Month: September 2015

The Dallying Duke of Marlborough

The Dallying Duke of Marlborough

John Churchill First Duke of Marl­bor­ough (1650-1722).

This his­tor­i­cal cor­ner of the Web is exer­cised over the mis­quotes and tall tales about Win­ston Churchill that clut­ter the Internet—by every­body from Wash­ing­ton quar­ter­back Robert Grif­fin III to assort­ed authors and politi­cians (see “Churchillian Drift”).   

They range from RG III’s recent “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak” (nobody knows who said that, but Churchill didn’t) to the fic­tion that Alexan­der Flem­ing twice saved Churchill’s life.

But here’s an amus­ing exam­ple of Churchill him­self destroy­ing a Churchill myth—about his ances­tor John Churchill, First Duke of Marl­bor­ough.…

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“Rough Men Stand Ready…”

“Rough Men Stand Ready…”

Rough men stand ready….David Low’s Churchil­lesque car­toon, “Very well, alone,” sym­bol­ized the sen­ti­ment,  June 1940.

“Peo­ple sleep peace­ably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do vio­lence on their behalf.” Is this some­thing Churchill said? I see it fre­quent­ly cred­it­ed to him: “We sleep sound­ly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to vis­it vio­lence on those who would do us harm.” —L.K., Dal­las

​He did not. From Churchill by Him­self, Red Her­rings Appen­dix, 572-73:

Defend­ers of the peace

​”​Peo­ple sleep peace­ably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do vio­lence on their behalf.”​ [Alter­na­tive: ​”​We sleep safe­ly at night because rough men stand ready to vis­it vio­lence on those who would harm us.”​]

We may be fair­ly con­fi­dent that Churchill would approve of the sen­ti­ment, hav­ing argued for a life­time that lib­er­ty and peace can best be main­tained by mil­i­tary pre­pared­ness, but I have been unable to track this phrase to him.…

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Hillsdale’s Online Churchill Course

Hillsdale’s Online Churchill Course

Dr. Lar­ry Arnn con­ducts the Churchill course.

Sep­tem­ber 29th— Hills­dale Col­lege opened reg­is­tra­tion for a new, free, not-for-cred­it, online course, “Win­ston Churchill and States­man­ship,” which begins on Oct. 5. The six-week course, taught by Hills­dale Col­lege Pres­i­dent Lar­ry P. Arnn, exam­ines the life, lessons and lega­cy of Sir Win­ston Churchill. Reg­is­ter online at online.hillsdale.edu/Churchill.

This course is part of the bat­tery of new pro­grams offered by The Churchill Project for the Study of States­man­ship, which I am hon­ored to serve as a senior fel­low. I warm­ly rec­om­mend this illu­mi­nat­ing, stim­u­lat­ing, and above all accu­rate, free course as a mini-edu­ca­tion on Churchill’s states­man­ship, con­duct­ed by an inde­fati­ga­ble schol­ar and a friend of 40 years. 

Win­ston S.…

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