I’ve been reading The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam, about how we got into Vietnam. When you’re deciding whether to intervene militarily, he says, you can count on the generals to tell you everything that can go awry and stress the negative part of the picture. But once they’re invested, once it’s their job to create a good outcome through military means, it’s going to be all happy talk. They’re not going to report that they’re failing. They’re going to give you the sunnier side of what’s happening, in this case, in Afghanistan.…
It’s a shopworn phrase, but Paul Courtenay was a walking encyclopedia on Winston Churchill. We worked together on conferences, seminars, books and articles for thirty years. He was a major contributor to Finest Hour, the Hillsdale College Churchill Project, to books and biographies. Paul was indispensable. And he is irreplaceable.
I’ve been slogging through the William Manchester Churchill trilogy, The Last Lion. How is Hillsdale’s eight volume Winston S. Churchill by Randolph Churchill and Martin Gilbert different? —M.A., Louisiana.
If you are slogging through Manchester, you may find Gilbert a challenge. There is a vast difference, both writers have their advantages, but Gilbert is the source on which scholars rely.
Music by Churchill, Lyrics by Manchester
William Manchester was a stylist, a lyrical, beautiful writer.…