Month: September 2017

“Incandescent Brilliance:” Churchill and Hilaire Belloc

“Incandescent Brilliance:” Churchill and Hilaire Belloc

“To Bel­loc this gen­er­a­tion owes big glimpses of the Home­r­ic spir­it. His mis­sion was to flay alive the hum­bugs and hyp­ocrites and the pedants and to chant robust folk-songs to a rous­ing oblig­a­to of clink­ing flagons….” He lat­er con­clud­ed that Lib­er­al reforms mere­ly offered the “prop­erty­less work­er per­pet­u­al security…in exchange for the sur­ren­der of polit­i­cal freedom.” 

Excerpt­ed and con­densed from “Great Con­tem­po­raries: Hilaire Bel­loc,” for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the full arti­cle click here.

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Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc

(1870-1953)—writer, sailor, poet, friend of Churchill—helped fuel Churchill’s pas­sion for the sur­vival of free gov­ern­ment. Anti-sta­tist, anti-col­lec­tivist and anti-estab­lish­ment, he deplored the servi­tude of the indus­tri­al wage-earn­er and longed to rec­on­cile his two great loves, “the soil of Eng­land and the Catholic faith.”

Born in France but edu­cat­ed at Birm­ing­ham and Oxford, he served with the French Artillery before becom­ing a nat­u­ral­ized British sub­ject in 1902.…

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John Peck, 1945: General Eisenhower asks if the war is over….

John Peck, 1945: General Eisenhower asks if the war is over….

Col. Gault (Mil­i­tary Assis­tant to Gen­er­al Eisen­how­er, 29 April 1945): “John Peck, is that you? The Gen­er­al told me to ask you if the war is over.”

Peck: “I beg your pardon?”

Gault: “Seri­ous­ly, we’ve got a press mes­sage here which says quite clear­ly that it’s all over. If so, nobody has told the Gen­er­al and he thought you would be the most like­ly to know at your end.”

Peck: “Well, if it has end­ed, nobody has told the Prime Min­is­ter either.”

Gault: “Do you think we had bet­ter car­ry on?”

Peck: “Yes, I think so.” [John then went back to sleep, and the war went on.]

Joys of The Churchill Documents

It is a priv­i­lege to help edit and proof Hills­dale Col­lege‘s final doc­u­ment vol­umes in the Churchill offi­cial biog­ra­phy.…

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Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

With col­leagues I dis­cussed which of young Winston’s ear­ly war books was deri­sive­ly called, “A Subaltern’s Advice to Gen­er­als.” This was a pop­u­lar wise­crack after his ear­ly works had the temer­i­ty to pro­pose British mil­i­tary strat­e­gy in India, Sudan and South Africa. Churchill was in his mid-twen­ties at the time—but not ret­i­cent to speak his mind. Noth­ing we didn’t know here….

Malakand Field Force?

With­out con­sult­ing ref­er­ences, I thought the “advice” line involved The Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force (Churchill’s first book, 1898). I was influ­enced by its last chap­ter, “The Rid­dle of the Fron­tier.” Plen­ty of advice there, though it is as much polit­i­cal as it is military.…

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