Year: 2016

Fitzroy Maclean: Wit & Wisdom

Fitzroy Maclean: Wit & Wisdom

Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a swash­buck­ling adven­tur­er, sol­dier, writer and politi­cian. In World War II he was Churchill’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Tito, who led Yugoslav Par­ti­sans against the Ger­mans. One of my great priv­i­leges was know­ing him and Lady Veron­i­ca, and hear­ing their cap­ti­vat­ing rec­ol­lec­tions.

Proof­ing gal­leys for Win­ston S. Churchill: Doc­u­ment Vol­ume 20, May-Decem­ber 1944, the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project comes across many gems. Not least of these was Maclean’s account of Churchill’s first meet­ing with Tito—and a minor adven­ture in Bay of Naples in August 1944.

Maclean on Tito:

I found him to be a tough, alert man of about fifty, at the head of a far more for­mi­da­ble resis­tance move­ment than any­one out­side Yugoslavia could pos­si­bly have imag­ined….…

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Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

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

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.

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. Mar­tin [Scalia] wrote: “I am sure that the framers of the U.S.

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