How Winston Churchill Changed the World

Course No. 8400
Professor Michael Shelden, PhD
Indiana State University
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Course No. 8400
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What Will You Learn?

  • Learn how Churchill's passion for literature and history informed some of his greatest public speeches.
  • Examine Churchill's early career as a liberal statesman trying to establish a social safety net for the working class.
  • Study some of Churchill's political blunders, including the miscalculated adventure" in Gallipoli."
  • Discover how Churchill collaborated with, and fought, political peers like Arthur Balfour and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
  • Follow Churchill's postwar struggle to solve the emerging Cold War through his characteristic personal diplomacy.

Course Overview

Few individuals personify the tumultuous story of the 20th century more than Winston Churchill. Great Britain’s most celebrated statesman, Churchill didn’t just live history—he made it. His was a fascinating journey that would take him from the dawn of the Edwardian Age to the dawn of Beatlemania; from the days when the British Empire ruled the seas to its twilight as the preeminent global power; and from the chaos of two world wars to the equally fraught tensions of the Cold War era.

To follow Churchill on his epic course as a politician is to experience, on an intimate scale, the dramatic highs and lows of world history. It’s also a chance to honor the concepts of democracy and liberty he held so dear. Churchill’s life offers a stirring reminder of how, in times when freedom is threatened, people can still stand up to defend it.

Even still, too many biographies of Churchill are hagiographic, choosing to gloss over the many equally intriguing complexities of a man who both shaped and was shaped by the world around him. Just as important as Churchill’s championing of freedom were his moments of weakness, his political failures, and his personal struggles. Taken together, they all offer an invaluable context to both Churchill the man and Churchill the legend.

“Churchill rose to the occasion because that’s what great leaders do,” notes preeminent biographer, Professor Michael Shelden of Indiana State University. “That’s why his life will always be worth our attention. Whatever our political persuasion, we can learn from him.”

In How Winston Churchill Changed the World, enjoy a thorough, multifaceted exploration of Churchill’s life, accomplishments, complexities, and legacies. Over the span of 24 lectures that unfurl like a great story, you will delve into Churchill’s military leadership during World War I and World War II; his personal relationships with family and friends; his abiding passion for history, literature, and public speaking; and his political relationships with historical giants like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Queen Elizabeth II. With Professor Shelden as your authoritative guide, you’ll embark on an unforgettable adventure through the 20th century in the footsteps of the one man who helped not just Great Britain but all of humanity prevail during violent, dangerous times.

The Life and Times of a Master Statesman

Professor Shelden provides a biographer’s keen insights into Churchill and uses this course to help you arrive at an amazing conclusion: No matter how much you reveal about the man, Churchill in every way lives up to his legend.

How Winston Churchill Changed the World guides you chronologically through the life and times of this master statesman, taking you from the dawn of his political career to his final years in a much-changed geopolitical landscape.

  • The Early Years: Follow Churchill from his beginnings in the early 1900s as a young liberal statesman, his rise to the Admiralty in 1914 and his relentless push for an imposing naval force, and some of his disastrous miscalculations during World War I.


  • The Second World War: Discover why, more than any other British politician, Churchill denounced the rise of Adolf Hitler and why, after the breakout of war, he led the fight against the Nazis and refused to make peace with Hitler even when it seemed most prudent.
  • A Postwar Britain: Examine Churchill’s equally dramatic postwar career, when he was voted out of office and caught up in a time of political, social, and economic crisis, as well as two different cold wars—one with the Soviets and one with Britain’s Labour party.


As you tour the 20th century from Churchill’s perspective, you’ll get fascinating insights into his accomplishments and triumphs, including:

  • His diplomatic maneuverings with allies and foes;
  • His iconic public speeches (including his celebrated “Finest Hour” speech, which draws on lines from an Andrew Marvell poem);
  • His investment in Britain’s military (including his early championing of tanks and seaplanes); and
  • His early realizations of the dangers of both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia.


Learning from Failure

Central to all 24 lectures of How Winston Churchill Changed the World is the profound sense of history that was so important to Churchill’s philosophy as a politician and a leader.

