Journalist Leo McKinstry’s Churchill and Attlee is a deft analysis of a political odd couple who led Britain’s Second World War coalition government. Now, eighty years since the death of Neville Chamberlain, he has published an excellent appraisal in The Spectator. Churchill’s predecessor as Prime Minister, Chamberlain negotiated the 1938 Munich agreement. “Peace for our time,” he famously referred to it. In the end, he bought the world peace for a time.
Mr. McKinstry is right to regret that Chamberlain has been roughly handled by history. “The reality is that in the late 1930s Chamberlain’s approach was a rational one,” he writes.…
This review was first published by the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For remarks on Darkest Hour by Hillsdale President Larry Arnn, and excerpts from Gary Oldman’s appearance at the College, click here.
Hour of Trial, and Triumph
Darkest Hour, a film by Focus Features, directed by Joe Wright, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, 2hrs 5 min, December 2017.
Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the gate: “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his fathers And the temples of his gods…” —Thomas Babington Macaulay
EXCERPT ONLY: For the complete text of “Churchill and the Baltic” with endnotes, please go to this page on the Hillsdale College Churchill Project.
“No doubt where the right lay”: 1940-95
Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky was a “Bollinger Bolshevik” who mixed support for Communism with a love of Western luxury. Friendly to Churchill, he knew the Englishman hoped to separate Hitler and Stalin, even after World War II had started.
But Maisky tended to see what he wished to see. In December he recorded: “The British Government announces its readiness to recognize ‘de facto’ the changes in the Baltics so as to settle ‘de jure’ the whole issue later, probably after the war.” There…
A historian friend says the Indian Bengal Famine (1943) “is on its way to surpassing the Dardanelles (1915) as the bludgeon of choice for Churchill’s detractors.” He was commenting on the latest outburst of Bengal Famine nonsense—contested by a thoughtful Indian, as well as myself: scroll to comments.
Troy Bramston of The Australian newspaper had pertinent questions about the new movie Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. With the thought that Troy’s queries might be of interest, I append the text of the interview.
The Australian : Of all the things Winston Churchill is purported to have said and done, the myths and misconceptions, which are the most prevalent and frustrating for scholars? None of these appear in the film, but there are three things that rankle: 1) The lies—that he was anxious to use poison gas; that he firebombed Dresden in revenge for Coventry; that he exacerbated the Bengal famine, etc.…
Here is a well-written and organized review of mainly well-known events, retold with dramatic prose and crisp analysis. It’s an ideal book for young people unfamiliar with the scope of Churchill’s achievement in 1940, and, indeed, for anyone who wants a good account of the events that saved Western civilization.…