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The Great Democracies

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The fourth of Churchill's grandly ambitious four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples begins with the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars-and ends with the Boer War of 1902. In it, Churchill makes an impassioned argument for the crucial role played by the English-speaking people in exporting not just economic benefits, but political freedom. Written in Churchill's The fourth of Churchill's grandly ambitious four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples begins with the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars-and ends with the Boer War of 1902. In it, Churchill makes an impassioned argument for the crucial role played by the English-speaking people in exporting not just economic benefits, but political freedom. Written in Churchill's characteristically compelling style, this volume is the only one in the series to benefit from Churchill's own personal experience as a soldier and a wartime journalist during the Boer War. It provides fascinating reading for those interested in world history and England's impact on it.


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The fourth of Churchill's grandly ambitious four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples begins with the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars-and ends with the Boer War of 1902. In it, Churchill makes an impassioned argument for the crucial role played by the English-speaking people in exporting not just economic benefits, but political freedom. Written in Churchill's The fourth of Churchill's grandly ambitious four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples begins with the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars-and ends with the Boer War of 1902. In it, Churchill makes an impassioned argument for the crucial role played by the English-speaking people in exporting not just economic benefits, but political freedom. Written in Churchill's characteristically compelling style, this volume is the only one in the series to benefit from Churchill's own personal experience as a soldier and a wartime journalist during the Boer War. It provides fascinating reading for those interested in world history and England's impact on it.

30 review for The Great Democracies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Rollins

    It only took this book 20 years to move from my TBR pile to this. This whole series has been wonderful. I can see now that it is probably continued somewhat in Churchill's books about the WWI and WWII. What a man Churchill was. What a way with words and thoughts. Highly readable and continually thought-provoking. In this volume, there is quite a bit of American history especially Civil War battle history. You can see that Churchill was also in danger of 'loving war too much' as he remarks about It only took this book 20 years to move from my TBR pile to this. This whole series has been wonderful. I can see now that it is probably continued somewhat in Churchill's books about the WWI and WWII. What a man Churchill was. What a way with words and thoughts. Highly readable and continually thought-provoking. In this volume, there is quite a bit of American history especially Civil War battle history. You can see that Churchill was also in danger of 'loving war too much' as he remarks about Lee and Jackson. His perspective as an outsider makes this all the more thoughtful. I especially enjoyed hearing about the battles surrounding my town, Chattanooga.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Fourth and final volume of Churchill's history of the English speaking people. I think half of the book focused on American history so there wasn't much here I didn't already mostly know, but I enjoy Churchill's writing and am glad to have finished this series. Fourth and final volume of Churchill's history of the English speaking people. I think half of the book focused on American history so there wasn't much here I didn't already mostly know, but I enjoy Churchill's writing and am glad to have finished this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Read this for the ap us history exam. Shit was amazing. Winston Churchill was the original Malcolm x. Ere with caution though, it’s stupid thick.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    This was a really good overview of English and American history. I have now read both the first in the series, A History Of The English Speaking Peoples, Volume I: The Birth of Britain, and this volume. I learned a lot of 19th century British history that I had heard almost nothing about, and also about Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. His section on the American Civil War and Reconstruction was superb. I understood some of the battles like I never had before. I like Wins This was a really good overview of English and American history. I have now read both the first in the series, A History Of The English Speaking Peoples, Volume I: The Birth of Britain, and this volume. I learned a lot of 19th century British history that I had heard almost nothing about, and also about Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. His section on the American Civil War and Reconstruction was superb. I understood some of the battles like I never had before. I like Winston Churchill's writing, and his views on the history as well(you can't read a history book without the author having a bit of a slant). His view on American history is that of an Englishman, and it was interesting to get a different perspective, especially of the dealings between England and the U.S. I also learned a lot about British politics and politicians, and it was interesting to get historical context after I had read a biography on Queen Victoria--this book basically covers the history at the time of her reign and life. I have really grown as a reader since starting this book, because I had to read a lot slower to understand at the beginning then at the end. He uses big words and narrates concisely and well. I had to pay attention to get everything--there was a lot of information packed into a paragraph. He mentions the Mormons and treats them well. I loved this description for his word choice: "Within three years a flourishing community of eleven thousand souls, combining religious fervour, philoprogenitiveness, and shrewd economic sense, had been established by careful planning in the Salt Lake country." Isn't philoprogenitiveness a great word to describe Latter Day Saints? I thought the last paragraph was wonderful, and read in the context of the time he wrote it, profound: "Here is set out a long story of the English-speaking peoples. They are now to become Allies in terrible but victorious wars. And that is not the end. Another phase looms before us, in which alliance will once more be tested and in which its formidable virtues may be to preserve Peace and Freedom. The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope. Nor should we now seek to define precisely the exact terms of ultimate union."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    At last, I managed to finish Churchill's History. I can tell that he intended to tell this story to unite the English speaking peoples in an alliance against the threat of Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism. The history outlines the common heritage of the people inhabiting the British Isles, and all the lands they colonized. It also records all the internecine conflicts between them, from the Anglo-Saxons vs. the Britons, to the American Civil War. He recognizes that despite their common roots, Eng At last, I managed to finish Churchill's History. I can tell that he intended to tell this story to unite the English speaking peoples in an alliance against the threat of Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism. The history outlines the common heritage of the people inhabiting the British Isles, and all the lands they colonized. It also records all the internecine conflicts between them, from the Anglo-Saxons vs. the Britons, to the American Civil War. He recognizes that despite their common roots, English speaking nations were anything but united, but despite their conflicts, they can always point to a tradition of freedom and the rule of law, brightening their spirit even in the darkest of times. "Here is set out a long story of the English-speaking peoples. They are now to become Allies in terrible but victorious wars. And that is not the end. Another phase looms before us, in which alliance will once more be tested and in which its formidable virtues may be to preserve Peace and Freedom. The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope. Nor should we now seek to define precisely the exact terms of ultimate union."