As Professor Shelden puts it, “Knowing what happened—and where it happened—was not trivia for Churchill. It was part of the process of knowing your place in time, of understanding how what you do today will affect tomorrow and how it will measure up to events of yesterday.”

These lectures offer a more contextualized perspective on Churchill’s life and career with an appreciation of this kind of historical knowledge. As a result, Professor Shelden doesn’t shy away from examining Churchill’s failures and how, on occasion, his preference for the backward glance of history distorted his view of the future, leading to missteps and disasters, including his failure to understand the rise of independence movements in the British colonies, his underestimation of Japan’s strength in the Pacific Theater, and his controversial World War II bombing campaigns in German cities like Dresden.


Both “Great Man” and “Everyman”

One of Professor Shelden’s skills in these lectures, aside from his incomparable scholarship, is his ability to make Churchill feel both bigger than life and entirely relatable, both a “great man” and “everyman.”

A celebrated biographer, Professor Shelden is the author of Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill, as well as several other biographies of writers like George Orwell and Mark Twain. His literary background makes him the perfect biographer of Churchill, who himself was a celebrated and respected writer who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.

“It’s not too bold a thing to say that it was Churchill who admirably filled the post of poet laureate without any official reason to do so,” says Professor Shelden, “taking his prose to poetic heights in his best speeches, and moving his audiences in the way that great verse often does.”

Poet, historian, statesman, soldier, prime minister, husband—Winston Churchill played many roles throughout his life. And How Winston Churchill Changed the World brings all these varied roles together to create a fascinating, multilayered biography.

