“The Last Lion” Volume III is Published

by Richard Langworth on 5 March 2009

Over 400 readers asked when we will see the third and final volume  of William Manchester’s Churchill biography, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm 1940-1965Answer: Amazon was shipping copies as of mid-October 2012—only twenty-four years since Volume II!

Mr. Reid kindly asked me to proof the manuscript for Volume III, as did Mr. Manchester for Volume II.

This will be good news to the many Manchester fans who have waited for years. Paul Reid’s volume is written in the Manchester style, as dramatic and gripping as the first two volumes. Read comments below for more details.

From a review by Warren Kimball:

Reid’s narrative skills are obvious. At his best he is succinct and enlightening; at his less than best, he rambles on about details that matter little to the big picture. Does naming British regiments (the King’s this or the Queen’s that or, even sillier, the 2nd Sherwood Foresters or various Hussars) really matter? Nazi reactions are exaggerated. Josef Goebbels’ diary seems quoted almost as often as Churchill’s war memoirs. Battle details are spelled out like case studies at Sandhurst or West Point. For the most part, this is a narrative about the Second World War—with Winston Churchill playing the lead role—a war that always threatens to overwhelm the narrative. Martin Gilbert has already given us a meticulous, good-to-the-last-detail chronology of Churchill during the Second World War (cited less frequently than I expected). We have a surfeit of broad surveys of the war viewed from the top. What does this book add?

Paul Reid has not written a biography, but rather an old-style “life & times” narrative with guns and bullets, political conniving, oft-repeated (but worth repeating) anecdotes, lovely touches of the personal, and the most important asset—a hero. It is a nice cruise down a rather lengthy river that you’ve sailed before. There is nothing new or exciting; it is reassuring rather than challenging. Still, it is a lovely and literate view of familiar territory that massages old stories, nurtures legends, and points gently to miscalculations and mistakes of the hero—who flawed though he was, remains is a hero.

Reid chose, or was forced, to pretend ignorance of the dogged efforts of a multitude of academics who, in the last four decades, pushed forward the frontiers of scholarship and intellectual inquiry into the history of the Second World War. Not only is his historical isolationism rude; it is a shame, particularly since he is a superb writer. He makes a familiar history come alive, though you’ll have to manage a huge cargo of extraneous material in a book this long (with strikingly narrow margins) that takes Churchill only from 1940 until his death.






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{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

gilbert March 11, 2014 at 13:25

robert laffont translated the first two volumes so many years ago in french when asked they told me they wont translate third . no expanation given but i did not ask why ..

Richard M. Langworth October 9, 2013 at 06:26

It has been translated into Russian and Chinese, but so far not German or French.

Lars October 8, 2013 at 02:31

I am on Page 770, takes some time to read it in english, will there be a translation to german? Thanks Lars

Richard M. Langworth August 19, 2013 at 14:20

Thanks for your comments, relayed to the author.

jerry helzner August 19, 2013 at 10:00

Hate to be the picky one but in every other book I have read (which is a lot), the admiral responsible for aborting the Wake Island rescue mission in December 1941 was Admiral Pye.
The Last Lion cites Admiral Fletcher as aborting this important mission. I have never read that anywhere before. In fact, the opposite. I have read that Admiral Fletcher was disgusted that he had to turn back.

Jerry Helzner August 13, 2013 at 12:21

I sailed through the first 360 pages, loving every page and marveling at the attention to detail.
Then, I got to the section on the pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck.
No mention of the gallant Swordfish biplane attacks and the Swordfish bomb that disabled the Bismarck’s poorly designed rudder and left the big ship going in circles.
I don’t want to be too picky but the story of the sinking of the Bismarck has been widely documented. This is a pretty big whiff to leave out the key role of the Swordfish attacks.

Ray May 14, 2013 at 07:54

I am ecstatic!! Finally!! Thank you!!!