  6. 5 out of 5

    James

    This is a huge subject. In four short volumes, Winston has given the significant events of western civilization, and concisely explained everything up till 1900. Amazing. Much of it is a whirlwind. It is not so great in its detailed analysis of particular events as it is an explanation of how things fit together in the grand scheme of things.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Don S

    This about the third or fourth time I have read this Churchill masterpiece. He doesn't dive deep but offers a high level overview of British and American history. Written in his inimitable style, Churchill provides his personal opinions about major historical figures as well as the decisions they made. A good introduction for people new to British history and a solid refresher for long time fans. This about the third or fourth time I have read this Churchill masterpiece. He doesn't dive deep but offers a high level overview of British and American history. Written in his inimitable style, Churchill provides his personal opinions about major historical figures as well as the decisions they made. A good introduction for people new to British history and a solid refresher for long time fans.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Huff

    I began listening to this 4-Volume masterpiece back in mid-March -- the Audible version, finely narrated by Christian Rodska. Having written a separate review on Volume 1, I can only broadly summarize some highlights here of Volumes 2, 3 and 4: Volume 2 covered the years 1485-1688, which included, in part, the Renaissance and Reformation, the English Civil War, the beginning of the Tudor line and of the American colonies, and the controversial rise of Oliver Cromwell (of whom Churchill was not a I began listening to this 4-Volume masterpiece back in mid-March -- the Audible version, finely narrated by Christian Rodska. Having written a separate review on Volume 1, I can only broadly summarize some highlights here of Volumes 2, 3 and 4: Volume 2 covered the years 1485-1688, which included, in part, the Renaissance and Reformation, the English Civil War, the beginning of the Tudor line and of the American colonies, and the controversial rise of Oliver Cromwell (of whom Churchill was not a fan). Volume 3 focused on the 1688-1815 time frame, known particularly for the three great revolutions that occurred: The "Glorious" Revolution in England (1688), the American Revolution (1775), and the French Revolution (1789). The latter portion of this period also saw the rise of Napoleon, up to and including Waterloo. Volume 4 covers less than a century, from 1815-1901. Here was included the long reign (63 years) of Queen Victoria, and the American Civil War (upon which Churchill expounded at significant length). Also covered was the continued imperial reach of Britain, to India, South Africa, and many other places. This was a lengthy read, but so very worthwhile. The span of English speaking history is truly amazing, and having the viewpoint of someone like Winston Churchill, who made no small amount of history on his own, was invaluable. True, these volumes emphasize what Churchill in particular thought was important; he also had a penchant for the military scenarios of each epoch, and the sometimes minute details of different battles. Nevertheless, his wit and his wise insights kept the narrative interesting and illuminating, and I would highly recommend this project to anyone with an interest in history!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krishna Kumar

