scholars would care about, but it's much easier to follow the political intrigue and posturing. My conclusion: Read the book if you want to learn more about Churchill or Great Britain's entry into World War II. Otherwise, just watch the movie.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mercedes Rochelle

    I purchased the DARKEST HOUR after having seen (and loved) the movie with Gary Oldman. My knowledge of 20th century history is spotty at best, so I was a little concerned that I would get quickly bogged down. No worries, as it turned out. We get more background in the book than the movie, naturally, and it did not talk over my head. I would say that the drama was a bit lacking (although not the conflict), but since this is a history and not a novel, that is to be expected. My take-away is a bett I purchased the DARKEST HOUR after having seen (and loved) the movie with Gary Oldman. My knowledge of 20th century history is spotty at best, so I was a little concerned that I would get quickly bogged down. No worries, as it turned out. We get more background in the book than the movie, naturally, and it did not talk over my head. I would say that the drama was a bit lacking (although not the conflict), but since this is a history and not a novel, that is to be expected. My take-away is a better understanding of the actual dissension between the major players (Churchill, Halifax, and Chamberlain); Churchill’s position was much more precarious than I realized. In the background of the Dunkirk evacuation—with its success far from certain—Churchill had to make a critical decision whether to “make a deal” with Mussolini to keep the Italians from entering the war, or wait it out in the hopes that the British army would not be annihilated and they could go on to fight another day. It was the author’s intent to clarify whether Churchill was playing a game of dissimulation with his adversaries, or did he really consider “caving in” to their insistence that he should negotiate a peace deal with Hitler through Mussolini. As the author states in the epilogue: “As previously noted, the historian David Cannandine said of Churchill’s character that he was ‘at once simple, ardent, innocent and incapable of deception or intrigue’. If so, then why foist upon him days and days of deception and intrigue when there is no record, either before or after this event, of his being so deceptive or intriguing?” Throughout this short but intense episode, Churchill overcomes his past failures and emerges as an indomitable war leader, as well as one of the greatest orators of our time. I found this book very readable and would heartily recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Si (books & coffee)

    Good solid read. I watched the film and really enjoyed it. I am glad that I have now read the book as it gave me a much better understanding of the situation and the reasoning behind some of the decisions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin Quinney