Juliann Stark April 19, 2013 at 13:36

I closed Defender of the Realm last night with a tremendous sense of satisfaction and some regret that it had come to an end. Overall I was hugely impressed with the work Paul Reid did, not least that he undertook and completed the assignment at all. I have only a couple of comments. In much of the book, especially I would say the last third, Churchill the man is absent. Manchester never let him out of his sight, always coming back to the private man, no matter what else was going on. Many times in Defender I very much missed this. I especially missed the sense of Clementine’s presence throughout, and felt what was said about her was increasingly negative. There were some typos and grammatical errors, yes, but these are really inevitable in a book of this length, and didn’t bother me. I did not find the final section perfunctory. It seemed completely adequate to me and was very moving. Nor did I think Reid failed to impart an appreciation of Churchill’s life. It was clear throughout the book. I have already read the first two books twice and will return to the entire trilogy when some time has gone by.

Juliann Stark January 15, 2013 at 21:49

After rereading Visions of Glory and Alone in preparation, last night I sighed happily and opened Defender of the Realm at last. I have only read the Preamble so far, but it was like coming home. I am doing my best not to compare Reid with Manchester, but to gratefully accept and appreciate the passing of the baton for what it is. It is wonderful to have the tale told.

Richard M. Langworth January 11, 2013 at 10:53

Many thanks for the sharp-eyed corrections. I am forwarding any received herein to the author.

Ward Beattie January 10, 2013 at 14:54

I now have the book, eagerly awaited. As is my habit, I frequently read biographies out of order, so I started with the years after WW II. My initial impression is that this is a bit rushed, but then perhaps to continue the story Reid/Manchester would have had to expand on Churchill’s impact on others more amply than they do. The final pages seem a bit perfunctory, and I missed a biographer’s appreciation of the meaning of this life.
I was also disappointed to find a couple of obvious copy editing errors. On p. 1022, Churchill is inducted to the Order of the Garter: “And so [he] became Sir Winston Churchill, K.B.” This should be K.G. On p. 1029, Churchill returns to England on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, “christened in 1938 in honor of the first Elizabeth.” In fact, the liner was named for the queen’s mother, consort of George VI, not for Queen Elizabeth I.

S Armentrout December 7, 2012 at 11:25

Having waited for these many years, wondering how Wm. M. was getting on, I say this book is well worth the wait. It’s ironic that Manchester who worked so closely with the Sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken, was so slow to engage someone to help him in the 90’s when true collaboration might have been possible. I get a kick from the occasional insights into Churchill’s quirky behaviors i.e. “I can fix an egg, I’ve seen it done; …. we are coming by puff, puff.”
It’s history in the most readable fashion, though I wish there were more maps, esp. of the Far East.
I’ve seen Mr. Reid on one TV interview. Does he plan to travel around for book signings, if you know. I’ve several copies which I’d like signed – a first for me – if that’s possible. Thanks for maintaining this blog for us watchers and waiters.

Richard M. Langworth November 22, 2012 at 11:34


Mr. Reid replies:

“The lectern I already caught, will be corrected in next printing (although modern dictionaries allow podium but do not endorse it).

“Revelation (sic) will be fixed.

“I did a story on the millennium back in 2000, interviewed Stephen J. Gould. The century begins on Jan. 1 1900, or 2000 etc. There is no year zero, and that’s where the confusion comes from. I had a footnote in the book about this, but took it out.”

Glen Kissel November 21, 2012 at 21:00

I’m up to page 262, and I’ve already caught some errors.

On page 240, quoting Muggeridge, it should read, “Book of Revelations [sic],” because it really should be “Book of Revelation.”

On page 257: One stands on a podium, but behind a lectern. Thus it should read, “…Roosevelt steadied himself behind the lectern.”

Again on page 257, technically January 6, 1900 was in the nineteenth century, so referring to Waggon Hill as, ” one of the first battles of the twentieth century,” is not correct.

