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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (576 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Winston Churchill Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781455171095
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As a visionary, statesman, historian, and the most eloquent spokesman against Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill was one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century. This is the story of the first thirty years of his life, up to the point where his unique parliamentary career was just beginning. From childhood and his apprentice days at Harrow and Sandhurst we follow him on active service to Cuba, the northwest frontier, Omdurman and the Boer War—including the historic story of his escape from captivity—whilst in the background are his early adventures in politics and literature.

“I have tried, in each part of the quarter-century in which this tale lies, to show the point of view appropriate to my years, whether as a child, a schoolboy, a cadet, a subaltern, a war-correspondent or a youthful politician…When I survey this work as a whole I find I have drawn a picture of a vanished age.”—from the author’s preface

My Early Life gives listeners insights into the shaping of a great leader.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This was the best book Churchill wrote, an exuberant memoir of colonial wars as seen by a shameless adventurer and glory-seeker.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Churchill’s prose is among the very best. His word perfection, lively but unpretentious style, and self-deprecatory humor make this book thoroughly enjoyable, whether as history, adventure, or the study of a great man.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Narrator Frederick Davidson employs a slight Churchillian drawl, making this one of the most completely satisfying programs in years.” 

    Library Journal

  • “The best of all his books.”

    Lord Deeds

  • “Some would put it as one of the outstanding works of the twentieth century.”

    Roy Jenkins, author of Churchill

  • “This wonderful book confirms his stature as one of the finest English prose stylists of the last century.” 

    Mail on Sunday (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen L. | 2/17/2014

    " Well, I just couldn't finish this (at 3/4th of the way through.) It is dated and it is for a more narrow audience: English men who are into war and politics. I obviously do not fit that category. I do find Churchill fascinating. I did enjoy some of the earlier parts about his childhood. I will try and read something on him written by someone else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 kunkku | 2/17/2014

    " he starts slowly but soon gets his second wind: wonderfully descriptive of someone destined to be one of the leading lights in the 20th centuary... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Safdar Sikandar | 2/12/2014

    " What is it that makes a man or an event great? Conspiracy of millions of causes? or a single Power inside a man's heart? At 26 he was elected as a parliamentarian, had three books and many other writings under his name. This book is a wonderful read. His early life in his own words in a remarkable way. From 1874 to 1902, the first 26 years of his life. Three wars. A prison break. A meeting with Mark Twain. I thoroughly enjoyed this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Watson | 2/12/2014

    " GOTTA LOVE CHURCHILL.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayley | 2/8/2014

    " Winston was definitely a Mama's boy when he was a kid. I'm always fascinated with the early development of great historical figures. He never mentions, though, if he ate paste as a child. I'm guessing the answer is "no." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JP | 1/31/2014

    " The first book I read here with the History Book Club. Prior to reading it I had studied WWII and Churchill a great deal but knew very little about his early life. This was a fantastic read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 1/20/2014

    " The image of a young Winston Churchill swinging from trees will stay with me for a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally Bushnell | 1/20/2014

    " Fantastic book. Had to restart this three times (read it in my early 20's) as there were so many names and poloticians to remember but it was so well written and always stayed with me. He was a really interesting and extordinary man I recommend this to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pastor Will | 12/7/2013

    " This book was fantastic. He is a great writer. This book only covers his first 26 years of life but the amount of interesting things that happened to him during that period of time are amazing. Highly recommend. This was the best book I read in 2012 easily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Barnett | 10/31/2013

    " One of my favorite books... A lonely boy, shaped by bitter circumstance yet destined to become that lion of a man who would shake his fist in the face of evil. One could hardly have guessed what fate had in store for young Mr. Churchill. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/8/2013

    " A fascinating read. I so often forget that Churchill was a real Victorian. If I could have done half of the exciting things that this man did in the five years after he turned 20, I should be satisfied for life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 10/14/2012

    " A few quotes I wrote down in 1990: "War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid. It is all the fault of Democracy and Science." (re: WWI) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 6/23/2012

    " Great book; Churchill is quite a surprise in a lot of ways. His personal history was interesting and a bit sad, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russ Wallace | 5/24/2012

    " Outstanding autobiography that describes the ending of an era: the British Empire, war as glory, and much of the British-male-dominated culture that preceded WWI. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie | 12/2/2011

    " I was captivated by this book when I first read it around age 22 and have been reading Churchill ever since. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee Parker | 10/28/2011

    " Indiana Jones but true... if you believe Churchill "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Marshall | 6/26/2011

    " Simply one of the most inspirational books I have ever read. What a man! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 5/11/2011

    " It did take me a long time to read this book, since I read a lot of other ones in between chapters. I think it was a great book however, and wish I had known Mr. Churchill when he was young. I enjoyed his insights about hiself and his views of the Boer War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 2/28/2011

    " I love Churchill's writing, and I admire him as the greatest man of the twentieth century. This volume did not disappoint. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russ | 10/14/2010

    " Outstanding autobiography that describes the ending of an era: the British Empire, war as glory, and much of the British-male-dominated culture that preceded WWI. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 6/1/2010

    " One of my definitive books of my childhood - half adventure, half political autobiography, it is a stunning portrait of the early years of the man who would grow up to lead Britain to triumph in World War II. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 3/14/2010

    " Fantastic book. Had to restart this three times (read it in my early 20's) as there were so many names and poloticians to remember but it was so well written and always stayed with me. He was a really interesting and extordinary man I recommend this to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rasmus | 1/15/2010

    " Formidabelt sprog, fremragende fortæller, sprød, tør humor. Facinerende, når han nu selv skal sige det! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 12/6/2009

    " Churcill's memoir about his early life and his finding his major loves--books and battles--in his twenties read by me in my twenties.


    Churchill was a good writer show showed that words properly used could change the world.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 7/5/2009

    " Indiana Jones but true... if you believe Churchill "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 5/28/2009

    " It did take me a long time to read this book, since I read a lot of other ones in between chapters. I think it was a great book however, and wish I had known Mr. Churchill when he was young. I enjoyed his insights about hiself and his views of the Boer War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 11/1/2008

    " A fun, interesting book, that gave an insight into Churchill's early life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 9/9/2008

    " Great book; Churchill is quite a surprise in a lot of ways. His personal history was interesting and a bit sad, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 kunkku | 6/1/2008

    " he starts slowly but soon gets his second wind: wonderfully descriptive of someone destined to be one of the leading lights in the 20th centuary... "

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About the Author
Author Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874–1965), an author, artist, war correspondent, and politician, is best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. After a brief but eventful army career, Churchill became a member of Parliament in 1900, launching a political career that spanned more than sixty years. He served as prime minister from 1940–1945 and from 1951–1955. His numerous honors include the Nobel Prize in Literature, knighthood, and receiving honorary citizenship of the United States from President Kennedy in 1963.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.