    I tore through this one. I find most anything about WWII fascinating. Winston Churchill is one of those contradictory characters (yes, he's real, but still most definitely a character) I love so much. This was an easily digestible, but informative, piece of historical writing. I highly recommend it. I do have a couple of issues with it. The fictionalized bits were kind of weird. I mean, with all the quotes available, why speculate on a theoretical argument? I think it was done to prove a point, I tore through this one. I find most anything about WWII fascinating. Winston Churchill is one of those contradictory characters (yes, he's real, but still most definitely a character) I love so much. This was an easily digestible, but informative, piece of historical writing. I highly recommend it. I do have a couple of issues with it. The fictionalized bits were kind of weird. I mean, with all the quotes available, why speculate on a theoretical argument? I think it was done to prove a point, which brings me to my other problem with the book. Why exactly is it a big deal if Churchill briefly considered peace talks with Germany and Hitler? I get that Churchill was a bulldog and he, of course, made the correct decision to fight Hitler to the bitter end. We have the advantage of hindsight to see that it was the correct decision. But, in the moment, when Hitler is marching and conquering at an alarming rate and mostly unchallenged, how can a leader who is responsible for the lives of half of Europe not consider, however briefly, what it will take to spare them? Weigh the balance between ideals and human lives, when death is literally at your doorstep? Of course Churchill considered these things. He was a human being. I don't think he considered it for very long, though. McCarten wants this consideration to be some kind of bombshell revelation about Churchill, and I think he takes it a little too far with his contention that "by 27 May the essential disagreement was not if a deal should be sought, but when (264). The idea of appeasement with Hitler and the Nazis is horrifying and the idea that Churchill would do such a thing is unthinkable, but precisely because he didn't go with that plan and chose to "go on to the end" instead. I'm nitpicking, but I thought it was odd that this was supposed to be a big deal. Maybe because I don't tend to swallow the mythical human idea. People are just people, after all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink Author: Anthony McCarten Pages: 336 Year: 2017 Publisher: Harper Perennial My rating 4 out of 5 stars. What an enigma of a man! I watched the movie, The Darkest Hour, and was struck by how much I didn’t know about Winston Churchill. There were references in the movie about Churchill, his father and family that I wondered if they were matters of fact or fiction. Personally, I agree with the author that Churchill prepared for this mo Title: Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink Author: Anthony McCarten Pages: 336 Year: 2017 Publisher: Harper Perennial My rating 4 out of 5 stars. What an enigma of a man! I watched the movie, The Darkest Hour, and was struck by how much I didn’t know about Winston Churchill. There were references in the movie about Churchill, his father and family that I wondered if they were matters of fact or fiction. Personally, I agree with the author that Churchill prepared for this moment in history whether he knew it or not. The man was loved by his wife and people even though others disliked and ignored him. I found him to be a man who took learning in a school setting with little interest, but in the world as a young man he thirsted for knowledge. Churchill would have his mother ship books to wherever he was, so he could read and learn. The amount of writing Winston did is astounding let alone a lot of what he did was written at a young age. The wealth of insight the man had and heart of a patriot is so deeply touching. Clemmie, his wife, was a special woman who adored her husband. This book didn’t talk a lot about his children, though he has many descendants. There have been many books written about him and by him. To me, that speaks of man who few can explain easily with a book. Lord Halifax is definitely a man I wouldn’t have wanted to work with, and frankly Parliament is hard for me to comprehend. I would recommend this book if you haven’t done much reading about the man Winston Churchill as this is a good place to start. I found the information easy to understand and written to be very engaging. I plan on learning more about this unique person. Here is man Britain had at a time they truly needed him. He withstood enemies, both within the government and without. However, looking back we see a man who was brave and brought his nation back from the brink of extinction!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam Balshan

    3.5 stars [History] Writing: 3.25; Use: 3.5; Truth 3.75. Truth: 3.75 stars. The proposition that Churchill wavered in his histrionic stance of "no surrender" in the face of the prospect of massive human lives lost is an important one. It shows he was human, and strengthens his eventual decision to fight on. This would certainly merit 4 stars for rare truth, but a book written just 2 years before this one—Never Surrender by John Kelly—already tells the tale. Kelly does not exposit this position as o 3.5 stars [History] Writing: 3.25; Use: 3.5; Truth 3.75. Truth: 3.75 stars. The proposition that Churchill wavered in his histrionic stance of "no surrender" in the face of the prospect of massive human lives lost is an important one. It shows he was human, and strengthens his eventual decision to fight on. This would certainly merit 4 stars for rare truth, but a book written just 2 years before this one—Never Surrender by John Kelly—already tells the tale. Kelly does not exposit this position as obviously or with as much detail, but he does tell the story. In fact, many parts of the two books are so similar that I wonder if McCarten didn't use some of Kelly's material! Writing: 3.25 stars. It started out better than Kelly's book, but overlapping content in the chapter on The Holy Fox, as well as a fuzzier middle ending in McCarten, made for a slightly lower rating than Kelly, whose writing was not as rousing, but was more consistent in its delivery.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    How “Winston Churchill became Winston Churchill” Darkest Hour is a very intriguing book highlighting the first month of Winston Churchill’s prime ministership in May 1940 during the first year of World War 2. His rise to power coincided with the, then, lowest point for the British in the war — their main army was cornered in France after the all but certain devastating defeat of France and Belgium to Germany in a matter of weeks. Churchill faced the defeat of Britain’s most important ally, the po How “Winston Churchill became Winston Churchill” Darkest Hour is a very intriguing book highlighting the first month of Winston Churchill’s prime ministership in May 1940 during the first year of World War 2. His rise to power coincided with the, then, lowest point for the British in the war — their main army was cornered in France after the all but certain devastating defeat of France and Belgium to Germany in a matter of weeks. Churchill faced the defeat of Britain’s most important ally, the potential capture of the main British fighting force in France, and powerful political forces in his own party who wanted to negotiate an armistice with the Germans rather than face the certain defeat of their army. This book helps show Churchill’s thinking as he negotiated his way through the horrors his country faced. It also shows how he came into his own through using his voice and words to influence the House of Commons, members of his own party, and the British people about the need to fight it out and persevere, even when facing what likely would be a German invasion of their country. It would have been difficult to remain upbeat and optimist during times such as that. Yet, Churchill was steadfast in belief that the British would fight on, regardless of the threats they faced. Yet many around him opposed that and wanted to sue for peace with the Germans. Even Churchill himself considered this option, shockingly, since he rose to power because of his strong opposition to Hitler and his insistence that Britain should oppose him no matter what. This story shows the power of persistence, keeping cool in the face of impending crisis, and listening to other voices, but using those voices to shape a diffract conception of the path to take. It was in that month that, as author Anthony McCarten puts it “Winston Churchill became Winston Churchill” as he found his voice and his power to persist, even when those around him were considering giving in. For the sake of western democracy, it is most fortunate he did.