Richard C. Geschke November 20, 2012 at 14:26

More than half way through it and love the book. It is indeed the cherry on top of a truly magnificent trilogy on Winston S. Churchill.

Juliann Stark November 12, 2012 at 19:27

Thank you. I found the photo sections.

James Powers November 9, 2012 at 12:46

The dust cover photo is truly terrible.
Why would anybody chosse it for the cover is beyond me.

Richard M. Langworth November 9, 2012 at 09:45

The book contains two 16-page photo sections, but they are printed on regular stock. You may not have found them yet.

Juliann Stark November 8, 2012 at 18:46

I received my copy yesterday (and also downloaded all three eBooks), and it is beautiful. I am wondering, though, if you or anyone knows why there are no photos in this book. Happy reading to all.

Richard M. Langworth November 3, 2012 at 09:02

An audiobook is already available. See the newer post:
http://richardlangworth.com/last-lion-3. The Amazon link is:

lane November 3, 2012 at 00:26

Any plans for an audiobook, like the first two volumes?

gilbert October 31, 2012 at 09:52

will they translate it in french and spanish …as they did for the first two.

Freda October 27, 2012 at 11:26

Started reading this last night. HUGE book, I need a support to hold it as I read it. . Too bad Little Brown decided not to put into two volumes, as it is the pages are crammed to the edges.

It’s too soon to review it in earnest, but I will say the first 100 pages are just brilliant.

Ron October 24, 2012 at 16:39

Got my copy from Amazon early today as well! Can’t wait to read this long awaited volume.

Will October 23, 2012 at 16:50

For some reason Amazon sent me my copy today, two weeks before D-Day. Thanks so much to Mr. Langworth for all the updates that have kept as all going until now!

Alec Rogers October 23, 2012 at 16:44

The Eagle has landed…

Will October 11, 2012 at 13:05

Just weeks away, yet still no reviews or excerpts to whet our appetites. Strange how this is flying under the radar.

Richard M. Langworth September 1, 2012 at 12:22

An e-book is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel, produced by Blackstone Audio, release date in November. The author, Paul Reid, will be reading the preamble and author’s note.

Mac Harris August 31, 2012 at 11:20

I am in the midst of listening to the audio version of Book II. Do you have any information pertaining to a release of the audio version of Book III?

John McCool August 25, 2012 at 06:12

Wonderful news indeed. Thank you Messrs Reid and Langworth.

Our annual lazy vacation coincides with the release in November. We will take volumes 1 and 2 with us to re-read and prep for volume 3.

gilbert August 9, 2012 at 10:26

a big text . a big book . almost a quater century of wwait …..

Richard M. Langworth August 6, 2012 at 16:41

1232 is the correct figure, including source notes, index, author’s note, copyright acknowledgements. About 1050 pages of text, but these numbers may change slightly in the final production process.

Larry Thorn August 6, 2012 at 13:51

The publisher, Little, Brown, now lists the book as over 1200 pages; it’s pretty huge. Little wonder that it took so long to complete.

James Powers June 21, 2012 at 15:23

I’m surprised at how little ink I can find anywhere ( print or cyber) regarding this long awaited event.

lee harris June 20, 2012 at 08:14

i,too, am anxious to read.have read other two twice.

Peter Schuller May 12, 2012 at 21:15

As a lover of non fiction, I thought The Last Lion, volumes I and II were two of the finest books I ever read. When I saw that William Manchester was ailing and unable to finish the trilogy, I was deeply disappointed . Now I am thrilled to know it will finally be completed. I can hardly wait, so I guess I will have to reread the first two again before November.

Alec Rogers April 30, 2012 at 14:20
Mark Jones April 27, 2012 at 11:17

I have probably read the first two volumes at least 6 times. They never get old. Mr Manchester is my favorite author. Been waiting years for the third volume. Thank you to all involved.

Richard M. Langworth April 23, 2012 at 09:19

I’m sure the book will be published in Britain, like the first two volumes. The dustwrapper has been redesigned and will not be uniform, however.

