“We think we are wholly superior people,” said the Civil War historian Shelby Foote. The 50th and 75th Anniversaries of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg were poignant, inspiring moments. The words spoken of those occasions give cause to wonder. In the welter of emotions, have we forgotten what we need to remember?
A popular weekly half hour podcast, Revisionist History takes aim at shibboleths, real and imagined. This episode is Churchill’s turn in the barrel.
The villain, aside from Sir Winston, is his scientific adviser, Frederick Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, aka “The Prof.” You’ve probably never heard of him, says narrator Malcolm Gladwell. You should have. It was Lindemann who made Churchill bomb innocent German civilians and starve the Bengalis.…
A friend writes asking for the audio of Churchill’s second of three speeches to Congress, and poses a question: “Roosevelt attended neither the 1941 nor 1943 speeches. Why not?”
Click here for clear audio of the 50-minute speech.
Presidents never attend speeches to Congress by foreign heads of state or government. Part of this is certainly courtesy, so as not to steal focus from the guest. In a deeper sense, it is an assertion of the separation of powers between Congress and the Executive. A similar tradition in Britain is when the House of Commons slams the door on Black Rod, when he summons Members to the House of Lords to hear the Queen’s Speech.…