Tag: Lord Beaverbrook

Churchill as Thucydides

Churchill as Thucydides

As a post-doc at Tübin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty (Ger­many) I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a paper about Sir Win­ston Churchill’s appre­ci­a­tion of Thucy­dides: did he pos­sess a per­son­al copy of the ancient historian’s His­to­ry of the Pelo­pon­nesian War? I would be very grate­ful for any help. —O.S., Ger­many

I don’t know if Churchill had a copy of Thucy­dides’ His­to­ry of the Pelop­pon­nesian War at Chartwell (you might check with the house man­ag­er there). But if you are ask­ing if Churchill read and appre­ci­at­ed the works of the great Greek his­to­ri­an, he cer­tain­ly did. What’s more, the writ­ings of Churchill were often com­pared to those of Thucy­dides.…

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Politics Before Country, 1936-2011, Part 4

Politics Before Country, 1936-2011, Part 4

con­tin­ued from Part 3

Amer­i­ca and the oth­er great democ­ra­cies con­front no mighty super­pow­er, like Britain did in 1936. Yet we face  prob­lems which, long sim­mer­ing, may indeed result in a wreck­age sim­i­lar to what might have befall­en the world, had Churchill’s Britain, and its Com­mon­wealth, not stood alone against Hitler, until, as he put it, “those who hith­er­to had been half blind were half ready.” The clear­est dec­la­ra­tion of Churchill’s char­ac­ter and prin­ci­ple I have ever read came in July 1936, at the height of the rear­ma­ment debate, Churchill told Par­lia­ment:

I would endure with patience the roar of exul­ta­tion that would go up when I was proved wrong, because it would lift a load off my heart and off the hearts of many Mem­bers.…

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