Stan Burman April 22, 2012 at 04:33

Do you know if The Last Lion III will be published separately in England as the first two volumes were?

Juliann Stark April 18, 2012 at 21:02

Thanks a lot. I have a Nook, but this one I want to read in hardback, to match the first two volumes. It’s been a long wait. Recently I read Churchill in America and Franklin and Winston, both excellent.

Richard M. Langworth April 18, 2012 at 08:38

I’ve heard various dates in November.

Juliann Stark April 17, 2012 at 18:15

Is there a release date for the hardback?

Richard M. Langworth April 14, 2012 at 08:04

Replies to recent comments:

Kindle Vols 1&2: This decision isn’t made yet. My guess is that they will try a 3-volume set after Vol 3 has run its course, and that will be the time when we see Kindle versions of the earlier volumes. The jacket of “Defender” is not yet pictured but it is very handsome and much nicer than the insipid jackets of Vols 1&2.

The Amazon listing is erroneous in certain particulars. The book will be about 900 pages, not 1729. The list price of the hardback will be $40, and the Kindle $19.99–the Amazon prices may change.

John Lukacs’ “Five Days in London” is definitely worth reading; it perfectly captures the essence and emotion of that time.

N. Kingsley Ormsby April 13, 2012 at 23:00

Two points: (1) Mr. Langworth’s reply to Scott, the latter seeking to emulate Churchill’s supposedly “leisurely” life style, spot-on: Churchill extended “sleep overs” with the Roosevelt’s at the White House, including the famous Christmas visit of 1941, always left the White House staff exhausted, what with his working the “late shift” typically to 2 or 3 a.m. (2), with Europe in 1940 sinking, in Churchill’s chillingly apt phrase from his June 18th “Finest Hour” speech, “into the abyss of a New Dark Age”, it seems only someone with roots tapped deep into a prior Victorian/Edwardian age could react with a clarity of vision, strength of purpose, and will to carry on, regardless. There would be no negotiating with Hitler. Churchill then, by not losing the war in May of 1940, gave the Allies the opportunity to win. No author captures this reality better in my estimation than a fellow reactionary, John Lukacs. The Hungarian-born, English-educated, and American historian Lukacs develops this theme in several of his works, including The Duel (1991), Five Days in London (1999), and most recently Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat (2008). Any self-professed Anglophile would be well-served by reading (and enjoying) Lukacs, while awaiting the final installment of the Manchester trilogy.

Will Yate April 13, 2012 at 15:56

According to Amazon, it clocks in at 1729 pages. Can this be right? I hope it’s true (the more Manchester the better), but I can’t imagine the physical proportions of the book if it’s anything like my copy of the first two volumes.

Michael K. Rosenberg April 13, 2012 at 13:35

Would you happen to know whether the first two volumes will also be released for the Kindle?

Richard M. Langworth April 11, 2012 at 16:31

James Powers–correct, the Kindle edition is planned for Nov 1st.

James Powers April 11, 2012 at 15:58

Then the Amazon/Kindle sale is correct ?
Kindle edition is set for sale on 11/1/2012.

Richard M. Langworth April 10, 2012 at 06:46

Rubin makes at least five mistakes. His “whisky and soda” was a layer of scotch in a tumbler full of soda. His daughter gave me a sample of this “Papa Cocktail.” It scarcely qualifies as alcoholic. He did not use ice. He was not “drunk half of his time.” He did not drink 96 bottles of champagne in two weeks. Brooke’s diaries were written out of frustration when he was exhausted. Rubin’s arguments against his being an alcoholic are weak. I like Prof. Warren Kimball’s suggestion that he was “alcohol-dependent–no alcoholic could drink that much!” He functioned best with some of it inside him, but diluted it with food and water. See also:

Edward J. Hahn Jr. April 9, 2012 at 20:31

About Churchill’s drinking, see also “Forty Ways to look at Winston Churchill” by Gretchen Rubin, Chapter 21, page 136. Looking forward to V-III. Thanks for the progress reports.

