Tag: Edward Halifax

“I don’t want [my views] disturbed by any bloody Indian”: Was it Churchill?

“I don’t want [my views] disturbed by any bloody Indian”: Was it Churchill?

“I am quite sat­is­fied with my views of India. I don’t want them dis­turbed by any bloody Indi­an.” Thus Win­ston Churchill said (or is alleged to have said) to Lord Hal­i­fax née Lord Irwin née Edward Wood, in 1929.

“Bludgeon of choice”

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.

“Bloody Indi­an” tracks to Ben Pim­lott, edi­tor, The Sec­ond World War Diary of Hugh Dal­ton 1940-45 (Jonathan Cape 1986), 126.…

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“Darkest Hour,” the movie: an interview with The Australian

“Darkest Hour,” the movie: an interview with The Australian

For The Australian …

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.…

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“Never Surrender,” by John Kelly

“Never Surrender,” by John Kelly

Nev­er Sur­ren­der: Win­ston Churchill and Britain’s Deci­sion to Fight Nazi Ger­many in the Fate­ful Sum­mer of 1940, by John Kel­ly. Scrib­n­er, 2015, 370 pp., $19.88, Kin­dle $14.99.

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May 1940: Lord Hal­i­fax “sound­ed like a ner­vous solic­i­tor read­ing from a half-thought-out brief….When Churchill spoke of fight­ing on alone, the man­tle of his­to­ry—Agin­court, Water­loo, Trafal­gar, the Arma­da—sang through his sentences.”

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.…

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