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    So this covers only the first three or so weeks of Churchill's time as Prime Minister, up until the speech for which he is, arguably, the most famous. McCarten also takes care to speak about his past and the pasts of the other notable players--namely Lord Halifax--but the thing about that is that it makes Churchill less likable on the whole. Without doubt, Churchill is one of the most important figures of the Second World War. Equally as true, he led Britain through one of the most trying times So this covers only the first three or so weeks of Churchill's time as Prime Minister, up until the speech for which he is, arguably, the most famous. McCarten also takes care to speak about his past and the pasts of the other notable players--namely Lord Halifax--but the thing about that is that it makes Churchill less likable on the whole. Without doubt, Churchill is one of the most important figures of the Second World War. Equally as true, he led Britain through one of the most trying times in her history, McCarten's so-called Darkest Hour. None of that can be disputed. The fact that McCarten goes out of his way to paint a picture of a raging Imperialist obsessed with the idea of Empire does little for the overall portrait of Churchill in this history. In fact, the only thing that makes him memorable at all, from McCarten's rather dull telling of it, is the fact that almost no one else commands any "screen time" at all, and those who do, i.e., Halifax and Chamberlain, come off on the wrong side of history with their strategy of appeasement. This is a fairly bland recital of one of the pivotal moments of the Second World War.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A 267 page non-fiction book about one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century should be a quick read, but this book took me a month to get through. Not only did I have trouble with the style (which vacillated between what appeared to be historical fiction and quoting academic nonfiction), but I also had trouble discerning what the author’s thesis was. It is clear from this work, that McCarten is not an experienced non-fiction writer. At different points, he seemed to change his purpose i A 267 page non-fiction book about one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century should be a quick read, but this book took me a month to get through. Not only did I have trouble with the style (which vacillated between what appeared to be historical fiction and quoting academic nonfiction), but I also had trouble discerning what the author’s thesis was. It is clear from this work, that McCarten is not an experienced non-fiction writer. At different points, he seemed to change his purpose in writing. Sometimes it seemed like he was trying to delve into how Churchill made decisions; but other times he seemed to focus on Churchill’s public persona; yet at other times, the author seemed to be focused on Churchill’s skills as an orator. While all of these are important aspects of Churchill’s success as a leader, each deserves a more thorough and thoughtful examination (and my guess is that you can find such examinations easily). I kept asking myself why this book was written. I can’t imagine this has added anything to the larger conversation of what made Churchill the history figure he is.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin Case

    I used the audio version, excellent performance and great production values +1 star. This book is about Churchill's actions, including speeches in the start of Churchill's earlier days as PM during WW2 There is .no better way to enjoy this than a great reading of good writing. This book is fine for all readers, does not require a knowledge of the war.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Evan Hays

