Tag: Martin Gilbert

Alistair Cooke: Why didn’t They Listen to Churchill?

Alistair Cooke: Why didn’t They Listen to Churchill?

Alis­tair Cooke addressed this ques­tion over thir­ty years ago. I’ve quot­ed his words repeat­ed­ly over the years. A recent com­ment (reprised below), encour­aged this revi­sion from 2011. Mr. Cooke’s full speech is avail­able by email. RML

Back in the 1930’s, who all denounced and crit­i­cized Churchill for his beliefs in the rad­i­cal Nazi Ger­many? Who specif­i­cal­ly mocked him? Obvi­ous­ly Churchill was right about Hitler and his plans but who in the polit­i­cal, intel­lec­tu­al, or enter­tain­ment are­nas vil­i­fied him? —A.H.

The answer to your ques­tion, I think, is “just about every­body,” from the Roy­al Fam­i­ly to ordi­nary cit­i­zens, most of the media, his own par­ty, the Labour and Lib­er­al par­ties, and cer­tain­ly most intel­lec­tu­als and enter­tain­ment per­son­al­i­ties.…

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Churchill’s Potent Political Nicknames: Adm. Row-Back to Wuthering Height

Churchill’s Potent Political Nicknames: Adm. Row-Back to Wuthering Height

Spo­rad­i­cal­ly, pun­dits com­pare Don­ald Trump with Win­ston Churchill. There’s even a book com­ing out on the sub­ject. I dep­re­cate all this by instinct and will avoid that book like the Coro­n­avirus. Sur­face sim­i­lar­i­ties may exist: both said or say main­ly what they thought or think, unfil­tered by polls (and some­times good advice). But Churchill’s lan­guage and thought were on a high­er plane. Still, when a friend said that Churchill nev­er stooped to deri­sive nick­names like Trump, I had to dis­agree.

Whether invent­ed by the Pres­i­dent or his scriptwrit­ers, some of Trump’s nick­names were very effec­tive.…

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Bombing Auschwitz: “Get everything out of the air force you can.” -WSC

Bombing Auschwitz: “Get everything out of the air force you can.” -WSC

Bomb­ing Auschwitz” is Chap­ter 31 in my book, Win­ston Churchill, Myth and Real­i­ty: What he Actu­al­ly Did and Said. Avail­able in Kin­dle or paper­back from Ama­zon.

The Auschwitz myth

“War is main­ly a cat­a­logue of blun­ders,” Churchill wrote. [1] Once the sig­nal is giv­en, a war leader is “no longer the mas­ter of pol­i­cy.” He is “the slave of unfore­see­able and uncon­trol­lable events. Anti­quat­ed War Offices, weak, incom­pe­tent or arro­gant Com­man­ders, untrust­wor­thy allies, hos­tile neu­trals, malig­nant For­tune, ugly sur­pris­es, awful miscalculations—all take their seat at the Coun­cil Board….” [2]

The fail­ure to act, when action would seem in hind­sight imper­a­tive, is often laid at the feet of states­men.…

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