Tag: Jock Colville

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

The Greeks are still not laugh­ing about their mid-1940s civ­il war, so lev­i­ty may be inap­pro­pri­ate. Nor was Churchill at the time. “There is a lot of ruin in any nation,” he once mused. In Athens, 1944, Britain was “respon­si­ble for build­ing up the nest of cock­a­tri­ces for EAM [com­mu­nist par­ti­sans] in Greece.” (His vocab­u­lary was broad: A cock­a­trice is a myth­i­cal, two-legged drag­on or ser­pent-like crea­ture with a cock’s head.)

Nev­er­the­less, the peace deal Churchill bro­kered between war­ring Greeks in 1944 had so many hilar­i­ous moments that, 75 years lat­er, we may be per­mit­ted to indulge in lighter aspects.…

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How Churchill Polished and Improved His Writing by Constant Revision

How Churchill Polished and Improved His Writing by Constant Revision

Con­densed from “Con­stant Revi­sion,” an arti­cle under my pen name for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the com­plete text click here.

Revision and redraft

We are asked: “As I recall Churchill labeled his man­u­scripts some­thing like “draft,” “almost final draft” and “final draft.” Do you recall what those cat­e­gories were?”

We can­not estab­lish that he rou­tine­ly used those labels. Instead he tend­ed to use “revise” or “revi­sion.” Fre­quent­ly his fin­ished draft was marked “final revise.” It often took a long time before, with a sigh of relief, his pri­vate office staff reached that point.…

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McKinstry’s Churchill and Attlee: A Vanished Age of Political Respect

McKinstry’s Churchill and Attlee: A Vanished Age of Political Respect

Churchill and Attlee: Allies in War, Adver­saries in Peace, by Leo McK­instry. New York: Lon­don, Atlantic Books, 736 pages, £25, Ama­zon $25.66.  Excerpt­ed from a book review for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the orig­i­nal text, click here.

The McKinstry Epic

Leo McKinstry’s book 738 pages—twice the size of the pre­vi­ous Attlee-Churchill book and is riv­et­ing from cov­er to cov­er. Scrupu­lous­ly fair, McK­instry tells the sto­ry, backed by a volu­mi­nous bib­li­og­ra­phy, exten­sive research and pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence. Thus he cap­tures Churchill’s gen­eros­i­ty of spir­it, and Attlee’s great­ness of soul.

“Some­times tur­bu­lent, often fruit­ful, theirs was a rela­tion­ship unprece­dent­ed in the annals of British pol­i­tics,” McK­instry con­cludes.…

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