Richard M. Langworth April 9, 2012 at 11:21

April 9th: Thanks to all for the kind words. I am completing my read of “Defender of the Realm 1940-1965” and I can promise that the wait will be worthwhile. With luck, maybe the end of 2012. Visitors here will be first to know.

Tragic about his brother. They were both taken from us too soon.

Max Newberry April 9, 2012 at 11:17

I was a neighbor of Robert Manchester,an attorney, who was William’s much younger brother. I got to know William when he came to visit his brother and came to appreciate his intellect and writing ability. I have read all of his books except for his early fiction work. I,too, have been eagerly awaiting vol. 3. Robert was killed in an auto accident two years ago . Back in the 90’s I would occasional ask Robert the status of the third vol. and he would tell me “Bill is working hard on it but is such a perfectionist that he is not satisfied and keeps rewriting portions.” Finally,William’s doctor advised him to take leave from writing for a while which he did and apparently never could bring himself to complete the work.

Dee B April 9, 2012 at 10:50

Adding my comment of thanks for keeping us appraised on the new book. I am re-listening to the first 2 in audio format in preparation for the 3rd and check here every 6 months or so to see the progress. I don’t know how quickly books published make it to audio, I’m guessing I won’t be able to wait.

Cecelia B April 8, 2012 at 21:40

Dear Mr. Langworth, I’m searching the web as I do every so often for news about the release of Vol. III. Thanks for this website, for some reason I’ve missed it before! Thank you for your work and please add my encouragement to Mr. Reid. We will wait as long as we need to, and like our hero, we will not give in (not up!) I do miss Mr. Manchester and his gift for writing.

Richard Geschke April 6, 2012 at 11:31

Last time I saw Paul was at Charlston for a Churchill gathering in March of 2011. At that time he had no idea when the book would be done. Quite frankly I know his writing style and it should be a good match to the other two books. However like the others I’m having a tough time waiting.

Richard M. Langworth March 31, 2012 at 22:08

Andy Klein: About Churchill’s drinking, see http://richardlangworth.com/alcohol

Thomas M. Callan March 31, 2012 at 19:21

Dear Mr. Langworth: Please thank Mr. Reid for his previous work and for his efforts on Volume III. I read the first two as they came out and have been looking forward to Volume III quite a time. I am sure I will be pleased and appreciative. Thank you for this website. Sincerely, TMC

Andy Klein March 30, 2012 at 18:46

Love your site and thanks so much for contributing to Vol III of the Last Lion. Now to my question. I’m having a bit of an argument with a fellow Churchillian. He thinks that Mr. Manchester was being cheeky, in a dry English sort of way (despite being American), and I think he somehow meant exactly what he said when he wrote in Vol. II:

“However, the legend that he is a heavy drinker is quite untrue. Churchill is a sensible if unorthodox drinker. There is always some alcohol in his bloodstream and it reaches its peak in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball.”

Was Mr. Manchester trying to be funny, or did he really think that 9 drinks is not heavy drinking? Thanks much.

Ed Tipshus March 23, 2012 at 21:34

Have read all Manchester’s books. I was disheartened when he died, as I was impatiently waiting for Volume Three. I was under the impression that it died with him. On discovering today that his research and notes did not go to waste, I now eagerly await Volume Three. It will bring me joy and satisfaction in my old age to read of the prime times and last days of one of my life-long ikons, Winston Churchill, and how he was a key element during World War Two. William Manchester was a superb researcher and writer.

Alec Rogers March 23, 2012 at 10:00

One development: I noticed that Amazon has put Defender of the Realm on their site for pre-order as being available on 11.01.12.

There seems to be some conusion, however, with earlier volumes (if you click on the hardcover as opposed to the Kindle edition it takes you to Vol 2 so perhaps its just a Kindle version of Vol 2?) so please take this with a grain of salt.

