Tag: Alan Brooke

Roosevelt and Churchill: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza?

Roosevelt and Churchill: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza?

A col­league asks whether Win­ston and Clemen­tine Churchill’s pri­vate name for  Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt was “Don Quixote.” Also, who com­pared Roo­sevelt and Churchill to Don Quixote and San­cho Pan­za? This offers an inter­est­ing troll through the sources.

So far as I can learn, the Quixote – Pan­za anal­o­gy for Roo­sevelt and Churchill (also FDR and his devot­ed advis­er Har­ry Hop­kins) occurred only dur­ing the 1943 Casablan­ca Con­fer­ence (SYMBOL). Roo­sevelt pro­posed those code names, and I rather think Churchill had dif­fer­ent image of them than FDR. (Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary: “Quixote: Enthu­si­as­tic vision­ary, pur­suer of lofty but imprac­ti­ca­ble ideals.”) Of course we can’t be sure.…

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Brendan Bracken: “Winston’s Faithful Chela”

Brendan Bracken: “Winston’s Faithful Chela”

Stan­ley Bald­win, show­ing an unex­pect­ed famil­iar­i­ty with Indi­an phras­es, described Bren­dan Brack­en as ‘Winston’s faith­ful chela,‘ wrote the biog­ra­ph­er Charles Lysaght. “This is what gave Brack­en his place in his­to­ry, a minor but still an impor­tant one.”

The Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project has pub­lished two arti­cles on Bren­dan Brack­en, Churchill’s loy­al ally and friend for four decades. The first begins with a mem­oir by the late Ron Rob­bins, a Cana­di­an jour­nal­ist who ear­ly on cov­ered the House of Com­mons, where he met Brack­en. The post­script is by me, fol­lowed by reviews of the two Brack­en books by George Gale and A.J.P.

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Brian Cox as Churchill: An Interview on Charlie Rose

Brian Cox as Churchill: An Interview on Charlie Rose

It is depressing and disheartening for anyone who knows the barest facts to hear history told by actors, with reality turned on its head under guise of entertainment. Invented dialogue and scenarios are of course necessary for dramatic effect. Robert Hardy's scrupulously accurate portrayal of Churchill's "Wilderness Years" doesn't deviate an iota from fact or believability. Yet it is at least as dramatic as this latest dose of Fake History.

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