Year: 2016

The Churchill Bust: Not Again!?

The Churchill Bust: Not Again!?

The elec­tion of Mr. Trump promis­es a sur­prise around every cor­ner. But I nev­er expect­ed the old Churchill bust busi­ness to come fly­ing back on the wings of pet­ty out­rage.

Lest this be thought pedan­tic, let’s start with two mod­est pro­pos­als: 1) For any U.S. pres­i­dent to keep a bust of Win­ston Churchill in the Oval Office is, for any­one who admires Churchill, a great thing. 2) Every pres­i­dent has the right to the totems of his choice.

There is a lot of igno­rance and con­fu­sion over exact­ly what Churchilliana resides in the White House. There are sto­ries that Mr. Oba­ma…

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Mosul and Churchill’s Wisdom: Put a Lid on It!

Mosul and Churchill’s Wisdom: Put a Lid on It!

Churchill’s wis­dom speaks to us across the years. Take the con­tro­ver­sy of whether we blab too much in advance about mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, like Mosul.

In the Octo­ber 19th pres­i­den­tial debate, Mr. Trump said the U.S. and Iraqis for­feit­ed “the ele­ment of sur­prise” in pub­li­ciz­ing the com­ing offen­sive against Mosul. This, he insist­ed, allowed Islam­ic State ring­lead­ers to remove them­selves from the dan­ger zone: “Dou­glas MacArthur, George Pat­ton [must be] spin­ning in their graves when they see the stu­pid­i­ty of our coun­try.” Ear­li­er in the week he had asked: “Why don’t we just go in qui­et­ly, right?…

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Churchill on the Century

Churchill on the Century

Who here is in their For­ties? Are you as pes­simistic as he was?

Win­ston Churchill was 48 when he penned some “Reflec­tions on the Cen­tu­ry,” which may arrest you with their prescience—and their eerie rel­e­vance.

His words below are in his orig­i­nal “speech form.” This is the way they were set out on the notes he car­ried with him, how­ev­er well he mem­o­rized his lines. They appear in this style in my col­lec­tion of quo­ta­tions, Churchill by Him­self, but dif­fer from the way you may have encoun­tered them in oth­er books:

 

What a dis­ap­point­ment [this] cen­tu­ry has been.……

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