Richard M. Langworth March 19, 2012 at 08:30

Thanks for the kind words. Incidentally, William Manchester told me “Goodbye Darkness” was his favorite among his many books and, he thought, his best.

Gerald Lebel, LTC (Ret), US Army March 18, 2012 at 23:27

Richard, Thanks much for the updates. My dad who was a WWII Marine in the PTO, recommended Manchester’s Goodbye Darkness as the most realistic description of his experiences and feelings. As I have completed both volumes of The Last Lion and am currently in the middle of Alone 1932-1940 again, I very much appreciate your comments on Paul Reid and Defender of the Realm, and the progress toward publication. Hopefully the release will be accompanied by the way of publicity you mentioned as it will be most deserving, and I very much look forward to that day.

Richard M. Langworth March 2, 2012 at 10:58

Well, in five lines!… Manchester was a literary stylist, master of rolling, sonorous prose, if occasionally lax with facts. Gilbert offers pure history: clinical, chronological, precise, leaving (in Churchill’s phrase) “no wire unpulled, no stone unturned, no cutlet uncooked.” For a full discussion see http://richardlangworth.com/biographers

Kristi Gabrielse March 2, 2012 at 01:50

Would anyone be interested in giving a clear (1-2 line) summary of Gilber vs Manchester writing styles. It has been a long time since I have read them and I have just finished listening to Roy Jenkins latest. I may just have to go and buy them and start over, but would not mind some guidance about where to start. I guess I read them as novels instead of as literature and enjoyed them all without a critical eye as it were.

Alec Rogers December 24, 2011 at 09:19

Thanks for sharing that Richard! The Gilbert books sound like something I’d really enjoy as well. I’ve never read any of his works so they sound like good volumes to “break in” to his work in smaller bites.

Richard M. Langworth December 17, 2011 at 16:31

“Churchill: The Power of Words” (May 2012) contains Sir Martin’s 100 favorite selections of readings from Churchill’s works, something he has never given us before. For more details see: http://bit.ly/slZJBu.

“Wilderness Years” (February 2012) is a reprint of Sir Martin’s short (240 pp) book by the same title first published n 1982, at the time of the “Wilderness Years” TV documentary.

In reading “The Last Lion” volume III’s account of 1942–the nadir of the war for the Angl0-Americans. I can report that the writing is typically Manchesterian, the unique style which captivates so many readers. I’m sure Paul Reid will not mind this brief example, describing Rommel before his break-out against Tobruk in mid-1942:

“He had retreated before Auchinleck, but more to the point, he had escaped, and rearmed. The peril had shifted to ‘The Auk’, although the danger was belied by the quietude that had settled over the desert, where the armies dug in and faced each other just beyond field artillery range. Nights were cool. Intermittent rain showers brought forth blooms to scarious shrubs while small desert flowers scrabbled from beneath the cracked sand and stones as sunshine as weak as chamomile tea threw indeterminate shadows across the sands.”

Alec Rogers December 17, 2011 at 14:33

Just wanted to chime in with my thanks to Richard for keeping us apprised. I am heartened to hear that the progress continues and that someone of Richard’s expertise believes our patience will be rewarded. I see that Martin Gilbert has a couple of volumes scheduled for 2012. The first is called “Winston Churchill – The Wilderness Years: Speaking out Against Hitler in the Prelude to War” and the second is “Churchill: The Power of Words” Anything you can share about these?

Intrinsic Value December 10, 2011 at 03:10

just finished vol 2 and 2012 cannot come soon enough!

Spencer Ray December 2, 2011 at 17:24

I used seven years to savor every delicious page of volumes first and second. I will gladly wait seven years to have the pleasure of volume three. I often felt that by the books I was a frequent dinner companion of Mr. Churchill.

Richard M. Langworth November 27, 2011 at 22:11

Will, you will not be disappointed.

