Excerpted from “Which Historical and Contemporary Figures were Churchill’s Inspirations?” Written for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project, February 2020. For Hillsdale’s complete text and illustrations, please click here.
We are often asked which historical and contemporary personages most influenced Winston Churchill’s thought and statesmanship. One is right to start with Lord Randolph Churchill, Napoleon, Clemenceau and Marlborough. The classics open another avenue. Readers can find pithy remarks by Churchill on many of the following figures in Churchill by Himself.
Lord Randolph Churchill
His father was the first of young Winston’s political inspirations, and the subject of his first biography.…
In early 1953, Winston Churchill was placed on trial by his peers, with President Truman the presiding judge, for complicity in the use of atomic bombs. To anyone who may write to say that he and Truman were making light of events causing thousands of deaths, the answer is twofold: 1) How do you know they were making light?; and 2) This is in answer to a historical query. Sources: Clark Clifford, recollection, to Richard Langworth, 1988. Margaret Truman, “After the Presidency,” in Life, 1 December 1972, 69-70. Also recorded in her book, Harry S. Truman.
Margaret Truman wrote: “During our last weeks in the White House, Prime Minister Churchill arrived for a visit.…