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”).
But here’s an amusing example of Churchill himself destroying a Churchill myth—about his ancestor John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough. Reference is to the early pages of Marlborough: His Life and Times, vol.…
“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
”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.…
Hillsdale College offers a free, not-for-credit, online course, “Winston Churchill and Statesmanship.” The six-week course is taught by Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. It examines the life, lessons and legacy of Sir Winston. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 senior fellow. I warmly recommend this illuminating, stimulating, and above all accurate, free course because it’s a mini-education on Churchill’s statesmanship, conducted by an indefatigable scholar and a friend of forty years.