November 27th— Writing in the Daily Beast, Mr. Marlow Stern praises Kristin Scott Thomas (“Clementine Churchill” in the new movie Darkest Hour) and announces: “Donald Trump is No Winston Churchill.” (Past doubt, but who is?)
Mr. Stern himself offers only one Churchill quote and gets it right: “A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.” (Colliers, 28 December 1935.)
A popular weekly half hour podcast, Revisionist History takes aim at shibboleths, real and imagined. This episode is Churchill’s turn in the barrel.
The villain, aside from Sir Winston, is his scientific adviser, Frederick Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, aka “The Prof.” You’ve probably never heard of him, says narrator Malcolm Gladwell. You should have. It was Lindemann who made Churchill bomb innocent German civilians and starve the Bengalis.…
Anyone reading this knows where they were on 9/11/01. A diminishing number remember where they were on 1/30/65—the day we said farewell to Winston Churchill.
For me it was a life-changing experience. Suddenly, unforgettably, on my flickering black and white TV screen in Staten Island, N.Y., the huge void of England’s grandest cathedral filled with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. He was, we were reminded, half-American, an honorary citizen by Act of Congress.
That day was the start of my 50-year career in search of Churchill—of what his greatest biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, describes as “labouring in the vineyard.”
After the funeral I picked up The Gathering Storm, the first volume of his World War II memoirs, and was snared by what Robert Pilpel called his “roast beef and pewter phrases.” It’s biased, as Churchill admitted—“This is not history; this is my case.” But it is ordered so as to put you at his side for the “great climacterics” that made us what we are today.…