By the end of the final lecture, you’ll discover that Churchill’s most enduring legacy is anchored in something deeply personal and timeless: his individual stance as a champion of freedom when the world was at a tipping point between darkness and light, and as someone whose voice and courage helped to shift the balance toward the light.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 29 minutes each
  • 1
    Churchill and the Muse of History
    First, establish a strong sense of how Winston Churchill looked at the world, and what he brought to politics that made him stand out from the start of his career. Then, learn how the connecting thread of history helped inspire Churchill to deliver his iconic Finest Hour" speech." x
  • 2
    Young Churchill
    Survey the remarkable accomplishments of Winston Churchill's life before he turned thirty. Follow the future statesman as he fights on the frontier of India, takes part in the British army's last great cavalry charge, survives capture in South Africa's Boer War, and wins a seat in Parliament. x
  • 3
    Churchill, the Edwardian Titan
    Few British politicians have risen as far-and as fast-as Winston Churchill did during the first decade of his parliamentary career. Examine Churchill's meteoric ascent, including his conflicts with political veterans Arthur Balfour and Joseph Chamberlain, his time as a liberal statesman, and his relationship with Violet Asquith. x
  • 4
    Churchill's Rise to the Admiralty
    Focus on Churchill's career as First Lord of the Admiralty and his efforts to make sure the British navy could win battles in the North Sea. Central to this were technological developments (including a massive new gun for ships) and his knowledge of the newest twist in naval warfare: aviation. x
  • 5
    Churchill and Failure in World War I
    With the military disaster in Gallipoli and the Dardanelles during World War I, Churchill pushed his luck too far. Discover what led to this major failure and his subsequent resignation from government, as well as how he overcame this fall from grace by joining the fight on the Western Front. x
  • 6
    Churchill in War and Peace
    Gain insights into Churchill's return to government in 1917 as Minister of Munitions and, after the end of World War I, as War Secretary. Then, examine Churchill's fraught relationship with Prime Minister Lloyd George and the publication of his grand, four-volume history of the war years: The World Crisis. x
  • 7
    Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer
    As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill's primary job was to maintain Britain's economic prosperity. Here, learn how his efforts to cut wasteful spending, implement modest tax cuts, and return to the Gold Standard hurt the British economy in a way that would undermine most of his good work elsewhere. x
  • 8
    The Rise of Tyranny in the 1930s
    Take a step back to investigate just how tangled the relationship between Britain and Germany was becoming in the 1930s. Professor Shelden reveals how Churchill led an uphill battle to persuade his country about the dangers of Hitler and the Nazis-even as his fellow countrymen turned against him. x
  • 9
    Churchill as Author and Historian
    During the 1930s, Churchill kept his name and fame alive through his books and essays. In this lecture, explore some of his greatest works from the period, including Great Contemporaries (a dazzling study of major leaders of the day) and Marlborough: His Life and Times (a multi-volume biography of a famous ancestor). x
  • 10
    The Gathering Storm in Nazi Germany
    As international danger loomed on the horizon, Churchill knew the Royal Air Force would be the key to Britain's future. Learn how Churchill set in motion a chain of events that led to the legendary (and revolutionary) Spitfire, then examine how Churchill tried to save King Edward's monarchy from scandal. x
  • 11
    Churchill in the Age of Appeasement
    Explore just how pitifully disunited and disorganized the British government was as it stood on the verge of war with Hitler. How did the "age of appeasement" begin? What made Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain think he could do business with Hitler? How did Churchill continue to prepare for war? x
  • 12
    The Road to Dunkirk
    On May 8, 1940, a speech by David Lloyd George validating Churchill's premonitions of war with Germany led to Chamberlain's defeat-and Churchill's succession to the role of prime minister. But, as you'll learn, within a month of taking office Churchill faced one of his most serious challenges at Dunkirk. x
  • 13
    Churchill in Power
    When Churchill took power over the government, he knew he'd not only have to fight the Germans but also the simmering resentments within the Conservative Party. Take a closer look at cabinet battles and the famous speech to the House of Commons after the Dunkirk miracle" that effectively crushed Churchill's defeatists." x
  • 14
    Surviving the Nazi Blitz
    Explore how Churchill responded to the terror of the Blitz and how his long history of experience with aviation had a major impact on the war in the air. Then, conclude with a look at the wisdom of a particular-and overlooked-sentence from his famous speech of June 18, 1940. x
  • 15
    Turning the Tide against Hitler
    When did the course of war with Germany take the decisive turn for England that Churchill had hoped for? Why did his attention wander to Malaysia and Singapore? Why was the Suez Canal such an important lifeline for Britain? What was Churchill's long-term strategy for facing down the German juggernaut? x
  • 16
    Churchill and Roosevelt
    Learn how another historical giant-U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt-became the one vital person Churchill needed at his side to win the war. You'll learn what made these two men such effective partners, including their strong wills, their love of attention, and their hatred of being on the sidelines. x
  • 17
    Churchill and Stalin
    Turn now to Churchill's relationship with another historical giant: Russian leader Joseph Stalin. Why was Churchill's August 1942 trip to Moscow one of his most difficult wartime challenges? How did he and Roosevelt balance their desire to help an enemy of Hitler's without allowing Stalin more leverage than was prudent? x
  • 18
    Debating Churchill's Wartime Leadership
    Take a look at some of the more controversial decisions of Churchill's war record, including his possible delay of the D-Day invasion and the bombing campaign against Dresden and other German cities. Also, consider Churchill's early public stance against the threat to Jews under the Nazis. x
  • 19
    Churchill from Tehran to Yalta
    At the Tehran Conference, Churchill realized how small Britain was compared to the rising world powers of Russia and the United States. At the Yalta Conference, he discovered the only bond of victors is their common hate. Here, go inside Churchill's experiences at these critical diplomatic events from World War II. x
  • 20
    Peace, Churchill, and the British Voter
    In July 1945, at the height of his triumph over Hitler, Churchill was kicked out of office by the British electorate and replaced with Clement Attlee. Examine how Churchill's struggle to save Europe from despotism left Britain a minor world power instead of the major power it once was. x
  • 21
    Churchill on the Iron Curtain
    In this lecture on the dawn of the Cold War era, investigate how Churchill grew increasingly disappointed with Britain's postwar future-including its reduced power, influence, and economic prospects-and his realization that another ominous threat loomed over the world: Stalin and the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe. x
  • 22
    Churchill and Britain's Postwar Crisis
    As prime minister, Churchill had shared his government with Labour leaders. Learn what happened once Labour assumed power and walked away from that spirit of partnership. From a fiscal meltdown to rationing to British troops at war in Asia, ceaseless opposition became the rule of the day. x
  • 23
    Churchill's Return to Power
    Churchill devoted as much energy as possible in his second period as prime minister to cementing ties between the United States and Britain in response to the Soviet Union's rise as a superpower. Discover how he became a powerful, persuasive advocate for peaceful coexistence in the face of atomic destruction. x
  • 24
    Churchill and the Legacy of Freedom
    Was Winston Churchill really the indispensable man of the 20th century? Can one person even make that much of a difference in the course of history? Professor Shelden concludes his lecture series with a pointed consideration of provocative questions that most academic historians won't even go near. x

