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Mountbatten: The Official Biography

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A rounded, sympathetic and yet wholly undeceived portrait of the man and the many facets of his character. From his christening - which Queen Victoria attended - to his days as Supreme Commander in South-East Asia during World War II, to India where he oversaw the move to independence, to the Suez crisis, we discover a man who, for all the glitter and the gold, was nothing A rounded, sympathetic and yet wholly undeceived portrait of the man and the many facets of his character. From his christening - which Queen Victoria attended - to his days as Supreme Commander in South-East Asia during World War II, to India where he oversaw the move to independence, to the Suez crisis, we discover a man who, for all the glitter and the gold, was nothing if not human.


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A rounded, sympathetic and yet wholly undeceived portrait of the man and the many facets of his character. From his christening - which Queen Victoria attended - to his days as Supreme Commander in South-East Asia during World War II, to India where he oversaw the move to independence, to the Suez crisis, we discover a man who, for all the glitter and the gold, was nothing A rounded, sympathetic and yet wholly undeceived portrait of the man and the many facets of his character. From his christening - which Queen Victoria attended - to his days as Supreme Commander in South-East Asia during World War II, to India where he oversaw the move to independence, to the Suez crisis, we discover a man who, for all the glitter and the gold, was nothing if not human.

30 review for Mountbatten: The Official Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Herb Hastings

    For an authorized biography, this book is surprisingly balanced. The author likes and admires his subject but doesn't worship him. {Well, maybe a little.} The book is well researched and full of detailed information. The author doesn't emphasis the fact that Mountbatten's great success in the navy had as much to do with his royal birth as with his talent as a commander. Also, he doesn't hide this fact. He lays the story out in such a way that there are enough facts for the reader to draw their o For an authorized biography, this book is surprisingly balanced. The author likes and admires his subject but doesn't worship him. {Well, maybe a little.} The book is well researched and full of detailed information. The author doesn't emphasis the fact that Mountbatten's great success in the navy had as much to do with his royal birth as with his talent as a commander. Also, he doesn't hide this fact. He lays the story out in such a way that there are enough facts for the reader to draw their own conclusions. I recommend this book as a good addition to your World War II History bookshelf.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    At the airport. Will review later. Back in lovely Hawaii. Now for the review. Too often we Americans read about Patton, Bradley (on my list), Eisenhower, or MacArthur. We should pay attention to the personalities of our Allies. Mountbatten is one of the most intriguing WWII and after personalities. Born as a royal, he pursued a military career that makes me envious. He slowly worked his way up the chain in the Royal Navy. WWII found him the perfect person to work for Combined Operations (aka our At the airport. Will review later. Back in lovely Hawaii. Now for the review. Too often we Americans read about Patton, Bradley (on my list), Eisenhower, or MacArthur. We should pay attention to the personalities of our Allies. Mountbatten is one of the most intriguing WWII and after personalities. Born as a royal, he pursued a military career that makes me envious. He slowly worked his way up the chain in the Royal Navy. WWII found him the perfect person to work for Combined Operations (aka our today's Joint Military). He led the group that would put commandoes and later an invasion force onto Europe's beaches. He was instrumental in setting up the plans and studies that eventually led to OVERLORD and allied landings in Normandy. He shifted over to Asiatic and tackled the backwater campaign that was India, Burma, and China. His leadership and skill led to the first Allied land campaign victory over the Japanese army. Yes a Navy Admiral led the theater of a land campaign. After the peace, Lord Mountbatten became Viceroy of British India. His main goal was to lead British India and Burma to its freedom and he did just that. I find it amazing that a military man was able to govern and turn over leadership of a former colony and create the beginning of the Commonwealth. Later he returned to the Royal Navy to lead a fleet and ultimately become the First Sea Lord (our Chief of Naval Operations). Not willing to stand still, his vision lead to the creation of the UK's Chairmen of Defense Staff with him fulfilling the role of the Chairmen. Only then did Mountbatten retire to live as a mentor to the Royal family. An IRA bomb was what finally finished Lord Mountbatten. You can watch the sad but fitting funeral here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo6AU.... Lord Mountbatten's vision and leadership are a role model for any who aspire to military leadership. I encourage all to pick up a book about WWII leadership and listen to the whispers in the pages about the great leaders...MacArthur, Churchill, Roosevelt, Patton, Eisenhower...and Lord Mountbatten.

  3. 5 out of 5

    A.