    I haven't seen the movie with this, although I certainly plan to, if for no other reason than to see Gary Oldman's performance. Churchill is such a unique character, and you can see why so much has been written about him and why he inspired an Oscar winning performance. Because of who he was, and the historical moment at which he became PM, there is an element almost of Biblical-style history that surrounds him, and this shone out in this book for sure. Here is what I mean: it is hard not to come I haven't seen the movie with this, although I certainly plan to, if for no other reason than to see Gary Oldman's performance. Churchill is such a unique character, and you can see why so much has been written about him and why he inspired an Oscar winning performance. Because of who he was, and the historical moment at which he became PM, there is an element almost of Biblical-style history that surrounds him, and this shone out in this book for sure. Here is what I mean: it is hard not to come to conclusions like, "the perfect man rose to power at the perfect time to stop the perfect evil from taking over the world." Mostly, historians balk at such moralistic and over the top statements, but even serious historians (although, I admit, I am no real scholar of Churchill) seem to tend toward these kind of ideas. While McCarten is quite directly interested in portraying Churchill in a new light (more as a real, conflicted leader rather than some sort of paragon of righteous determination), he also quite clearly argues for the idea that Churchill was "right" to stand up against Hitler. Of course, I completely agree. I just think it's interesting that most of the time, any serious work of history would be mocked, chided, derided, or downright ignored if it went around moralizing and telling us what was "right" and "wrong", yet somehow, when it comes to the Nazis, it's ok to view historical events from a kind of moral, theological, and cosmic lens. I certainly think we all must be extremely careful when coming to any conclusions about such matters as who God wanted doing what at what time in history. Mostly, I think being a good historian means having enough wisdom and humility to avoid those kind of proclamations. But, if we see it, as I think we do with Churchill and the Nazis, we shouldn't act like it isn't there. The best part of this book is the way the author analyzes the back history of the most famous lines of the most famous speeches of May and June 1940. The history of blood, sweat, toil, and tears was fascinating, and I would have never known its long back history were it not for this author. The close up perspective of the collapse of Western Europe day by day under the blitzkrieg was also fascinating, as was the close up perspective of the miracle of Dunkirk (another movie I need to watch). All in all, this was a splendid little book that made me want to read more WWII history and more about Churchill. My father has purchased for me hardback editions of Churchill's main historical works, and ironically, this book made me want to read them all the more yet also made me more aware of how they probably aren't very accurate history, yet they are an interesting view of history through the lens of one of the most important men of the 20th century. 4 stars because I wish it were longer, and because more historical context would have helped make his point better about Churchill's position in May of 1940.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    This book, like the film of the same name, focuses on the first 25 days of Churchill’s first term as Prime Minister. Along with the increasing pressures of war and the distrust of his Cabinet, were his own doubts and fears which had to be overcome in order to hold fast to his convictions. McCarten states, “It’s no sin to suffer doubts. Rather, I would argue that the ability to have doubts and then to be able to move on from them to synthesize opposing ideas, before reaching a balanced decision, This book, like the film of the same name, focuses on the first 25 days of Churchill’s first term as Prime Minister. Along with the increasing pressures of war and the distrust of his Cabinet, were his own doubts and fears which had to be overcome in order to hold fast to his convictions. McCarten states, “It’s no sin to suffer doubts. Rather, I would argue that the ability to have doubts and then to be able to move on from them to synthesize opposing ideas, before reaching a balanced decision, forms the very definition of a real leader and true leadership.” While it’s often assumed that even as France struggled to remain free of Nazi domination, Churchill never considered entering into peace negations with Hitler. But the author cites evidence to the contrary using diary entries and cabinet meeting minutes that suggest Churchill was indeed considering what might be involved in peace deals with Germany, thinking about the sort of deal he would have to make in order to appease Hitler. History would paint a far different picture of what happened, had Churchill not rejected that idea and decided that “…on balance, it was better – despite all the valid powerful arguments against – to fight on, returning to his original position, but now with a full sense of the poor odds, the dangers, the costs and possible sacrifices that lay ahead.” One of the things I found most interesting about this book was McCarten’s emphasis on Churchill’s skills as an orator .He even wrote stage directions to himself in the margins of his speeches to aid in his delivery style. Unlike today’s politicians who depend on speech writers, Churchill wrote his own speeches, devoting a great deal of time to crafting his phrases, using techniques he’d learned from his study of classical rhetoric in the style of Socrates, Cicero, Plato and Aristotle. “Rhetorical power,” said Churchill, “is neither bestowed, nor wholly acquired, but cultivated.” (And I can’t help but think it’s certainly not something our current president with his penchant for grammatically appalling tweets, knows anything at all about.) Churchill spent hours writing and preparing speeches that would touch the hearts of the British people in order to prepare them for what lay ahead. He used “…simple language, anchored in short Anglo-Saxon words, phrases falling in triplets like hammers ringing in the same anvil.” The most famous example being the speech he delivered to the House of Commons on June 4, 1940 that included the oft quoted lines: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hils; we shall never surrender. . .”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edoardo Albert

