Tag: Gandhi

Churchill’s Funeral, 50 Years On

Churchill’s Funeral, 50 Years On

His words still call to us across the years.

St. Paul’s Cathe­dral, 30 Jan­u­ary 1965….

Any­one read­ing this knows where they were on 9/11/01. A dimin­ish­ing num­ber remem­ber where they were on 1/30/65—the day we said farewell to Win­ston Churchill.

For me it was a life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence. Sud­den­ly, unfor­get­tably, on my flick­er­ing black and white TV screen in Stat­en Island, N.Y., the huge void of England’s grand­est cathe­dral filled with The Bat­tle Hymn of the Repub­lic. He was, we were remind­ed, half-Amer­i­can, an hon­orary cit­i­zen by Act of Congress.

That day was the start of my 50-year career in search of Churchill—of what his great­est biog­ra­ph­er, Sir Mar­tin Gilbert, describes as “labour­ing in the vineyard.”…

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Eagles are Silent…

Eagles are Silent…

“Very often the eagles have been squalled down by the par­rots.”   —Churchill, House of Com­mons, 18 Jan­u­ary 1945

Some sea­soned stu­dents of the man were of two minds about the Jan­u­ary 2015 Win­ston Churchill death cel­e­bra­tions: grat­i­fied that peo­ple still remem­ber; shock at the ill-con­sid­ered assertions.

Old Chestnuts

“The Ten Great­est Con­tro­ver­sies of Win­ston Churchill’s Career,” 22 Jan 15

This is such a rote per­for­mance, and sad­ly typ­i­cal. First, you tee up Churchill as the sav­ior of 1940. Then you tear him down with the famil­iar litany of charges. I do wish they’d come up with some new ones; the old chest­nuts are get­ting shopworn.…

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Churchillian (or Yogi Berra) Drift: How Quotations are Invented

Churchillian (or Yogi Berra) Drift: How Quotations are Invented

Above: Drift­ing into Trinidad, March 1961. Churchill, 87, at the Governor’s res­i­dence, Port of Spain, dur­ing a cruise aboard the Onas­sis yacht Christi­na. Low­er right: Dr. Eric Williams, who in August 1962 became the first prime min­is­ter of inde­pen­dent Trinidad and Tobago. 

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Churchillian Drift is just the tick­et. I have been look­ing for a term to describe the numer­ous pot­ted, inac­cu­rate Churchill quotes. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth puts its trousers on.” That is big right now on Twit­ter. “Suc­cess is not final, fail­ure is not fatal: it is the courage to con­tin­ue that counts.”…

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