Will Emmons November 27, 2011 at 16:58

I am thoroughly enjoying the updates, and am curious about your opinion of what you have read so far. How does “Defender of the Realm” match up to the other two volumes so far? Does Paul Reid do a good job of capturing Manchester’s voice? Many thanks.

Richard M. Langworth November 8, 2011 at 19:39

Not as much fun as you think. That glass was mainly water: “scotch-flavored mouthwash,” as a staffer put it. He didn’t bathe all morning. He bathed around 11 after waking at 8am, breakfasting and working in bed, reading the papers (all of them, including the Daily Worker), and his mail. Then he went down to lunch, held forth extensively to guests, rambled around Chartwell, returned to his room, worked until around 6pm, bathed again, worked again, held dinner around 8-9 and watched a film afterward. Then he summoned a secretary and worked until as late as 3AM. (I have actually tried this, but my wife wouldn’t put up with it, because it really takes a staff of about eleven.)

Scott November 8, 2011 at 19:02

I have been waiting for the third volume, mind you, just so I can go on dreaming of how I would create a lifestyle that allows me to bathe until noon, with a glass of scotch (only one), read all the newspapers and mail and then face the world. Please Mr Reid, make haste!

Charles L. Glisan October 27, 2011 at 14:56

Amazing – the Manchester (soon to be) trilogy on WSC has captivated me completely. I am currently slogging my way through “Visions of Glory” and have ordered a copy of the second volume, hopefully to arrive before I finish this one. I didn’t occur to me that the third volume had never been completed until I began searching for a source for the third volume. Reading the blogs on the imminent release of that volume has me drooling already. Manchester’s style is at once frustrating and masterful in its detail and has captured the life and times of Churchill like no other I have encountered. His gritty and revealng description of the “The Great War” invokes nothing but revulsion for the role of most politicians and generals in the conduct of war. We only learn of the heroes who were disregarded after the damage has been done and we haven’t learned it yet.

Larry Thorn September 6, 2011 at 12:53

It’s interesting to note that the second Manchester Churchill volume was just voted one of the top 100 non-fiction books ever written by Time magazine.

Darren September 1, 2011 at 10:53

Wow, a couple of whingers on here complaining about the time the book has taken to be completed (and still counting, though it seems not for much longer). Cannot believe anyone would want such an important publication rushed. I for one am happy if it takes upwards of 6 or 7 years to complete (as it will almost be when it finally comes out) as long as it is done right and in the spirit which Manchester intended. Paul Reid sounds like he is on top of it and I am sure Manchester knew what he was doing when asking him to take up the mantle.

Gary Lyon June 25, 2011 at 12:23

Can’t wait for Vol III! I’m a young guy, read Vol II when I was about 24. Read Vol I after that…and have been eagerly awaiting Vol III for a couple of years now. I’ve since read a couple of other Churchill biographies, including the one by Virginia Cowles. Not bad, but it doesn’t compare to the depth that Manchester packs in. I’ve never read so much detail that is also so exciting.

Richard M. Langworth May 6, 2011 at 09:44

Gilbert’s volume 8 “Never Despair” 1945-1965 is out of print but available from aftermarket sellers via Amazon at this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0773721878/?tag=richmlang-20. Although Gilbert’s work is called the “official biography,” Gilbert has never been told what or what not to include, nor has the Churchill family ever attempted to influence his writing. Churchill’s own war memoirs were indeed censored, not the least by Churchill himself, who could not, for example, reveal the secrets of Bletchley Park’s decryption of the German “Enigma” code at the time he wrote, it being an Official Secret until years later. By the time Manchester wrote, much more was available—and still more is available today. Gilbert’s one-volume biography, Churchill: A Life, contains much material not available when he and Randolph Churchill wrote the original eight volumes.

David May 6, 2011 at 06:15

Is Gilbert’s book, “Winston S. Churchill: Never Despair, 1945-1965” at Amazon.com. What does “official” mean in this context? Churchill’s own The Sec­ond World War, for example, is great both as history and literature, but comparing it with other sources, such as Manchester, one gets the impression that the truth is often heavily censored.