    As many have pointed out, Churchill makes a major detour into American politics, in particular the Civil War. I did not feel that this was a major problem as far as the flow of the book was concerned. Remember it is a history of the English-speaking peoples. Not just the history of Britain. What I do have a problem with is how he approaches the Civil War. Churchill falls into the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, hook, line, and sinker. There is a strange attempt to improve the standing of General As many have pointed out, Churchill makes a major detour into American politics, in particular the Civil War. I did not feel that this was a major problem as far as the flow of the book was concerned. Remember it is a history of the English-speaking peoples. Not just the history of Britain. What I do have a problem with is how he approaches the Civil War. Churchill falls into the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, hook, line, and sinker. There is a strange attempt to improve the standing of General McClellan whose caution left huge opportunities go begging. There are multiple references to slaves serving their Southern masters loyally, but nothing of slaves joining the Union armies. The history of Reconstruction also follows the same narrative. Reconstruction appears in double quotes and is portrayed as carpetbaggers manipulating freed slaves to exploit the South. The activities of the Klan and other acts of white supremacism are simply stated without any commentary as to their values. And the plight of the freed slaves is simply glossed over or blamed on the North.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yeo_heng_hau YEO

    Many readers are familiar with Winston Churchill as the British Prime Minister who together with Roosevelt and Stalin defeated Hitler, Mussolini and later the Japanese during the Second World War. On top of that Churchill is also a prolific writer producing many books ranging from his autobiography to many on politics sharing his life experience in the government and later in the administration of the country. Among his more notable books are his memoir on the war he helped win, "History of the Many readers are familiar with Winston Churchill as the British Prime Minister who together with Roosevelt and Stalin defeated Hitler, Mussolini and later the Japanese during the Second World War. On top of that Churchill is also a prolific writer producing many books ranging from his autobiography to many on politics sharing his life experience in the government and later in the administration of the country. Among his more notable books are his memoir on the war he helped win, "History of the Second World War"(in 6 volumes) and "A History of the English Speaking People" (in 4 volumes). "The Great Democracies" is the fourth and final volume in "A History of the English Speaking People." "The Great Democracies" cover the period from 1815 to the end of the 19th century and focus mainly on the politics of Great Britain and the United States during this period. However, as Great Britain was then already a big Empire with colonies straddling across the globe this volume also touches on the early beginnings of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand towards nationhood. On Great Britain, this book will especially interest readers who are keen to know and understand the dynamics of the main political parties (Liberals, Whigs and Conservatives) as they adopt strategies to canvass for the votes of their constituencies. It also reveals to us the contrasting policies adopted by the main political parties on their handling of the colonies. The chapters on the United States are especially interesting because it was during this period that having obtained independence from Great Britain the leaders of the Union were saddled with the issue of slavery. The book gave a very detailed account of the battles fought between the Union and the Confederate Armies, the strategies applied by the two sides and the pivotal roles played by Abraham Lincoln and the generals leading both armies. It is amazing that Winston Churchill was able to undertake the kind of research to produce such an in-depth examination of the progress of the two sides during the Civil War. His write-up on the goings-on in Great Britain during this period was also interesting and enlightening because as a politician who has grown up with the parliamentary system in the country he was able to provide us the insight that others may fail to notice. This is a good book for anyone keen to understand better the political development during this period (1815 - 1900) in Great Britain and the United States.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Legens

