“And this I must fight against: ANY IDEA, RELIGION OR GOVERNMENT which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am about.” —John Steinbeck
“In Search of Churchill,” by Martin Gilbert: An Appreciation

“In Search of Churchill,” by Martin Gilbert: An Appreciation

"In Search of Churchill "is deeply personal—Sir Martin’s answer to all those critics over the years who accused him of being uncritical (yet all the criticisms of WSC are there). Time and again, Martin explains, he was prepared to find Churchill's tragic flaw. And then, having examined more evidence than anyone alive or dead, he would come away more impressed with hiswisdom, generosity and humanity: “I might find him adopting views with which I disagreed. But there would be nothing to cause me to think: ‘How shocking, how appalling.’”

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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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Williams on Her Majesty and Churchill: Get It Right

Williams on Her Majesty and Churchill: Get It Right

A beautiful tribute to The Queen and Winston Churchill—only a click away—is by David Dilks. This book reminded me of it. Not because it is related to what Dr. Dilks wrote, but because it should have been. A good, short appreciation of their relationship, now that the last page has been turned for both, is needed. This paperback leaves us waiting. 

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Clicking Into High: Arrington McCardy 1947-2011

Clicking Into High: Arrington McCardy 1947-2011

Self-trained, he had unorthodox techniques. On a steep hill, the standard tactic is to shift up two cogs and stand up, adding your body weight to the downstroke, using your arms to wiggle the bike from side to side to help the upstroke. We never saw Arrington stand. Instead he would hunker down in the saddle and simply power his way over the hill. And he always left us in the dust. I was hoping to watch this technique in the White Mountains when he and Hazel were to visit us in New Hampshire.

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Divine Intervention: Taking Care of Winston

Divine Intervention: Taking Care of Winston

Churchill's religion included the belief that God was preserving him for some higher purposes. Andrew Roberts notes that he had many narrow escapes: childhood illnesses, near-death from ruptured kidney, near-drowning in Lake Geneva. He survived close brushes fighting in five wars on five continents from 1897 to 1916. He was nearly killed by a car in New York, survived assassination plots and enemy aircraft. Lord Roberts adds: "Not without reason he believed that the Almighty's chief obligation was to watch over the life of Winston Churchill."

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Churchill on Duty: Representatives of the People, Please Note

Churchill on Duty: Representatives of the People, Please Note

For him, the safety and honor of the nation always came first. He pursued that tenaciously, often at risk to his career. Second came the constituents who elected him. He makes a fine distinction between a “representative” (the duty of the Member) and a “delegate.” There is a world of constitutional contrast between them. Third among his priorities was “duty to the party organization or programme.” All too often, representatives today place that duty above the other two.

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Churchill Quotations: Youth, Maturity, Principle, Regulations

Churchill Quotations: Youth, Maturity, Principle, Regulations

"What is the use of Parliament if it is not the place where true statements can be brought before the people? What is the use of sending Members to the House of Commons who say just the popular things of the moment, and merely endeavour to give satisfaction by cheering loudly every Ministerial platitude? If Parliamentary democracy is to survive, it will not be because the Constituencies return tame, docile, subservient Members, and try to stamp out every form of independent judgment."

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John Morley, Victorian Eminence: “Such Men Are Not Found Today”

John Morley, Victorian Eminence: “Such Men Are Not Found Today”

Morley pronounced the epitaph for his age in May 1923, four months before he died. His words sound more like 2023.  "Present party designations have become empty of all contents…. Vastly extended State expenditure, vastly increased demands from the taxpayer who has to provide the money, social reform regardless of expense, cash exacted from the taxpayer already at his wits’ end—when were the problems of plus and minus more desperate?"  

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Jock: Churchill’s Cat, by Larry Kryske

Jock: Churchill’s Cat, by Larry Kryske

Here Kryske captures what most reporters ignore: the great man’s sadness in twilight. Clementine reminds him of all the good he had accomplished. Winston Churchill feels only remorse. “I have profound misgivings about the future. Our leaders are more concerned with appearance than substance. Grave dangers lie before us. Who will be the voice in the wilderness now?” Does that say anything to us in 2023? I fear so.

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Long Island, Bahamas by Bicycle: A Trip to Remember

Long Island, Bahamas by Bicycle: A Trip to Remember

Lying 100 miles southeast of Eleuthera, Long Island is 80 miles long and has roughly the same area. But it is flatter and relatively empty. There are only twelve people per square mile compared to Eleuthera's year-round seventy. The inhabitants are welcoming, but a team of cyclists tackling their 73-mile-long Queen’s Highway is not something they see every day.

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