Per the previous post, I append for reader comment the contents of my next book, Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What Churchill Stood For.
I have written on most of these matters in the past; the book recasts it afresh. I also acknowledge and cross-reference the work of experts who know far more than I, particularly in the fields of genealogy and medicine. I would be glad to hear your thoughts; please use the “contact” page.
The historian David Stafford wrote: “Myth only develops and takes hold when the time is right, and the climate has long been ripe for the emergence of myths about a wartime hero who stood firm against a totalitarian foe and smote an evil empire.”
Churchill myth is born both of exaggeration and criticism, created either to glorify the record or to belabor it. The former I suppose is somewhat less harmful, born of ignorance. The latter obfuscate the record and distract us from the truth, sometimes intentionally.
Paul Addison wrote, “Paradoxically, I have always thought it diminishes Churchill to regard him as superhuman,” Yet Professor Addison has no doubt about Churchill’s greatness. The most memorable words on that subject were by Churchill’s official biographer, the late Sir Martin Gilbert:
In every sphere of human endeavour, Churchill foresaw the dangers and potential for evil. Many of those dangers are our dangers today. Some writers portray him as a figure of the past, an anachronism, a grotesque. In doing so, it is they who are the losers, for he was a man of quality: a good guide for the generations now reaching adulthood.
The aim of this book is to skewer the most popular allegations about Churchill, to offer readers what he really thought and did, sometimes about matters that are still on our minds today—for as Twain wrote, history never repeats; but sometimes it rhymes.
World War II: Broadcasting the war speeches…Refugees and enemy aliens…Torture as tool or terror…Bombing of Coventry…Pearl Harbor…The Holocaust…Famine in Bengal…Destruction of Monte Cassino…Overtures to Mussolini…Feeding occupied Europe…Firebombing Dresden.
Postwar Years: The fate of Eastern Europe…Nuking the Soviets…The Conservative Party…”Only to have accomplished nothing in the end.”
Appendix: “Things That Go Bump in the Night” (so far-fetched that they defy categorizing). Converting to Islam…A life twice-saved by Alexander Fleming...Engineering the Wall Street Crash…The myths of the Black Dog and an unhappy marriage.