    Easily the weakest of the four volumes, for a variety of reasons: 1. As we get closer to Churchill's own lifetime (and, in the end, into the years of his youth), his judgements become more predictable by his own political leanings. So: Tory Democracy good, "radical" liberalism and Home Rule League bad, imperialism good 2. Churchill stays true to his focus on high politics, diplomacy, warfare, which are more defensible in the earlier volumes (for a lack of sources on economic, social, cultural matt Easily the weakest of the four volumes, for a variety of reasons: 1. As we get closer to Churchill's own lifetime (and, in the end, into the years of his youth), his judgements become more predictable by his own political leanings. So: Tory Democracy good, "radical" liberalism and Home Rule League bad, imperialism good 2. Churchill stays true to his focus on high politics, diplomacy, warfare, which are more defensible in the earlier volumes (for a lack of sources on economic, social, cultural matters) and less when it comes to the 19th century. Not even industrialization is mentioned more than a few times as a major change (but that is not expanded upon) and a way to increase general wealth. 3. Five of the nine chapters on the US deal with the Civil War - minute details of how the campaigns in north and south, on the Mississippi and the Atlantic seaboard were fought. Comparatively little time is spent with everything else in 19th century American history, including the political context of the Civil War. That may be a blessing, because Churchill's narrative is dripping with Lost Cause tropes (paraphrased, in italics): - Slavery surely is bad, but not as bad as "African barbarism". - I guess the slaves should have been thankful for being carried off and used as cattle? - After the Civil War, the freed former slaves had to go back and work the same fields, so what had they gained? - I also think the plantations should have been broken up and "forty acres and a mule" been given to the previously enslaved, but that doesn't seem to be what Churchill is going at. - Reconstruction was an operation of politically immature Black Americans led by carpet-bagging and/or southerner-hating Northern Whites which established race-based "minority governments" - And what were pre-abolition southern governments, if not race-based minority governments? The idea that treason to the Union should be shrugged off and nothing much changed about the way the traitors run their states as long as they don't secede again also strikes me as wild. The audio production (read by Christian Rodska) was reliably solid. Still, in hindsight I could have done without this fourth volume. My favorite remains the second (on the Tudor and Stuart dynasties and the Protectorate).

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Poulain

    Churchill's fourth volume of the English speaking people - I hesitate to say last as it finishes with almost a teaser for his World War histories - continues his concise judgements of people and description of events. The difficulty of a chronological narrative catches up in this volume as it nominally starts in 1815 but in many of the threads has to jump back before this date for context. This can be confusing especially for the time where Prime Ministers Gladstone and Disraeli are in and out o Churchill's fourth volume of the English speaking people - I hesitate to say last as it finishes with almost a teaser for his World War histories - continues his concise judgements of people and description of events. The difficulty of a chronological narrative catches up in this volume as it nominally starts in 1815 but in many of the threads has to jump back before this date for context. This can be confusing especially for the time where Prime Ministers Gladstone and Disraeli are in and out of power and you can't remember in which dates that happened in the thread you are on. The bias of 'things that interest Churchill' comes to the fore as the book covers in detail the colonies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa in their own chapters but doesn't reserve chapters for any other 49 commonwealth states. This is particularly noticeable when discussing the Franco-Prussian War in which English Speaking countrys' role can at best be described as spectating. Very in depth coverage of the American Civil war, from causes to minor actions, with a great esteem felt by Churchill for General Lee as a man of conviction fighting for his state's self governance. As with the previous historical figures of Marylebone, Wellington and others Churchill lays blame at the door of the government for not supporting generals during war time with McClellen as an almost tragic hero who is bought down by political in fighting. This leads to Lincoln not being portrayed in a flattering light and Churchill's conclusion of his greatness and that he could have prevented the evils of the reconstruction is a bolt from the blue. An excellent overview of the period with some questionable focus on various elements that doesn't devalue the whole. It's incredibly difficult to narrow focus and whilst parts show their age as more relevant to a 50s audience than today it's a good background and analysis even if Churchill's biases are more apparent.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Pyle

