Month: July 2012

Churchill as Thucydides

Churchill as Thucydides

As a post-doc at Tübin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty (Ger­many) I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a paper about Sir Win­ston Churchill’s appre­ci­a­tion of Thucy­dides: did he pos­sess a per­son­al copy of the ancient historian’s His­to­ry of the Pelo­pon­nesian War? I would be very grate­ful for any help. —O.S., Ger­many

I don’t know if Churchill had a copy of Thucy­dides’ His­to­ry of the Pelop­pon­nesian War at Chartwell (you might check with the house man­ag­er there). But if you are ask­ing if Churchill read and appre­ci­at­ed the works of the great Greek his­to­ri­an, he cer­tain­ly did. What’s more, the writ­ings of Churchill were often com­pared to those of Thucy­dides.…

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Churchill’s “V-Sign” and the Peace Symbol

Churchill’s “V-Sign” and the Peace Symbol

I was want­i­ng to find out about the two-fin­ger ges­ture in the pic­ture. It appears to be either the ear­li­est peace sym­bol, and/or rab­bit ears? The “crow foot” peace sym­bol pre­dates Churchill’s V-sign by four or five cen­turies. Its cur­rent form was pop­u­lar­ized by Picas­so in the World Peace Con­fer­ences of the 1950s, when it was alleged to rep­re­sent the Chris­t­ian cross upside down and bro­ken, the sym­bol of a Com­mu­nist peace. Wikipedia has an inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion.

I’m not sure where Churchill picked up his two-fin­ger V-sign (palm fac­ing out), but he cer­tain­ly pop­u­lar­ized it dur­ing World War II. 

The V-sign when made the oth­er way (palm fac­ing in) is equiv­a­lent in Britain to the “one-fin­ger salute” in Amer­i­ca.…

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Churchill’s “Infallibility”: Myth on Myth

Churchill’s “Infallibility”: Myth on Myth

Mr. Daniel Knowles (“Time to scotch the myth of Win­ston Churchill’s infal­li­bil­i­ty,” (orig­i­nal­ly blogged on the Dai­ly Tele­graph but since pulled from all the web­sites where it appeared), wrote that the “nation­al myth” of World War II and Churchill “is being used in an argu­ment about the future of the House of Lords.”

Mr. Knowles quot­ed Lib­er­al Par­ty leader Nick Clegg, who cit­ed Churchill’s 1910 hope that the Lords “would be fair to all par­ties.” Sir Winston’s grand­son, Sir Nicholas Soames MP, replied that Churchill “dropped those views and had great rev­er­ence and respect for the insti­tu­tion of the House of Lords.” Soames con­clud­ed: “But it doesn’t mat­ter.…

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