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What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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Instant Audio Includes:
  • Download 24 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 177-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 177-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos and illustrations
  • Answer Key
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Michael Shelden

About Your Professor

Michael Shelden, PhD
Indiana State University
Michael Shelden is Professor of English at Indiana State University, where he has won the top award for excellence in scholarship, the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award, three times. He earned his PhD in English from Indiana University. Professor Shelden is the author of six biographies, including Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill, which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, and...
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How Winston Churchill Changed the World is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 82.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best courses This course felt like watching a drama series. The professor is fantastic and commands excellent storytelling skills bringing to life Churchill’s personal story embeded in 20th century history. A must watch for any history lovers.
Date published: 2019-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of The Great Courses' best I've just finished this course on CD, and it's one of the best items the Great Courses has produced. I've purchased quite a few GC products over the years, and this one ranks up there with courses by Gallagher, Bucholz, and Greenberg. Shelden has solid command of his subject, presents it well, and clearly admires Churchill but doesn't lapse into mere hagiography. I've already recommended the course to friends, and I can't recommend it strongly enough here.
Date published: 2019-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best This is one of the best Great Courses that I have watched. The professor is new to the Great Courses, but he is fantastic. The professor does an excellent job relaying the history while also telling a story. I previously listened to the Churchill course by Prof. Rufus Fears, and I was wondering what this course could add. While Prof. Fears's course focuses more on the personal biography of Churchill, this course focuses on his professional life. Both courses are excellent, and they are complimentary. This is truly one of the finest Great Courses, and I hope that this is the first of many by the professor.
Date published: 2019-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Presented like a nepic drama! One of the very best courses. It is easy to observe that Dr. Shelden is a professor in English. His presentation unfolds like a great epic drama. He knows the subject very well and the presentation is almost flawless. Churchill is seen within his world and background and the historian comes through as well as how he applied history to his own situation. Often Dr, Shelden shows how much Churchill loves to write. This is a well rounded and very enjoyable course. (I have watched Great Courses that bored me to sleep before. This one doesn’t!) This one may be watched with “A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts” by Dr. Robert Bucholz. It tells the story of John Churchill, an ancestor of Sir Winston to whom he often refers and is very well presented. The only critique that I can find is the new format in which Great Courses are packaging their DVDs. All are piled in around a single button, making access difficult and causing the DVDs that has already been watched to lay loose until all have been watched.
Date published: 2019-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First course I've purchased from Great Courses where the lecturer isn't in front of a live audience. At first I thought this was a mistake, but now 1/2 way through the series I enjoy the presentation. Michael Shelden is excellent. I only hope Great Courses contracts with him to do more titles. Could well be the replacement for my favorite lecturer now that Rufus Fears is gone. Although I am quite familiar with Churchill's live and many of this written works, there were still many little nuggets here I learned for the first time. Overall the course is best seen as an overview of Churchill's life with reference to follow-on materials you should read to fill out the picture.
Date published: 2019-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A most entertaining series This is one of the best series of lectures that my wife & I have purchased from the Great Courses. The lecturer did a first rate job of unpacking the history of a complicated man. The result was a nuanced portrait of one of the most important figures of the 20th century. We would be interested in hearing more from this lecturer.
Date published: 2019-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is a remarkable set of lectures done in a more appropriate and serious tone than the very disappointing piece done by Rufus Fears which I also bought and was extremely disappointed by his less than serious style
Date published: 2019-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good history of Winston Churchill, the instructor new the subject and presented it very well.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Uplifting series... When I finished this series of lectures, I was left wanting to read every book Churchill has written, a goal I plan to take on this summer. There are few true heroes in this world, people who have made a difference on the course of history, rather than being praised only for their ability to entertain. Shelden shows us the victories and defeats of a great man who was rejected by those either too short-sighted or too exhausted to see the importance of his wisdom and work. These were truly enlightening lectures.