    This final volume of the four-volume set, A History of the English Speaking Peoples, was interesting but disappointing to this reviewer. Published in 1958, one might expect that it would cover both of the two world wars of the 20th Century, or at least The Great War (WWI). Instead, it wraps up at the opening of the 20th Century. To its credit, the concept of world war in Churchill’s consideration did not begin in 1914. Several times throughout the series, Churchill refers to primarily European th This final volume of the four-volume set, A History of the English Speaking Peoples, was interesting but disappointing to this reviewer. Published in 1958, one might expect that it would cover both of the two world wars of the 20th Century, or at least The Great War (WWI). Instead, it wraps up at the opening of the 20th Century. To its credit, the concept of world war in Churchill’s consideration did not begin in 1914. Several times throughout the series, Churchill refers to primarily European theater wars as world wars. In the European viewpoint, anything which included all of the continent was essentially “world-wide”. This concept, though somewhat Euro-centric, might explain the thinking behind this exclusion. More realistically, historians generally want to have a more lengthy curing period before looking back and writing about the events. Additionally, Churchill likely did not want to write about history in which he was personally involved. He chose to abstain mention of his involvement in the Boer wars (see Dr. Larry Arn’s work for more on this). Churchill played a key role in so much of the 20th Century history of Britain and her descendants; he likely preferred to let others judge his role, accordingly. Take the time to read this series. It is well worth your while. Any consideration of world history which does not consider the import of the English-speaking nations ignores a key component to its detriment.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jake Hauser

    Here Churchill’s survey history of society through the interesting lens of the spread, empire and legal evolution of English Speaking Peoples has diverged into a realm dangerous to anyone but the trained historian: analysis of times through which the author either lived or times in which the author’s family or even acquaintances played a part. He attempts to set the stage for his worldview, even before he arrives on the scene of history as an infant in the 1870’s; his mother being an American Ch Here Churchill’s survey history of society through the interesting lens of the spread, empire and legal evolution of English Speaking Peoples has diverged into a realm dangerous to anyone but the trained historian: analysis of times through which the author either lived or times in which the author’s family or even acquaintances played a part. He attempts to set the stage for his worldview, even before he arrives on the scene of history as an infant in the 1870’s; his mother being an American Churchill bounds into the history of the American civil war with what begins as a fascinating perspective defending the likes of McClellan, and then outright endorsing the white souths post-war rewriting of history without his usual attention to detail; declarations of and references to the “corrupt carpetbagger governments” supported by “negro stooges” abound. Churchill’s analysis of political goings-on in the United States is likely biased by his own lifetime policy of racial Darwinism and patrimony - largely a product of his time. Even so, much good information is to be found in this volume besides. But here it becomes especially important to discern not only facts from national consensus on the legend of an event, as is necessary in his previous volumes, but now also from personal opinion and I defended assertion.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tony Cavicchi

