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WaistGunner
07-18-2006, 11:38 AM
A friend of mine was getting rid of some old books a couple weeks ago and gave me a copy of Grand Alliance. I hadn't read any of Churchill's history of WWII yet and gave it a shot even though it is volume 2. It was an excellent book. Since then I have become somewhat fascinated with Churchill. I was wondering if I could get some input from our British friends on the general opinion of Churchill. Not historical facts. More like retrospective insight. I know that most American's I talk to that have common knowledge of FDR almost always talk about what a great president he was. Is it the same way in Britian with regards to Churchill? I am getting ready to start The Last Lion: Alone by William Manchester. Again it is a second volume. I can never seem to find volume one of anything!

Edited for spelling

Chevan
07-18-2006, 02:23 PM
A friend of mine was getting rid of some old books a couple weeks ago and gave me a copy of Grand Alliance. I hadn't read any of Churchill's history of WWi yet and gave it a shot even though it is volume 2. It was an excellent book. Since then I have become somewhat fascinated with Churchill. I was wondering if I could get some input from our British friends on the general opinion of Churchill. Not historical facts. More like retrospective insight. I know that most American's I talk to that have common knowledge of FDR almost always talk about what a great president he was. Is it the same way in Britian with regards to Churchill? I am getting ready to start The Last Lion: Alone by William Manchester. Again it is a second volume. I can never seem to find volume one of anything!

Hi WaistGunner.
I read one interesting book about relations and their correspondence between Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. The leaders of SU and GB had the some psychological difficulty in personal contacts. President Franklin Roosevelt frequently attempted to smooth unpleasant moments in the trilateral conferences of the allies.
There was the anecdotes about the mutual hostility Stalin and Churchill.
one here is:

" in the Kremlin the telephone rings. Stalin take the tube
- how do you do Mr. Churchill......... no........ no........ no........ no.........yes.
And places tube.
Comrade Molotov ask him "why you answer all time NO but for last time say YES.
Stalin "He asked me - am I heard him well ? "

But in spite of disagreement both leaders had respectful opinions to each other.

WaistGunner
07-18-2006, 03:01 PM
Thank you for the reply

Not to sure about the respectful opinions of each other part though. Check this out.

"War is mainly a catalogue of blunders, but it may be doubted whether any mistake in history has equalled that of which Stalen and the Communist chiefs were guilty when they cast away all possibilities in the Balkans and supinely waited, or were incapable of realising, the fearful onslaught which impended upon russia. We have hitherto rated them as selfish calculators. In this period they were proved simpletons as well. The force, the mass, the bravery and endurance of Mother Russia had still to be thrown into the the scales. But so far as strategy, policy, foresight, competence are arbiters, Stalin and his commissars showed themselves at this moment the most completely outwitted bunglers of the Secong World War."

-Winston Churchill The Grand Alliance page 353

This is actually one of the nicer comments Churchill had for Stalin in the book.

temujin77
07-18-2006, 08:06 PM
I am currently reading the Last Lion: Alone, also. I just got pass page 600, so I guess I'm nearly done. It is a great book thus far, so you definitely will enjoy it. One weird thing I did notice is that there's a portion of the book that was focused more on Chamberlain and his appeasement policy than Churchill. In fact, I swear there were like 50 consecutive pages where Churchill was hardly mentioned (felt like it, anyway). In a strange way, I think that was fitting because Churchill's comments were viewed as warmongering at that time, and he was not taken seriously in the parliament.

On a slight tangent, William Manchester is a wonderful author. My favorite, matter of fact. If you will enjoy the Last Lion, you should pick up American Caesar (on MacArthur) and Goodbye Darkness (on his own war experience as USMC in the Pacific). Both are most excellent reads with the typical beautifully narrated writing style of his.

WaistGunner
07-19-2006, 10:19 AM
Thank you for the suggestions. I am looking forward to the book more then ever now.