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Churchill

Written by: The Great Courses,J. Rufus Fears
Narrated by: J. Rufus Fears
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Publisher's Summary

His friend, colleague, and esteemed political foe Clement Attlee once memorialized Winston Churchill as "the greatest Englishman of our time - I think the greatest citizen of the world of our time." More than a half-century later, Churchill's life remains proof that a single individual can change the course of history for the better and make of life a blessed and noble thing, despite public and private trials too numerous to name.

Who was this extraordinary man who rose up at an hour when freedom and right stood in mortal peril before tyranny and terror to rally the British people? To say with courage, genius, and eloquence, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"

Moreover, how did he accomplish this amazing feat? And how was it that this achievement was just a single part of a long and fruitful life in a stunning array of endeavors?

In these 12 inspiring lectures, Professor Fears presents a well-balanced portrait of Churchill that does not whitewash his flaws. Yet he also draws on the most recent historical scholarship and material from Churchill's writings and speeches to make the case that Churchill belongs with Pericles of Athens and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest statesmen in the history of democracy.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

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    3 out of 5 stars

Lecturer too much a fan.

Not awful, but there are far better biographical works about Churchill. The lecturer tries too hard to present decisions made in a positive light, and often ignores valid criticism of the subject. The lectures did offer some insight which I found valuable, but large parts of the story of Winston Churchill's life are absent, mostly those parts which are viewed now as problematic. While viewing history through a modern lense is often misleading, ignoring inconvenient or embarrassing information is just as misleading.

While not entirely the fault of Churchill, he deserves a large part of the responsibility for the treatment of colonial subjects, particularly in India, which lead to massive loss of life due to famine. This is not addressed, even in passing, along with many other glaring omissions.

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J. Rufus Fears is the best!

J.Rufus Fears delivers again. The most captivating of speakers. He brings such a vast and intricate knowledge to every topic he teaches. Thanks J!

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  • Overall
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Well worth the time spent in this course

Very good content. I thought the presentation was a tad too theatrical - the presenter's overuse of inflection was a distraction. I appreciated the presenter's defence of Churchill vs the more critical approaches of others. All in all I highly recommend this course.

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There's so much I didn't know about Churchill.

Excellent review of the man, what he was like, his interests and beliefs. I had no idea Churchill was so accomplished as an author and artist.

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