“Randolph Churchill: Present at the Creation,” is taken from a lecture aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer on the 2019 Hillsdale College Cruise around Britain, 8 June 2019.
Most everybody has an inkling of who Winston Churchill was. But how many know of his son Randolph? How many British schoolchildren do you think have heard of him? Do they know that Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, who some think was a real person? They should, Sir Arthur was a great writer. Like Randolph Churchill, who founded the longest biography ever written. In the words of Dean Acheson, he was “present at the creation.”
In his autobiography Randolph wrote, “I was born in London on 18 May 1911 at 33 Eccleston Square, of poor but honest parents.…
Written for a colleague who asked various contributors for 300 words on the qualities of Winston Churchill they most admire.
Few great leaders are also great writers; none who were both compare with Winston Churchill. In 1940 he saved civilization by keeping Britain in the fight until those “who hitherto had been half blind were half ready.” His historical and biographical eloquence won a Nobel Prize. Uniquely for a politician, he thought and wrote deeply about the nature of man. He hated and tried to prevent war. He fought to preserve constitutional liberty.…
Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a swashbuckling adventurer, soldier, writer and politician. In World War II he was Churchill’s representative to Tito, who led Yugoslav Partisans against the Germans. One of my great privileges was knowing him and Lady Veronica, and hearing their captivating recollections.
Proofing galleys for Winston S. Churchill: Document Volume 20, May-December 1944, the Hillsdale College Churchill Project comes across many gems. Not least of these was Maclean’s account of Churchill’s first meeting with Tito—and a minor adventure in Bay of Naples in August 1944.
Maclean on Tito:
I found him to be a tough, alert man of about fifty, at the head of a far more formidable resistance movement than anyone outside Yugoslavia could possibly have imagined….…