    Churchill finishes his History of the English Speaking Peoples with a fourth volume focused on the democratic transition in Britain, the growth of the United States, and the growing intensity of conflict in Ireland. The book is a good recounting of the political horse race of the 1800s in the UK and how the two main political parties developed by competing to expand the franchise. The book does suffer as an impartial recounting of events, however, as the passage of time in the narrative brings e Churchill finishes his History of the English Speaking Peoples with a fourth volume focused on the democratic transition in Britain, the growth of the United States, and the growing intensity of conflict in Ireland. The book is a good recounting of the political horse race of the 1800s in the UK and how the two main political parties developed by competing to expand the franchise. The book does suffer as an impartial recounting of events, however, as the passage of time in the narrative brings events closer to the lifetime of Churchill himself. Churchill also devotes more time in the story to his father's "Tory Democracy" than is perhaps warranted from a view from the 21st century. Anyone perplexed by the insanity of debate in the House of Commons on Brexit today could see the politics could be just as complex and dysfunctional in the 1880s discussing Irish home rule. For me, the fourth volume was less intriguing than Churchill's first three, probably because I am much more familiar with the 19th century US history as well as Victorian Britain, than I did of England in the Middle Ages or earlier.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    This final volume of Churchill's History of the English-Speaking people is a beautifully written narrative of the history of Britain, the British Empire and the USA in the nineteenth century. Its span is the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the end of the second Anglo-Boer War. As with the earlier volumes, the historiography was old-fashioned at the time of publication in the 1950s and Churchill's preference is to discuss military campaigns and high politics over social and economic change. These l This final volume of Churchill's History of the English-Speaking people is a beautifully written narrative of the history of Britain, the British Empire and the USA in the nineteenth century. Its span is the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the end of the second Anglo-Boer War. As with the earlier volumes, the historiography was old-fashioned at the time of publication in the 1950s and Churchill's preference is to discuss military campaigns and high politics over social and economic change. These latter areas are not ignored but are given short shrift in terms of attention. The best things about this volume are the coverage of US politics and the American Civil War in particular (again with campaigns and battles given prominence). So if the reader desires a readable overview of the course of that war, Churchill's account is the answer. The reader needs to be aware of the limitations of this volume in terms of a work of history. But having taken this into account, "The Great Democracies" is a enjoyable read with shrewd judgments, engagingly expressed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Richard Barnes

    Churchill wades through some thrilling stuff (American Civil War, Boer War), some turgid parts (Gladstone was a great PM who introduced huge changes but the narrative doesn't exactly romp through these parts) and some chunks of history that I knew very little of (the Irish Home rule question). Views upon history have changed much since Churchill wrote these volumes - for example with the American civil war, while Churchill acknowledges the evils of slavery he barely gives black America a role in Churchill wades through some thrilling stuff (American Civil War, Boer War), some turgid parts (Gladstone was a great PM who introduced huge changes but the narrative doesn't exactly romp through these parts) and some chunks of history that I knew very little of (the Irish Home rule question). Views upon history have changed much since Churchill wrote these volumes - for example with the American civil war, while Churchill acknowledges the evils of slavery he barely gives black America a role in the story. His portrayals of Generals Lee and Stonewall present men of honour, ability and courage whose loyalty to their states forced them to be on the wrong side. This is a view that would, surely, be unpublishable today. However, his prose is grandiose; he is telling a story rather than presenting dry academic facts. This is a book that will make me seek out more on the issues he presents (esp the Civil War and Irish history).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Warren

    In my opinion the driest of the four volumes, it maintains Winston's interest in all things political and military, at the expense of everything else. For example, the American Civil war consumes a good third of the book; the Industrial Revolution is almost entirely overlooked. Allowing for this (would we expect anything more or less from Winston?), I'd award four stars, except that I found the Civil War chapters peculiarly tedious - Winston's enthusiasm for battle details got in the way of his In my opinion the driest of the four volumes, it maintains Winston's interest in all things political and military, at the expense of everything else. For example, the American Civil war consumes a good third of the book; the Industrial Revolution is almost entirely overlooked. Allowing for this (would we expect anything more or less from Winston?), I'd award four stars, except that I found the Civil War chapters peculiarly tedious - Winston's enthusiasm for battle details got in the way of his writing a truly interesting account of the War. Still, you can't go past this series. It's a unique account if history by a man who made an awful lot of it. it is compulsory reading if you are interested in Churchill- it tells you as much about the man as the history he describes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aria Maher

    The final book in Winston Churchill's 'History of the English Speaking Peoples'. I've read all of these books now, and they are all very detail-oriented, which is not a bad thing, but sometimes he seemed to lose sight of the bigger picture in order to focus on some small detail of motivation or personality, and would follow long historical tangents to the point that I couldn't even remember what I was reading about in the first place. It might be better to read these books along with some other The final book in Winston Churchill's 'History of the English Speaking Peoples'. I've read all of these books now, and they are all very detail-oriented, which is not a bad thing, but sometimes he seemed to lose sight of the bigger picture in order to focus on some small detail of motivation or personality, and would follow long historical tangents to the point that I couldn't even remember what I was reading about in the first place. It might be better to read these books along with some other historical resource, so that you can have the bigger picture in front of you and get more context for all the details that Churchill includes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Richardson