Date published: 2018-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WELL WORTH YOUR TIME A great story, presented by a great storyteller. Highly recommended
Date published: 2018-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New information ! I've seen many programs about Churchill and thought I knew just about everything. This course provides information and background about the WW 1 era, the 20s and finally the post WW 2. And, surprisingly, new background material about the 1935-45 era.
Date published: 2018-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Interesting and Informative Course. I always had a lot of respect for Winston Chruchill. I now have even more, thanks to this course. Churchill is even more interesting and impressive than before I viewed these lessons. This course also gave me a deeper understanding of World War II.
Date published: 2018-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What I expected and more!!!.... All the additional background information concerning his political career, information regarding all the in depth information the various stages of WWII, how they were handled was amazing.....we here in the US have no idea what the British endured. He realized early on that England needed our help and that we would not let them down......he realized that he was not a "perfect" man but none the less, w/his failures, and perseverance, he continued forward w/deliberation.....there are many who do not see it this way, but, they should ask themselves, "what would I have done"? Would recommend this to anyone who is interested in history.
Date published: 2018-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from VERY EDUCATIONAL I am old enough to have lived through most of the WWII history and thought I knew a lot about Churchill. This course taught me a great deal more. I would have liked more graphics and would have preferred that the teacher not be so far from the camera. The course content was excellent. Global historical concepts were well done as well as a lot of personal glimpses. Well done.
Date published: 2018-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping! Every admirer of Winston Churchill will find this lecture series informative, fascinating and rewarding. A greater understanding of the great man and appreciation of his importance to overcoming one of history's most terrible threats.
Date published: 2018-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Indispensable Man Extolled This course is of the first rank. Prof. Sheldon argues persuasively that great men and great women often make our history and that none had greater positive impact on the last century than Winston Churchill. Prof. Sheldon is steady, passionate lecturer and forcefully makes the case that without Churchill, the 20th century would have been far different, and far worse, for millions of people all over the world. While he is unabashedly a pro-Churchill partisan, Prof. Sheldon does not shy from discussion and exploration of Churchill's failures and strategic misjudgments. He keeps those failures and misjudgments in perspective, however, particularly when weighed against Churchill's spectacular successes, which Prof. Sheldon catalogs and praises with great enthusiasm. As someone who has read and studied Churchill for many years, I believe this course will be of interest to novices and experts alike. The video version of the course contains excellent maps and numerous photos and newsreel excerpts, but the audio version should be just fine for those who have a familiarity with the geography and personalities discussed. Highly recommended!!
Date published: 2018-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful lecturer Having grow up in German occupied Europe during WWII, Churchill has always stood for me as a hero. We listened to some of his speeches on BBC when the German interference allowed it. Professsor Shelden speaks very personally to you and clearly feels that Churchill is heroic, but flawed, and he gently brings those flaws out. Professor Shelden makes clear the overall long span of history that Churchill represented, and how he was able to keep that history at the forefront during his tumultuous carreer
Date published: 2018-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thorough and thoughtful Loved the first offering on. Churchill, but it took this fine presentation to cover it to satisfy me
Date published: 2018-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome facts and insights An excellent presentation about a person that certainly changed the world throughout his life. An interesting and insightful series of lectures that covered his life and explained his place in history. These lectures explain the 20th century through Churchill's life.
Date published: 2018-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Winston Churchill's Impact on World Events One of my most endeared historical leaders is Sir Winston Churchill. I have purchased many books, audios and other biographical materials on Churchill. This course is an excellent review of Churchill's life encompassing his childhood through his death. Professor Shelden has a unique ability to relate a story with vivid descriptions and backgrounds that place the listener in the House of Commons or the underground bunker with Churchill brandishing his leadership in a manner that inspires an island nation to rise up and defeat fascism. The lecturer's approach to portraying Churchill's speeches and charisma adds excitement to the stories we have heard in history courses of the past. However, in this course, you feel as if you are sitting in the audience soaking up Churchill's exceptional colloquialism. Had it not been for the fortitude exhibited by Churchill, the German military machine may have overtaken the entire continent of Europe. In particular, my favorite lectures were those that relate to the period of WWII. If you desire a high quality, entertaining course on Churchill, this is the one! I highly recommend you listen intently as the Professor Shelden weaves a tapestry of drama, excitement, sadness and tension through the 24 lectures of historical facts.