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“Here is a law which is above the King”

“Here is a law which is above the King”

Do you know where Churchill made this state­ment? “Here is a law which is above the King which even he must not break. This reaf­fir­ma­tion of a supreme law and its expres­sion in a gen­er­al char­ter is the great work of Magna Car­ta; and this alone jus­ti­fies the respect in which men have held it.” —J.F.

Yes, in a book in 1956. Churchill was explain­ing Magna Car­ta, the Great Char­ter of Free­doms, one of the tow­er­ing bench­marks of West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion. In his His­to­ry of the Eng­lish-Speak­ing Peo­ples, vol. 1, The Birth of Britain (Lon­don: Cas­sell, 1956), 256-57.…

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Happy New Year 1942: Where was Churchill?

Happy New Year 1942: Where was Churchill?

Ques­tion: I was born in 1942 (Nia­gara Falls, New York). I have a sen­ti­men­tal curios­i­ty over where Churchill was as his pock­et watch sec­ond hand swept from 1941 to 1942. Do you know the cir­cum­stances on that New Year’s Eve?  —E.C., Michi­gan, USA

Answer: Unex­pect­ed­ly (because I don’t know many of his end-of-year pro­nounce­ments), I do. Don’t tell me you were born on Jan­u­ary 1st. If you were, Churchill might have been hurtling past Nia­gara Falls vir­tu­al­ly at the same time!

It was a key moment in his sto­ry, and in the his­to­ry of World War II.…

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Bull in a China Shop

Bull in a China Shop

An recent arti­cle declares: “Win­ston Churchill once described Amer­i­can diplo­ma­cy as  ‘a bull who car­ries his own chi­na shop around with him.’” Is this an accu­rate quote, and if so, in rela­tion too what? —L.K., Texas

John Fos­ter Dulles (1888-1959)

The expres­sion is fre­quent­ly repeat­ed, but in regard to Eisenhower’s Sec­re­tary of State John Fos­ter Dulles, not Amer­i­can diplo­ma­cy. But it does not track among Churchill’s 15 mil­lion pub­lished words (books, arti­cles, speech­es, papers), or 35 mil­lion about him. The phrase “chi­na shop” comes up 22 times, vir­tu­al­ly all of them remarks by oth­ers about Churchill….…

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