Month: November 2016

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Q: How impor­tant was Con­gress­man Bourke Cockran’s influ­ence on the young Churchill? 

William Bourke Cock­ran, 1854-1923. (Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

A: Very. The late Curt Zoller was the first to write in depth about Bourke Cock­ran. This man played a vital but lit­tle under­stood role in form­ing young Churchill’s polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. In 1895, Zoller wrote, when young Churchill trav­eled to New York on his way to Cuba,

…he was greet­ed by William Bourke Cock­ran, a New York lawyer, U.S. con­gress­man, friend of his mother’s and of his Amer­i­can rel­a­tives. Winston’s Aunt Clara was mar­ried to More­ton Frewen. (The peri­patet­ic “Mor­tal Ruin” would lat­er bad­ly edit Churchill’s first book, Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force.) For many years Frewen had been a friend of Cock­ran, who would grow to become one of Win­ston Churchill’s life­long inspi­ra­tions.…

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Justice Thomas on Antonin Scalia

Justice Thomas on Antonin Scalia

He spoke to us about Win­ston Churchill in San Fran­cis­co in 2009. Ever since, I have sought out the uncom­mon speech­es of Jus­tice Clarence Thomas. Invari­ably I find them mov­ing, elo­quent, and instruc­tive on things I haven’t con­sid­ered suf­fi­cient­ly.

Jus­tice Clarence Thomas at the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety, 17 Novem­ber 2016. (C-span)

Such was his Novem­ber 2016 trib­ute to Antonin Scalia, giv­en to the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety. He began with exam­ples of the late Justice’s wit (beloved alike by Jus­tice Thomas and Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg. Respec­tive­ly, they agreed with Scalia most of the time—and lit­tle of the time.):

In PGA Tour vs.…

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Churchill on the Broadcast

Churchill on the Broadcast

The ques­tion aris­es, has any­thing been writ­ten on Churchill’s radio tech­nique? Did he treat radio dif­fer­ent­ly from oth­er kinds of pub­lic speak­ing? How quick­ly did he take to the broad­cast?

“The Art of the Microphone” (BBC pho­to­graph)

An excel­lent piece on this sub­ject was by Richard Dim­ble­by (1913-1965), the BBC’s first war cor­re­spon­dent and lat­er its lead­ing TV news com­men­ta­tor. His “Churchill the Broad­cast­er” is in Charles Eade, ed., Churchill by his Con­tem­po­raries (Lon­don: Hutchin­son, 1953). Old as it is, the book remains a com­pre­hen­sive set of essays of the many spe­cial­ized attrib­ut­es of WSC.

Dim­ble­by offers four areas of dis­cus­sion: the tech­ni­cal back­ground, the dra­ma of World War II, the fac­tu­al mate­r­i­al, and Churchill’s meth­ods of deliv­ery.…

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