    A political chancer cast out into the outer dark through one too many gambles that had fallen through. An egomaniacal gloryhound. A man in love with language and the sound of his own rhetoric. Winston Spencer Churchill was the last, extraordinary, flourishing of the Victorians who, through the 1930s, looked like a man born out of his time, a man born too late to seize the glory that he most earnestly desire. And then history came to his rescue, and he came to the rescue of history. Carlyle's Gre A political chancer cast out into the outer dark through one too many gambles that had fallen through. An egomaniacal gloryhound. A man in love with language and the sound of his own rhetoric. Winston Spencer Churchill was the last, extraordinary, flourishing of the Victorians who, through the 1930s, looked like a man born out of his time, a man born too late to seize the glory that he most earnestly desire. And then history came to his rescue, and he came to the rescue of history. Carlyle's Great Man theory of history is very much out of fashion - modern historians prefer the minutiae of economic theory and feminist grievance mining - but the 20th century stands in bloody rebuke to this. If ever a century - and in particular the paroxysm of the Second World War - was a story of history-bending individuals it was the 20th century. Imagine a century in which young Adolf Hitler had succeeded as an artist and the young Josef Stalin had stayed in the seminary. Would the 20th century have become the bloodbath it became without them? I think not. But then imagine a century in which the young Winston had blocked one of the bullets that flew past his head during the Boer War. That is what this book forces one to imagine: and in the fractious comfort of our 21st century it really brings to life the dark abyss that we - the whole world - stared down into and that we so narrowly escaped. Indeed, for those parts of the world that fell under Soviet sway, the escape postdated the end of the war by half a century. Winston Churchill almost single-handedly held the line against what seemed inevitable defeat. He had the belief, the drive and, in a national context, most importantly the words to define and solidify the national response to onrushing disaster: unremitting defiance. As such, this book is excellent. It reminds the reader just how close we came and what a debt we owe to Churchill and those others who stood firm beside him. Unfortunately, the writing itself never rises to the heights that Churchill himself regularly scaled, both on the page and in speeches. It's workmanlike: honest stuff but nothing more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert Palmer

    When I was a young boy,about 10 years of age,my grandparents,who were born in England were always talking about WW II as were all of my Aunts and Uncles and Winston Churchill’s name was very much talked about. At some point in time in the 1970S I had read Churchill’s memoris of WWII,the book I was reading was an abridgement of the six volumes of WWII and having a Wife,three Children and of course a job it took me about six months to read. Reading “Darkest Hour” was much easier to read as it just d When I was a young boy,about 10 years of age,my grandparents,who were born in England were always talking about WW II as were all of my Aunts and Uncles and Winston Churchill’s name was very much talked about. At some point in time in the 1970S I had read Churchill’s memoris of WWII,the book I was reading was an abridgement of the six volumes of WWII and having a Wife,three Children and of course a job it took me about six months to read. Reading “Darkest Hour” was much easier to read as it just dealt with the time in May 1940 and war was imminent. Just reading a few of Churchill’s speeches are worthwhile reading. I have nothing to offer but blood,toil, tears and sweet! You ask what is our aim? It is to wage war! We shall fight on the beaches,we shall fight on the landing grounds,we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender! Churchill has showen how certain words can move the people and it takes someone like Churchill to take the lead in the fight against Hitler. This is a very readable story of the events and the players at a very dark time in history——A book that should be studied and read by all. P S. It was also a very good movie!

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