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The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill's World War II Speeches

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The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill's World War II Speeches Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The popular story of Churchill's war-time rhetoric is a simple one: the British people were energized and inspired by his speeches, which were almost universally admired and played an important role in the ultimate victory over Nazi Germany. Richard Toye now re-examines this accepted national story - and gives it a radical new spin.

Using survey evidence and the diaries of ordinary people, he shows how reactions to Churchill's speeches at the time were often very different from what we have always been led to expect. His first speeches as Prime Minister in the dark days of 1940 were by no means universally acclaimed - indeed, many people thought that he was drunk during his famous 'finest hour' broadcast - and there is little evidence that they made a decisive difference to the British people's will to fight on.

In fact, Toye shows, mass enthusiasm sat side-by-side with considerable criticism and dissent from ordinary people. There were speeches that stimulated, invigorated, and excited many, but there were also speeches which caused depression and disappointment in many others and which sometimes led to workplace or family arguments. This more complex reality has been consistently obscured from the historical record by the overwhelming power of a treasured national myth.

The first systematic, archive based examination of Churchill's World War II rhetoric as a whole, The Roar of the Lion considers his oratory not merely as a series of 'great speeches', but as calculated political interventions which had diplomatic repercussions far beyond the effect on the morale of listeners in Britain. Considering his failures as well as his successes, the book moves beyond the purely celebratory tone of much of the existing literature and offers new insight into how the speeches were written and delivered - and shows how Churchill's words were received at home, amongst allies and neutrals, and within enemy and occupied countries.

This is the essential book on Churchill's war-time speeches. It presents us with a dramatically new take on the politics of the 1940s -one that will change the way we think about Churchill's orations forever.

Synopsis:

The popular story of Churchill's war-time rhetoric is a simple one: the British people were energized and inspired by his speeches, which were almost universally admired and played an important role in the ultimate victory over Nazi Germany. Richard Toye now re-examines this accepted national story - and gives it a radical new spin.

Using survey evidence and the diaries of ordinary people, he shows how reactions to Churchill's speeches at the time were often very different from what we have always been led to expect. His first speeches as Prime Minister in the dark days of 1940 were by no means universally acclaimed. Indeed, many people thought that he was drunk during his famous 'finest hour' broadcast - and there is little evidence that they made a decisive difference to the British people's will to fight on.

In fact, Toye shows, mass enthusiasm sat side-by-side with considerable criticism and dissent from ordinary people. There were speeches that stimulated, invigorated, and excited many, but there were also speeches which caused depression and disappointment in many others and which sometimes led to workplace or family arguments. This more complex reality has been consistently obscured from the historical record by the overwhelming power of a treasured national myth.

The first systematic, archive based examination of Churchill's World War II rhetoric as a whole, The Roar of the Lion considers his oratory not merely as a series of 'great speeches', but as calculated political interventions which had diplomatic repercussions far beyond the effect on the morale of listeners in Britain. Considering his failures as well as his successes, the book moves beyond the purely celebratory tone of much of the existing literature and offers new insight into how the speeches were written and delivered - and shows how Churchill's words were received at home, amongst allies and neutrals, and within enemy and occupied countries.

This is the essential book on Churchill's war-time speeches. It presents us with a dramatically new take on the politics of the 1940s -one that will change the way we think about Churchill's orations forever.

About the Author

Richard Toye was born in Cambridge in 1973. He studied at the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge, and is currently Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. His books include Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness, Churchill's Empire: The World that Made Him and the World He Made, and Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction. He lives in Exeter with his wife and their two sons.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

1. THE EPITAPH OF CAPITALISM

2. WINSTON WILL EXPLAIN EVERYTHING

3. THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH ALL OVER AGAIN

4. IF HITLER INVADED HELL

5. HE'S NO SPEAKER, IS HE?

6. WHAT A WAR-TIME SPEECH SHOULD BE, I SUPPOSE

7. THROWING A TEMPERAMENT LIKE A BLOODY FILM STAR

8. HUSH, HUSH, HUSH, HERE COMES THE BOGY MAN

CONCLUSION

APPENDIX: LISTENING FIGURES FOR CHURCHILL'S SPEECHES

INDEX

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199642526
Author:
Toye, Richard
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
History, World | British | 1900-1945
Subject:
World History-England General
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8pp black and white plates
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
6.3 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 1.394 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Winston Churchill
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Molecular

The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill's World War II Speeches New Hardcover
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$34.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199642526 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The popular story of Churchill's war-time rhetoric is a simple one: the British people were energized and inspired by his speeches, which were almost universally admired and played an important role in the ultimate victory over Nazi Germany. Richard Toye now re-examines this accepted national story - and gives it a radical new spin.

Using survey evidence and the diaries of ordinary people, he shows how reactions to Churchill's speeches at the time were often very different from what we have always been led to expect. His first speeches as Prime Minister in the dark days of 1940 were by no means universally acclaimed. Indeed, many people thought that he was drunk during his famous 'finest hour' broadcast - and there is little evidence that they made a decisive difference to the British people's will to fight on.

In fact, Toye shows, mass enthusiasm sat side-by-side with considerable criticism and dissent from ordinary people. There were speeches that stimulated, invigorated, and excited many, but there were also speeches which caused depression and disappointment in many others and which sometimes led to workplace or family arguments. This more complex reality has been consistently obscured from the historical record by the overwhelming power of a treasured national myth.

The first systematic, archive based examination of Churchill's World War II rhetoric as a whole, The Roar of the Lion considers his oratory not merely as a series of 'great speeches', but as calculated political interventions which had diplomatic repercussions far beyond the effect on the morale of listeners in Britain. Considering his failures as well as his successes, the book moves beyond the purely celebratory tone of much of the existing literature and offers new insight into how the speeches were written and delivered - and shows how Churchill's words were received at home, amongst allies and neutrals, and within enemy and occupied countries.

This is the essential book on Churchill's war-time speeches. It presents us with a dramatically new take on the politics of the 1940s -one that will change the way we think about Churchill's orations forever.

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