    Overall an excellent biography, however in some chapters the summaries of world events and politics overwhelmed the man himself until the narrative circled back to his letters. I occasionally had trouble envisioning how he and his family were living at the time. I recently finished Churchill: Walking with Destiny and by comparison I felt like I was a fly on the wall for Churchill's whole life. I might pick up another Mountbatten biography. Overall an excellent biography, however in some chapters the summaries of world events and politics overwhelmed the man himself until the narrative circled back to his letters. I occasionally had trouble envisioning how he and his family were living at the time. I recently finished Churchill: Walking with Destiny and by comparison I felt like I was a fly on the wall for Churchill's whole life. I might pick up another Mountbatten biography.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Derek Beaugarde

    A fascinating account of one of the Royal family's most intriguing characters of the 20th century. A fascinating account of one of the Royal family's most intriguing characters of the 20th century.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Schinke

    A good read, particularly for someone who knows very little about British history (like me). It is probably not the most objective narrative of his life, but it definitely held my attention.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rohit Mishra

    Being a big fan of Indian history especially the freedom struggle and the events leading up to the independence, I always wanted to know a lot more about Mountbatten, his life before coming to India, his career and family and more, and this book provided plenty of that. And of course it goes beyond the time he spent in India and continues till the very end. A must read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann Otto

    This biography is over 700 pages. Those wanting to know more about royal family history would want to look for another biography as this one is more focused on Mountbatten's military experience. Much related history is glossed over as are many of his life events such as the deaths of his close cousins the Romanoffs, his wife's wartime affair, and difficult family issues. The strengths of the work are the details of WW2 in which the infighting among the British and between them and the Americans This biography is over 700 pages. Those wanting to know more about royal family history would want to look for another biography as this one is more focused on Mountbatten's military experience. Much related history is glossed over as are many of his life events such as the deaths of his close cousins the Romanoffs, his wife's wartime affair, and difficult family issues. The strengths of the work are the details of WW2 in which the infighting among the British and between them and the Americans was at times nearly as intense as their war with the Japanese. British readers will understand more of the details and characters. Also, the well-researched description of all factions involved in the transition of India to independence and partition in the late 1940s is among the best I have read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rana Abdul

    A great book of Phillip Ziegler on India. Lord Mountbatten had a distinguished career as Rear Admiral British Royal Navy having great achievement in Burma. However, publication of Phillip Ziegler's book has dented his stature as the last Viceroy of India. Perhaps acceptance of top lot of Governor General India and Lady Mountbatten's connection with Indian Congress Leader late Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru resulting in political dishonesty to craft Kashmir for India through controvers A great book of Phillip Ziegler on India. Lord Mountbatten had a distinguished career as Rear Admiral British Royal Navy having great achievement in Burma. However, publication of Phillip Ziegler's book has dented his stature as the last Viceroy of India. Perhaps acceptance of top lot of Governor General India and Lady Mountbatten's connection with Indian Congress Leader late Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru resulting in political dishonesty to craft Kashmir for India through controversial Redcliff Award was the main reason. Rana Abdul Baqi

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Thiessen

    A fascinating character of the 20th century. May parts of the book very interesting but some parts seemed to drag a bit. Probably due to my lessened interest in certain areas of Lord Mountbatten's life and should not be taken as a slight against the author. A fascinating character of the 20th century. May parts of the book very interesting but some parts seemed to drag a bit. Probably due to my lessened interest in certain areas of Lord Mountbatten's life and should not be taken as a slight against the author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amethyst Travis

    Despite his faults, a great man.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fran Johnson

    Although this is the official biography of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the author does a good job of presenting his subject in an unbiased manner. It is scholarly done and covers the interesting life of a colorful, historic figure whose life spans the Victorian years through his death by assassination by the IRA. It's a large book and those many pages are needed to cover the many interesting things that Mountbatten was involved in. It's a good book about a supremely interesting man. Although this is the official biography of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the author does a good job of presenting his subject in an unbiased manner. It is scholarly done and covers the interesting life of a colorful, historic figure whose life spans the Victorian years through his death by assassination by the IRA. It's a large book and those many pages are needed to cover the many interesting things that Mountbatten was involved in. It's a good book about a supremely interesting man.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Robinson

    I bought this book at a used book store after I accidently ran across it. I was right in the middle of binge watching The Crown, and I was very interested to learn more about Lord Mountbatten. Luckily, I spotted this book even though it did not have a dust jacket on it. I learned a lot about the life and career of Lord Mountbatten from this book, and I recommend it for anyone else who wants an in depth biography of him.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eric Grounds

    This is a big subject about a big man with a very complex character. Ziegler makes it understandable and gripping in parts (like the sinking of the Kelly, which I have read dozens of times because it is so graphic)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

    Insightful and fascinating biography of the last member of the royal family to pursue a full career - and a varied and important one it was as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Kramer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Burnsie63

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sapta

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jj Grilliette

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Boyle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kerrie Cougle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roderick Mackin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mik Hamilton, D.C.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Reed

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