Churchill’s role in the defense of Antwerp, in October 1914, has been called one of his “characteristically piratical” adventures. An eminent historian described it as “a shocking folly by a minister who abused his powers and betrayed his responsibilities. It is astonishing that [his] cabinet colleagues so readily forgave him for a lapse of judgment that would have destroyed most men’s careers.”1
As the Germans closed in around Antwerp, Max Hastings writes, Churchill “assembled a hotchpotch of Royal Marines and surplus naval personnel… his own private army.” Then he “abandoned his post at the Admiralty.”…
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In response to growing demand, Hillsdale College is making an archive of our popular free online courses. It’s our hope that any citizen who wishes to learn can take advantage of the teaching that takes place on Hillsdale’s campus every day.
These free online courses cover topics such as Winston Churchill, the Constitution, American history, free market economics, and more. Well over a million people have already taken at least one course.
Why do we make our online courses available at no charge? Because education on behalf of liberty is our mission.…
Churchill was not infallible, and it diminishes him to treat him as superhuman. On some topics in my book, accomplished scholars have catalogued Churchill’s failings. I take note of them, along with certain less-well-known exculpatory facts. None detract from his greatness. Churchill published 20 million words and left an archive of a million documents: easy pickings for anyone determined to expose his alleged faults by selective editing. Yet that same archive offers the complete context. You have only to do your homework. I have done it. There is no missing context.
On the matter of Churchill’s taxes, a friend quotes a very good historian we both respect: “His relationship with the taxman was scandalous. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill exploited tax loopholes and he retired as an author on more than one occasion to avoid paying tax.”
My friend writes: “Surely what Churchill did was just on the borderline of tax-optimization? It would only be scandalous if it was tax evasion. But it was in fact legal.”
I am not an expert on Churchill’s taxes. I accept that he took whatever measures that were open and legal to minimize the bite.…
Optimist and Pessimist: Fifteen minutes of fame! David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Brexit, boots one in his recent speech and I’m finally in The Guardian. Probably the first and last time, given my opinions. **
Question: Referring to your posts of quotations Churchill never said, do you know who actually did say “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”? I find no attribution other than to Churchill.
How great was Atatürk? The question came up examining Turkish attitudes to Churchill, which one might expect would be hostile. In 1914, Churchill’s Admiralty denied Turkey two battleships being built in Britain as World War I erupted. In 1915, Churchill pushed hard (though did not conceive of) the attacks on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli. (See also “comments” on this post from thoughtful Turks.)
One historian speculated that Churchill mirrored the courage and resourcefulness of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk). Another said there “might be a lingering impression that Churchill had helped save Turkey from the red menace by his resistance to Russian demands on the Dardanelles Straits—of course it was Harry Truman who did the heavy lifting there [through the Truman Doctrine]”
The Turks have abundant reasons to feel positive toward Churchill, aside from his personal courage, and his post-1945 resistance to Soviet designs on the Dardanelles (when he was out of office and powerless).…
A lifelong supporter of Zionism and the Jews, Winston Churchill is sometimes labeled an anti-Semite. The proffered evidence, an alleged article of his, has made the obligatory rounds of the Internet.
A 1937 article draft in the Churchill Archives supposedly proves that Churchill’s off-expressed sympathy for the Jews was hypocrisy. Churchill was, if this article is to be believed, a closet anti-Semite.
The 1937 draft, “How the Jews Can Combat Persecution,” had “apparently lain unnoticed in the Churchill Archives at Cambridge since the early months of the Second World War,” stated The Independent:
Churchill criticised the “aloofness” of Jewish people from wider society and urged them to make the effort to integrate themselves….Churchill…
It is depressing and disheartening for anyone who knows the barest facts to hear history told by actors, with reality turned on its head under guise of entertainment. Invented dialogue and scenarios are of course necessary for dramatic effect.
Q: What can you tell me about Churchill’s order for “Utmost Fish” in 1939. What did this have to do with his role as First Lord of the Admiralty?” —L.S, Spokane, Wash.
A: It had nothing to do with his role. It was characteristic of his attention to detail, and willingness to stray outside his limits.
Hillsdale College’s “The Churchill Documents,” Vol. 14, for September 1939-May 1940, carries a recollection by Sir Geoffrey Shakespeare. Shakespeare (1893-1980) was a Liberal MP, 1923-45. He served Churchill as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1940 to 1942.…
Kaiser-Frazer, the postwar wonder company, presented Dutch with many opportunities—and as many frustrations. Concluded from Part 2…
Excerpt: For the complete article and illustrations, refer to The Automobile, May 2017.
Postwar Kaiser and Frazer
Dutch had an earthy vocabulary, and his methods of work were forthright with a touch of recklessness. He needed these qualities when, after the war, he presented himself to his old friend Joe Frazer, father of the wartime Jeep, to offer designs for the all-new cars Frazer was planning, in partnership with Henry J. Kaiser. His basic lines were accepted, but modified on the way to production.…