Tag: Malakand Field Force

Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

With col­leagues I dis­cussed which of young Winston’s ear­ly war books was deri­sive­ly called, “A Subaltern’s Advice to Gen­er­als.” This was a pop­u­lar wise­crack after his ear­ly works had the temer­i­ty to pro­pose British mil­i­tary strat­e­gy in India, Sudan and South Africa. Churchill was in his mid-twen­ties at the time—but not ret­i­cent to speak his mind. Noth­ing we didn’t know here….

Malakand Field Force?

With­out con­sult­ing ref­er­ences, I thought the “advice” line involved The Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force (Churchill’s first book, 1898). I was influ­enced by its last chap­ter, “The Rid­dle of the Fron­tier.” Plen­ty of advice there, though it is as much polit­i­cal as it is mil­i­tary.…

Read More Read More

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Q: How impor­tant was Con­gress­man Bourke Cockran’s influ­ence on the young Churchill? 

William Bourke Cock­ran, 1854-1923. (Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

A: Very. The late Curt Zoller was the first to write in depth about Bourke Cock­ran. This man played a vital but lit­tle under­stood role in form­ing young Churchill’s polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. In 1895, Zoller wrote, when young Churchill trav­eled to New York on his way to Cuba,

…he was greet­ed by William Bourke Cock­ran, a New York lawyer, U.S. con­gress­man, friend of his mother’s and of his Amer­i­can rel­a­tives. Winston’s Aunt Clara was mar­ried to More­ton Frewen. (The peri­patet­ic “Mor­tal Ruin” would lat­er bad­ly edit Churchill’s first book, Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force.) For many years Frewen had been a friend of Cock­ran, who would grow to become one of Win­ston Churchill’s life­long inspi­ra­tions.…

Read More Read More

Churchill on Edmund Burke (Part 1)

Churchill on Edmund Burke (Part 1)

Edmund Burke, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

On the Irish states­man and philoso­pher (1729-1797) Churchill had much to say.

I’d like to con­grat­u­late you on your won­der­ful book Churchill By Him­self, but I could not find any Churchill com­ments on Burke in the index. I thought Burke deserved a men­tion, but it’s your book, so it’s your call (and may I add, it has been one of the best trea­sures that has ever land­ed on my lap!)  –V.T., UK

Thanks for the kind words. Unfor­tu­nate­ly the index is the worst fea­ture of the book–completely inad­e­quate, as I tire­less­ly remind the pub­lish­ers.…

Read More Read More