Category: FAQs

Churchill Misquotes: Never give up and Definition of Fanatic

Churchill Misquotes: Never give up and Definition of Fanatic

The ranks of fake Churchill quotes reaches almost 200 in the next edition of "Churchill by Himself," and are meanwhile kept up to date on this website. These two are all over the web and constantly repeated. They probably stem from the many inaccurate “wit and wisdom” quotation books.

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Australia Stories: Peace in 1918, War in 1941

Australia Stories: Peace in 1918, War in 1941

1918: "If the peace which we are going to make in Europe should lead, as I trust it will, to the​ liberation of captive nationalities...it will remove for ever most of the causes of possible wars. The only sure foundation for a State is a Government freely elected by millions of people, and as many millions as possible. It is fatal to swerve from that conception." This brief letter abounds with Churchillian wisdom. Had only we followed it. If only we were following it today....

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Musical Interludes: Churchill and the Violin, 1886, 1928

Musical Interludes: Churchill and the Violin, 1886, 1928

"It is not widely known that Churchill once bought a cheap violin and essayed to prepare himself for the concert stage. The fancy passed. Unlike bricklaying, the musical art was tougher than it looked. About all he got out of it was a witticism from Philip Snowden, a government opponent, who said, 'I understand that Winston has taken up a new pastime—fiddling, and very appropriate, too.'" —Robert Lewis Taylor

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Did Eisenhower Offer to Quit Over WW2 Bombing Policy?

Did Eisenhower Offer to Quit Over WW2 Bombing Policy?

As supporters of Israel argue over the civilian casualties in Gaza, this history lesson is relevant. It seems that civilian casualties only occur to leaders of civilized governments. Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and certainly Hamas never worried about them. In 1944, the arguments, heart searchings and constant changes of targets continued almost up to D-Day. In 1945, the battle of Manila resulted in 250,000 civilian casualties including 100,000 deaths. When told that statistic recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu was astonished. "100,000...well, we have incurred considerably fewer."

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No, Churchill Didn’t Sink the Lusitania, Either

No, Churchill Didn’t Sink the Lusitania, Either

The scholar Harry V. Jaffa placed most of the blame on human error: “Not only was Lusitania's steam reduced; her crew was also. The best men had been taken by the Royal Navy; lifeboat drills were listless…. The davits by which they had to be lowered were virtually unworkable from the moment the ship began to list. But the greatest of all the failures was the captain’s, since he navigated almost exactly as he would have done in peacetime.” Captain Turner had slowed down after striking the Irish coast, in order to arrive with the tide at Merseyside. 

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Holiday Gifts: “Marlborough: His Life and Times”

Holiday Gifts: “Marlborough: His Life and Times”

"Marlborough" was originally published in four volumes in England (Harrap) and Canada (Ryerson and Harrap) and six in America (Scribner). Fine first editions are pricey. The current paperback edition is by the University of Chicago Press. Copies is not, but for gift giving, you may want something nicer. There are many alternatives.

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Irving Berlin, Isaiah Berlin: Churchill’s Mistaken Identity

Irving Berlin, Isaiah Berlin: Churchill’s Mistaken Identity

Enthralled by his accounts of American politics from the British Embassy in Washington, Churchill invited a "Mr. I. Berlin" to lunch. The invitee turned out to be Irving Berlin, not Isaiah, which produced a confusing dialogue around the table. ("Tell me, Mr. Berlin, what is your greatest work?" ... "White Christmas.") Later, meeting the real Isaiah Berlin, WSC acknowledged "the grave solipsism I was so unfortunate to have perpetrated."

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Churchill’s Shakespeare: Quoting “Romeo and Juliet”

Churchill’s Shakespeare: Quoting “Romeo and Juliet”

Darrell Holley offers one citation from "Romeo and Juliet." In his biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir Winston writes: “Would he, under the many riddles the future had reserved for such as he, snapped the tie of sentiment that bound him to his party, resolved at last to ‘shake the yoke of inauspicious stars’….?” As so often in that better-read age, Churchill didn’t bother to cite the source, assuming most of his readers would know the source.

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Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (3): Humber…

Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (3): Humber…

Churchill’s staff remembered the sense of urgency so characteristic of the man. In the old Humber, “Murray, the detective, would sit at [the chauffeur’s] side, quietly murmuring, ‘slow down here’ or ‘pull in to the left a little more,’” wrote Roy Howells, a male nurse. “At the back Sir Winston would be…tapping on the glass partition and calling out, ‘Go on!’ Whenever he felt Bullock was slow in overtaking he would lean forward and bellow, ‘Now!’ It does Bullock great credit that he never really took the chances his passenger would have liked….”

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Squandermania: Churchill on Debt Limits

Squandermania: Churchill on Debt Limits

"The detailed methods of [Squandermania] have not yet been fully thought out, but we are assured on the highest authority that if only enough resource and energy are used there will be no difficulty in getting rid of the stuff. This is the policy which used to be stigmatised by as the policy of buying a biscuit early in the morning and walking about all day looking for a dog to give it to."

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