Tag: Alistair Cooke

Churchill Memories of the Mount Washington and Bretton Woods

Churchill Memories of the Mount Washington and Bretton Woods

Read­ers react­ed kind­ly to my essay on Alis­tair Cooke. I ven­ture to add some pri­vate Churchillian moments at the Mount Wash­ing­ton Hotel at Bret­ton Woods. I sent these to still-liv­ing par­tic­i­pants, who urged I pub­lish them—with strate­gic edits to pro­tect the inno­cent.

“I’ve been using microphones before you were born”

Com­man­der Lar­ry Kryske USN was our toast­mas­ter for the 1988 Mount Wash­ing­ton Churchill din­ners. I remem­ber par­tic­u­lar­ly his naval dec­la­ra­tion after din­ner: “The smok­ing lamp is light­ed.” (How odd that sounds now! In my expe­ri­ence, group smok­ing stopped almost dead around 1990.) Lar­ry sends this amus­ing mem­o­ry of that night, 27 August:

Dur­ing his address, Sir Alis­tair appeared to be hav­ing trou­ble with the mic.…

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Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

My pre­vi­ous note was about Alis­tair Cooke on Churchill in 1930s. I now reprise my intro­duc­tion to his speech, and a per­son­al epi­logue. Sir Alistair’s speech, at the Mount Wash­ing­ton Hotel, Bret­ton Woods, 27 August 1988, is avail­able by email. RML

Sir Alistair Cooke KBE

When, in what we must regard as a stroke of bril­liance, we thought to invite Sir Alis­tair Cooke to talk about Win­ston Churchill, we wrote him with trep­i­da­tion. We were told he had a rep­u­ta­tion for being very hard to get. To our delight, he defied the odds. “This is the time of year when I turn down every­thing,” he wrote.…

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Alistair Cooke: Why didn’t They Listen to Churchill?

Alistair Cooke: Why didn’t They Listen to Churchill?

Alis­tair Cooke addressed this ques­tion over thir­ty years ago. I’ve quot­ed his words repeat­ed­ly over the years. A recent com­ment (reprised below), encour­aged this revi­sion from 2011. Mr. Cooke’s full speech is avail­able by email. RML

Back in the 1930’s, who all denounced and crit­i­cized Churchill for his beliefs in the rad­i­cal Nazi Ger­many? Who specif­i­cal­ly mocked him? Obvi­ous­ly Churchill was right about Hitler and his plans but who in the polit­i­cal, intel­lec­tu­al, or enter­tain­ment are­nas vil­i­fied him? —A.H.

The answer to your ques­tion, I think, is “just about every­body,” from the Roy­al Fam­i­ly to ordi­nary cit­i­zens, most of the media, his own par­ty, the Labour and Lib­er­al par­ties, and cer­tain­ly most intel­lec­tu­als and enter­tain­ment per­son­al­i­ties.…

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