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Legitimate Biography The title of this course might mislead buyers into thinking that this is another misguided, fantasy hero worship effort similar to the course presented by Rufus Fears. Not so. Churchill had many flaws and made numerous mistakes, but he was precisely the leader that Britain needed to deal with Nazi Germany. But even during the war Churchill was more interested in political ramifications after the war than giving Russia the support it needed to bring the war to a faster conclusion. I thank the Teaching Company, and Prof. Michael Shelden for giving us a fair and balanced view of Winston Churchill's place in history.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well executed, blind spots to some areas Well written and sympathetic vision of Churchill. I got a broader over view of the man. Very little written on colonialism-- a major omission, in my opinion
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Want to know about Churchill? This is the course!!
Date published: 2018-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great History Class! This class was so great, I finished this class on the streaming line prior to receiving the CD’s. Winston Churchill is one of the great figures of the 20th Century. Professor Sheldon makes this easy to listen to and filled with antidotes about a Great man.
Date published: 2018-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just picked up the teaching on Churchill and have been listening to it while on a road trip. Absolutely superb! As an amateur historian and student of Churchill, I’ve found this series to be insightful; informative; and inspirational! I have thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Date published: 2018-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is more than a biographical sketch. I've read much about WSC, but I found out new info about how he impacted WWII in subtle but important ways. The instructor provided an easy & convincing manner to present his view about how WSC "changed the world". He mentioned the good and bad that comes from all leaders as they move through a difficult and critical situation. One of the best courses from The Great Courses; I've watched/listened to more that 20 courses.
Date published: 2018-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Course in Years We so enjoyed this course. Michael Sheldon is one of the most captivating teachers we have seen in your courses. Please bring him back with new courses.
Date published: 2018-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Acknowledging Churchill's greatness This exceptional course provides a riveting account of Winston Churchill's life. As the title suggests, Churchill's heroic struggle against Hitler decisively shaped world history, averting an unthinkable dystopia. Professor Shelden tells the story of Churchill's life with this end in mind, making us see how the young man's early experiences in war, politics, journalism, and life prepared him to serve as savior of Britain and the West. Professor Shelden argues convincingly that history ultimately reveals who was right and who wrong about what were once divisive political issues. Those who advocated appeasement have been proven badly wrong-or worse-while Churchill and others who called for confronting Hitler have been completely vindicated. In other words, historical study can sort out right from wrong, truth from falsehood. Further, Professor Shelden shows how one great man exerted an enormous positive influence on world affairs. Sadly, the claims that there is a right answer, and not merely differing perspectives, and that there are giants who shape history, are deeply out of favor in today's academy. So, too is Churchill himself, dismissed as an imperialist and racist. But, not at the Great Courses and not in Professor Shelden's classroom, happily. Nor does Professor Shelden shrink from describing how Britain's post-war experiment with socialism was a disaster. Again, Churchill rescued his nation, by undoing the Labour excesses that were impoverishing Britain. For Great Courses old timers, Professor Shelden is the worthy heir of Professor Rufus Fears, another admirer of Winston. Professor Shelden is the biggest star to come out of Indiana State since Larry Bird. Enjoy!
Date published: 2018-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An astonishingly interesting story brilliantly knit together by the Professor.
Date published: 2018-11-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK as a Primer or Introduction to Churchill... ...but this is not for people already well-acquainted with his life. In defense of this course, I will say that the presenter gives the proper weight to the powerful use Churchill made of the English language---he literally mobilized it for war. He also provides the proper historical context for the major quotations. However, one deficiency is that the presenter does not ever use any real sound recordings of Churchill's actual voice as he walks us through many of the famous excerpts from Churchill's speeches. I really got tired of listening to the presenter's voice reading these excerpts, when he could, in many cases, have used the real sound of Churchill's voice. Alternatively, the presenter could have employed a gifted actor or announcer who could mimic Churchill's voice to read the excerpts. I would give this presentation a 6 out of ten.
Date published: 2018-11-04
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