“There was about Churchill a faith that nothing was beyond our reach: A DETERMINED OPTIMISM. ‘I confess,’ he said, ‘that like Disraeli I am on the side of the optimists. I do not believe that humanity is going to destroy itself.’” —RML
Lectures at Sea (1): Churchill and the Myths of D-Day
“Churchill and the Myths of D-Day is excerpted from a lecture on the 2019 Hillsdale College Round-Britain cruise. Hillsdale cruises with “lectures at sea” are an annual event, usually occurring in May or June. For information on the 2020 cruise to Jerusalem and Athens, click here.
I’m here to talk about Winston Churchill. I know this audience knows who he was! Did you know a survey of British schoolchildren reveals that one in five think he was a fictional character? And better than half think Sherlock Holmes was a real person?
On 15 June in the Wall Street Journal opinion columnist Peggy Noonan wrote a perceptive piece about the prospects and challenges for Boris Johnson as Britain’s new Prime Minister: “England Needs a Slap, and So Does China” (sorry, that link carries a paywall).
It was a good column, saying essentially what Britons of all stripes were saying to me on a recent visit.
“Talk to me about anything, except Brexit.” “Right, we voted, so let’s get on with it.” “We’re tired of platitudes and useless debates.” “Keep diddling and we end up with Corbyn.” “Just do it.” (Or as Henry Joy, a famous President of the Packard Motor Car Company liked to say: “Let’s do something, even if it’s wrong!”)
The King’s Ships: “We may now picture this great Fleet, with its flotillas and cruisers, steaming slowly out of Portland Harbour, squadron by squadron, scores of gigantic castles of steel wending their way across the misty, shining sea, like giants bowed in anxious thought. We may picture them again as darkness fell, eighteen miles of warships running at high speed and in absolute blackness through the narrow Straits, bearing with them into the broad waters of the North the safeguard of considerable affairs.”
Irish Sea to Portland: Churchill Connections, June 8th to 12th