    I just finished reading Winston Churchill's The Great Democracies Volumd 4 A History of the English Speaking Peoples. Churchill covers the American Civil War from a British perspective which is interesting forshadowing what the casualities will be like in WWI due to trench warfare which was first used in the Civil War. I especially like his work on Gladstone and Disraeli, though unlike Churchill, I prefer Gladstone over Disraeli. Basically the entire British Empire is touched upon in this volume I just finished reading Winston Churchill's The Great Democracies Volumd 4 A History of the English Speaking Peoples. Churchill covers the American Civil War from a British perspective which is interesting forshadowing what the casualities will be like in WWI due to trench warfare which was first used in the Civil War. I especially like his work on Gladstone and Disraeli, though unlike Churchill, I prefer Gladstone over Disraeli. Basically the entire British Empire is touched upon in this volume.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Difficult to rate this from a 21st century perspective re: the unintended consequences of imperialism. Suffice to say, this read as a mid-20th century history book extolling the advance of white people across the globe with all sorts of cringeworthy references and rationalizations. The book, with its perfunctory examination of social and governmental reform, is more about wars in both Parliament and in the field--from Crimea through the American Civil War to the Boer Wars of South Africa. The cu Difficult to rate this from a 21st century perspective re: the unintended consequences of imperialism. Suffice to say, this read as a mid-20th century history book extolling the advance of white people across the globe with all sorts of cringeworthy references and rationalizations. The book, with its perfunctory examination of social and governmental reform, is more about wars in both Parliament and in the field--from Crimea through the American Civil War to the Boer Wars of South Africa. The culmination of his 4-volume history is a fascinating glimpse into the roots of where we are today.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    An immensely readable and interesting book packed with wisdom and insight by one who really knows what it is like to make history. It is also beautifully written and I enjoy how he takes the long view in politics. It seems that the late 19th century in British politics is very similar to the state of flux found in democracies today. And it will probably take decades to sort itself out just as occurred back then!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Historical and insightful. A good overview of what was happening in the world in Europe and American in the 19th century. The sections of the book that were a bit murky for me was how the government of Great Britain operated--I didn't quite understand how the British Parliament functions. Also, they had several additional 'political parties', besides conservative and liberal, which we have in the U.S. Historical and insightful. A good overview of what was happening in the world in Europe and American in the 19th century. The sections of the book that were a bit murky for me was how the government of Great Britain operated--I didn't quite understand how the British Parliament functions. Also, they had several additional 'political parties', besides conservative and liberal, which we have in the U.S.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vicky P

    Very readable (I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christian Rodska, which was a delight, given his very posh accent and the extensive chapters about the United States)! I was surprised by how self-aware some of his analysis was of the recent past. I went in expecting a very particular type of white, male, establishment take on a lot of things, including slavery and imperialism, and to a certain degree still got that, but it was definitely more nuanced than I anticipated.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike Thiac

    Excellent “one over the world” look at the movement of Britain and the US as they expanded their territory and influence over the world. Starting just as the War of 1812 ended, and concluding with the Boer Wars term,I nation.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Best

    My first of Churchill, loved it. The only downside was that the several chapters he devoted to the Civil War focused mainly on covering the battles, and I found that less interesting than if he had addressed what was going on politically/culturally. I look forward to reading more in this series!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Boltz

    Great read, well worth the time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    More readable than the first volume, although it still didn't particularly hold my interest. Quite racist. More readable than the first volume, although it still didn't particularly hold my interest. Quite racist.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Powderburns

    Sad it is over. Andrew Roberts part V next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Momin Bashir

    overall an excellent work

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