Will Yate May 4, 2011 at 03:02

I’m glad Mr. Reid is giving some space to the postwar years. I’ve enjoyed Barbara Leaming’s Churchill Defiant, but the postwar years are the era about which I know the least—by far. As painful as this wait is becoming, I would rather wait and get the full story than get a partial story tomorrow.

Richard M. Langworth April 29, 2011 at 14:56

The book to start with is Churchill’s six-volume memoir, The Second World War. Next, try one of Geoffrey Best’s books, Churchill at War or Churchill: A Study in Greatness. I also agree with the the late John Ramsden, who wrote that Paul Addison’s Churchill: The Unexpected Hero is quite the best “brief life” in print today. All these books are “fair and balanced,” and not given to repeating myths or old chestnuts.

Stephen Shields April 28, 2011 at 19:25

Thank you for your updates about “Last Lion” Vol III. I am almost done with Vol I and have II on deck. Are there any other Churchill books you would recommend covering the years of World War II as we wait for Vol III?

Mr. Robertson April 24, 2011 at 16:22

I have been hoping for such a book since 1988.
Churchill was one of more noble sons of the West and may well be the main reason that this post is not written in German.

Pack April 21, 2011 at 10:10

While checking on the status of Vol III I noticed a book on Ted Kennedy titled “Last Lion”. If that’s legal it certainly is a reach, to say the least.

Eric March 7, 2011 at 13:33

I really appreciate the updates. 2012 can’t come soon enough!

Richard M. Langworth February 12, 2011 at 16:18

I’m sure the release will be accompanied by a wave of publicity that nobody will be able to miss. The key parts of it I have already read, on World War II, are “vintage Manchester.”

Claudia-Marie February 12, 2011 at 15:28

How will the announcement be made as to the publishing of the third volume, please? I am so looking forward to reading it. Thank-you.

Richard M. Langworth December 2, 2010 at 17:31

I have a recommendation for some good reading in the meantime: Barbara Leaming’s “Churchill Defiant: Fighting On 1945-1955.” Its unique personal dimension places her book well above the long array of potboilers—making it the most important survey of Churchill’s last active decade since Anthony Seldon’s “Churchill’s Indian Summer” thirty years ago.

Eddie Bromley October 6, 2010 at 22:30

I am absolutely thrilled to hear that the third volume will be published. I have just finished the second volume and have been eagerly watching for the next book to appear.

Caleb September 25, 2010 at 09:37

I too am thirsting for Vol 3. I hope the understanding Manchester imparted to the first two volumes survives.

Whenever I feel a bit low about my life I reread sections of Volume Two. The sense of hope and inspiration I get amazes me. It also surprises me how many speeches from the 1930’s apply to our world in 2010.

Jeff Sherman June 17, 2010 at 14:58

Please keep us apprised of progress towards publication. I am greatly looking forward to this. I am currently reading Goodbye Darkness and enjoying it, but having read the two published excerpts has whetted my hunger for this final volume!

Frank Shannon February 9, 2010 at 15:52

Glad to hear there may be a light at the end of the tunnel with regard to the third volume of The Last Lion. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for its completion.

BAK January 20, 2010 at 12:03

A friend gave me the first two volumes of The Last Lion and I just finished them. What an amazing story of an amazing man. It is almost as if Churchhill’s entire life was designed to deliver him as the only world leader who could stand up to Hitler. I read on Wikipedia that William Manchester passed away. So I thought this work would remain unfinished. I’m delighted to discover that he appointed another writer to deliver the final volume and spent time directing him on how he wanted it written. Looking forward to its release in 2011.

Chris Vere January 3, 2010 at 15:01

Having just completed reading the first two volumes of Manchester”s
The Last Lion in just over a week, I too was keen to see what the score was for the third volume. Even if it means waiting another year or so, it will be so worthwhile. Manchester wrote like an angel!

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