Category: Reviews

Book, media, audio and video reviews by Richard M. Lang­worth

“American Jennie” and Other Books on Lady Randolph Churchill

“American Jennie” and Other Books on Lady Randolph Churchill

A read­er requests rec­om­men­da­tions for good books about Sir Winston’s moth­er, Lady Ran­dolph Churchill (1854-1921). The most round­ed and thor­ough­ly sourced is Anne Sebba’s Amer­i­can Jen­nie (2007). Bar­bara Lang­worth pub­lished a thor­ough review and analy­sis of Jennie’s many accom­plish­ments, below. Scroll to the end for a Bib­li­og­ra­phy and com­men­tary on oth­er books about Lady Ran­dolph. RML

Barbara F. Langworth: The Right Parent Survived

Jen­nie Churchill: Winston’s Amer­i­can Moth­er, by Anne Seb­ba (Lon­don, Mur­ray, 2007).  Amer­i­can Jen­nie: The Remark­able Life of Lady Ran­dolph Churchill), (New York: Nor­ton, 2007). 

It may seem a new sto­ry to many read­ers, since the pre­vi­ous biogra­phies of Lady Ran­dolph Churchill date back up to eight decades.…

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Paul Addison, 1943-2020: What Matters is the Truth

Paul Addison, 1943-2020: What Matters is the Truth

29 October 1994 A fond and fun­ny mem­o­ry of Paul Addi­son is one which few know about. It came dur­ing a Wash­ing­ton sym­po­sium on “Churchill as Peace­mak­er,” lat­er pub­lished as an out­stand­ing book. Dur­ing a break, we walked over to the White House, which Paul want­ed to see. We stood at the iron fence, gaz­ing at the seat of pow­er across the lawn. . As we chat­ted, Paul remarked on how close we were to the build­ing itself. “The secu­ri­ty seems pret­ty light,” he said. “It’s not hard to visu­al­ize some stray lunatic stand­ing here and spray­ing the walls with bul­lets.”…

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“Darkest Hour” Myth-Making? Don’t Mess with Marcus Peters

“Darkest Hour” Myth-Making? Don’t Mess with Marcus Peters

Cue Left: Marcus Peters, May 1940

Mar­cus Peters (Adé Dee Haas­trup) is a neat­ly dressed West Indi­an rid­ing the Lon­don Under­ground on 28 May 1940. Whom should he meet but Prime Min­is­ter Churchill (Gary Old­man)! The scene (fic­tion) forms a dra­mat­ic moment in Dark­est Hour, Joe Wright’s great film on Churchill in 1940.

Churchill, per the movie, has entered the Under­ground for the sec­ond time in his life. (The first was in the 1920s, when he couldn’t find his way out and had to be res­cued.) He goes there as the Ger­mans are rolling up Europe.…

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