“I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect,” WROTE TOM STOPPARD: If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.”
Current Contentions: In Defense of Churchill (1): Cancel Culture

Current Contentions: In Defense of Churchill (1): Cancel Culture

Text of my Zoom address to the Chartwell Soci­ety of Port­land, Ore­gon on 10 May 2021, 81st anniver­sary of Churchill tak­ing office as Prime Min­is­ter. “Cur­rent Con­tentions: In Defense of Churchill” is avail­able as an iTunes audio file. For a copy, please email rlangworth@hillsdale.edu.

Part 1: Defense, defense

Sen­a­tor Pack­wood, Jus­tice Gillette, mem­bers and guests of the Chartwell Soci­ety: I wel­come you, if only vir­tu­al­ly, so you won’t even be able to throw rolls if I say some­thing sil­ly. Tak­ing his first tv screen test, Sir Win­ston mut­tered: “Even though we have to sink to this lev­el, we always have to keep pace with mod­ern improve­ments.”…

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Churchill Misquotes: The Red Herrings Now Number 175

Churchill Misquotes: The Red Herrings Now Number 175

Quotes and Misquotes

Churchill by Him­self, my ency­clo­pe­dia of Win­ston Churchill’s most quotable remarks, is to be repub­lished. (If the pub­lish­ers can ever agree about what form and sub­stance they will allow each oth­er to pro­duce.) To the the orig­i­nal 4000 quotes I’ve added so far 600 new ones.

The “Red Her­rings” appen­dix of mis­quotes has also grown apace. That, how­ev­er, is always kept up to date online. You can look it up:

All the “Quotes” Churchill Nev­er Said

Mis­quotes Part 1: Accept­ing Change to Euro­pean Union

Part 2: Fanat­ic to Liberty

Mis­quotes Part 3: Lies to Sex

Part 4: Sex­ism to Ypres

A trove of misquotes

The orig­i­nal “Red Her­rings” appen­dix (2008) con­tained about 80 mis­quotes.…

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Mamoru Shigemitsu: “When you have to kill a man…”

Mamoru Shigemitsu: “When you have to kill a man…”

Q: Ambassador Shigemitsu

Churchill was crit­i­cized for his extreme­ly respect­ful let­ter to the Japan­ese Ambas­sador to Britain in Decem­ber 1941, when inform­ing him that their coun­tries were at war. Churchill’s response to crit­ics was, “After all, when you have to kill a man it costs noth­ing to be polite.” Was Shigemit­su acual­ly killed?  —W.H., New York

A: No, he lived on

Churchill was writ­ing in the abstract, so did not actu­al­ly pro­pose to slay the Ambas­sador. Mamoru Shigemit­su  was Japan­ese ambas­sador to the Sovi­et Union 1936–38 and to Britain 1938–41. Fol­low­ing Japan’s attacks of Decem­ber 1941 he received unham­pered pas­sage home.…

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