“Even today, with fifty million words published about him, CHURCHILL IS MISJUDGED as a warmonger ardent for battle. In reality he hated and feared war, and struggled to avoid both World Wars in the 20th century.” —RML
Fateful Choices, by Ian Kershaw: Japan, Germany, USA (updated 2019)

Fateful Choices, by Ian Kershaw: Japan, Germany, USA (updated 2019)

Fate­ful Choic­es: Ten Deci­sions that Changed the World, 1940-1941, by Ian Ker­shaw. New York: Pen­guin, 600 pp., $35. At a time when Churchill’s war lead­er­ship is vil­i­fied in lop­sided paeans to Roo­sevelt, Sir Ian’s clas­sic World War II study reminds us that FDR wasn’t per­fect either.

A recent arti­cle sug­gests that Japan’s deci­sion to sur­ren­der in 1945 was by no means unan­i­mous. A few years ago, Sir Ian Ker­shaw said the same thing about Japan’s deci­sion to go to war in the first place….

“What a sto­ry! Think of all these people—decent, edu­cat­ed, the sto­ry of the past laid out before them—What to avoid—what to do etc.—patriotic, loy­al, clean—trying their utmost—What a ghast­ly mud­dle they made of it!…

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Johnson, Trump…can we stop comparing everybody to Churchill?

Johnson, Trump…can we stop comparing everybody to Churchill?

Politi­cians, most often Boris John­son and Don­ald Trump at the moment, are often com­pared to Win­ston Churchill. In a way it’s nice PR for Sir Win­ston. Half a cen­tu­ry since his death, the Great­est Briton still dom­i­nates media. His Google hit count is 100 mil­lion. (Franklin Roo­sevelt, the West’s oth­er great war leader, is at 72 mil­lion.)

Right­ly or wrong­ly, every day on the Inter­net, Churchill is praised, lam­pooned, quot­ed and mis­quot­ed. But com­par­isons to mod­ern politi­cians have worn thin. They may emu­late him, but not be com­pared to him.

Johnson’s Day in the barrel

On 15 June the Wall Street Jour­nal focused on British prime min­is­ter in wait­ing Boris John­son.…

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Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (1)

Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (1)

“Ran­dolph Churchill: Present at the Cre­ation,” is tak­en from a lec­ture aboard the Regent Sev­en Seas Explor­er on the 2019 Hills­dale Col­lege Cruise around Britain, 8 June 2019.

Most every­body has an inkling of who Win­ston Churchill was. But how many know of his son Ran­dolph? How many British school­child­ren do you think have heard of him? Do they know that Arthur Conan Doyle cre­at­ed Sher­lock Holmes, who some think was a real per­son? They should, Sir Arthur was a great writer. Like Ran­dolph Churchill, who found­ed the longest biog­ra­phy ever writ­ten. In the words of Dean Ache­son, he was “present at the cre­ation.”

In his auto­bi­og­ra­phy Ran­dolph wrote, “I was born in Lon­don on 18 May 1911 at 33 Eccle­ston Square, of poor but hon­est par­ents.…

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