Churchill & Son by Josh Ireland (New York: Dutton, 2021) 464 pages, $34, Kindle $14.99. First published in The American Spectator, 7 April 2021. I was limited to 1500 words, and so have added certain reflections that occurred since publication (“Just Among Ourselves”). —RML
Josh Ireland’s “Life with Father”
Despite an inauspicious beginning, this is a thoughtful study of a father-son relationship during the storms that rocked a troubled century. Randolph Churchill has now prompted six books—not bad for most Churchills, short of his father (1150 and counting). Josh Ireland here confronts his bittersweet Life with Father, adding fresh insights and thoughtful appraisals to our understanding of the great man and his offspring.…
“Randolph Churchill: Present at the Creation,” is from a lecture aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer on the 2019 Hillsdale College Cruise around Britain, 8 June 2019. Concluded from Part 2.
“The Great Work” —Randolph S.C.
After the war, Churchill willed his archive to Randolph. In 1959, impressed by his son’s biography of Lord Derby, he invited Randolph to be his biographer. Randolph devoted himself to the job, knowing by then that he had wrecked his body, that the process of disintegration was advanced. Could he finish in time? Randolph wondered.
“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.”…