Month: June 2009

Churchill Books for Young Readers

Churchill Books for Young Readers

Please send me some book rec­om­men­da­tions on Churchill’s life for young read­ers. By young, I mean a boy of sev­en years old. My nephew asked me about the book I was read­ing (Churchill: The Unex­pect­ed Hero by Paul Addi­son), and after I told him a lit­tle bit about it, he want­ed to know more. I’d appre­ci­ate any rec­om­men­da­tions. —R.M., Mass.

Paul Addison’s Unex­pect­ed Hero is prob­a­bly the best “brief life” in print. If your nephew is into that at sev­en,  he has great promise, and you should buy him a mem­ber­ship in The Churchill Cen­tre. The stu­dent rate is $25, which rep­re­sents a 50% discount.…

Read More Read More

“Dogfight under a carpet…”

“Dogfight under a carpet…”

Churchill alleged­ly com­pared Russ­ian pol­i­tics to a “dog­fight under a car­pet.” It was men­tioned in The Econ­o­mist of 17 Novem­ber 2005: “Like watch­ing dogs fight­ing under a car­pet, was how Churchill described Russ­ian pol­i­tics. On Novem­ber 14th the car­pet stirred, when Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin announced that Dmit­ry Medvedev, head of the pres­i­den­tial admin­is­tra­tion since 2003, was to become first deputy prime min­is­ter.” It seems to be fair­ly well known. Can you give me the exact quote and a cita­tion? —P.C.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, because it’s an amus­ing line that sounds a bit like him, I can­not. We searched Churchill Online, includ­ing Churchill’s own fif­teen mil­lion words—all his books, arti­cles, speech­es and pub­lished papers.…

Read More Read More

Tests of Freedom: Italy 1944, Iran 2009

Tests of Freedom: Italy 1944, Iran 2009

The dis­tress­ing repres­sion fol­low­ing the recent Iran­ian elec­tion reminds us once again of Churchill’s eter­nal rel­e­vance. In the House of Com­mons on 28 August 1944, he was asked how he would judge whether the new Ital­ian gov­ern­ment, about to replace the Fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ship of Mus­soli­ni, was a true democ­ra­cy. Churchill replied:

The ques­tion aris­es, “What is free­dom?” There are one or two quite sim­ple, prac­ti­cal tests by which it can be known in the mod­ern world in peace conditions—namely:

Is there the right to free expres­sion of opin­ion and of oppo­si­tion and crit­i­cism of the Gov­ern­ment of the day?…

Read More Read More