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Churchill and Empire: A Portrait of an Imperialist Audiobook, by Lawrence James Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lawrence James Narrator: Michael Healy Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2014 ISBN: 9781482993295
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One of our finest narrative historians, Lawrence James has written an illuminating, genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill that focuses solely on his contradictory relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late nineteenth century serving in conflicts in India, South Africa, and the Sudan, his attitude toward the Empire was the Victorian paternalistic approach—at once responsible and superior. Conscious even then of his political career ahead, Churchill found himself reluctantly supporting British atrocities and held what many would regard today as prejudiced views, in that he felt some nationalities were superior to others; his (some might say obsequious) relationship with America reflected that view. 

This outmoded attitude was one of the reasons the British voters rejected him after a Second World War in which he had led the country brilliantly. His attitude remained decidedly old-fashioned in a world that was shaping up very differently. This groundbreaking volume reveals the many facets of Churchill’s personality: a visionary leader with a truly Victorian attitude toward the British Empire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Should enlighten and entertain readers who wish to learn more about an empire that was more extensive and arguably more influential than that of Rome.”

    Washington Post

  • “Seemingly miraculously, Lawrence James has found something fresh to say about [Churchill] by concentrating on the great man’s lifelong romance with the Empire and viewing his multifaceted activities through that prism.”

    Sunday Telegraph

  • “Highly original…An entertaining read as well as a serious historical analysis…It will be of abiding interest to all those concerned with Britain's past and how it influenced the world in which we live today.”

    Times (London)

  • “James has a gift for writing generally pithy prose.”

    Financial Times

  • “James offers a fresh, welcome perspective on the exhaustively analyzed Churchill by focusing narrowly here on his ‘ardent and unswerving faith in the British Empire’…James’ complex, engrossing, and multifaceted portrait sheds new light on a flawed but brilliant man.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This work is history on the grand scale and includes a plethora of characters from Gandhi to FDR…This production is read by Michael Healy, who manufactures just the right tone to underscore Churchill’s more colorful observations.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “James, author of several titles about the British Empire, here examines its exuberant exponent, Winston Churchill…Eschewing the interminable argument about the vice or virtue of empire, James provides an interesting perspective on Churchill’s biography.”


  • “An intriguing new look into both imperialism and a fascinating historical figure.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Lawrence James, one of our finest narrative historians, especially on imperial subjects, is the author of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, Raj, and The Aristocrats. He lives near Oxford.

About the Narrator

Michael Healy has appeared off Broadway and on national television, most notably on Saturday Night Live for three years, as well as in several national commercials. He continues to hone his craft in Rhode Island, where he has won awards for acting. His audiobook recordings include Mr. Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat, The Collector of Lost Things by Jeremy Page, and The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.