Tag: Percentages Agreement

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

The Greeks are still not laugh­ing about their mid-1940s civ­il war, so lev­i­ty may be inap­pro­pri­ate. Nor was Churchill at the time. “There is a lot of ruin in any nation,” he once mused. In Athens, 1944, Britain was “respon­si­ble for build­ing up the nest of cock­a­tri­ces for EAM [com­mu­nist par­ti­sans] in Greece.” (His vocab­u­lary was broad: A cock­a­trice is a myth­i­cal, two-legged drag­on or ser­pent-like crea­ture with a cock’s head.)

Nev­er­the­less, the peace deal Churchill bro­kered between war­ring Greeks in 1944 had so many hilar­i­ous moments that, 75 years lat­er, we may be per­mit­ted to indulge in lighter aspects.…

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The Language: Some Issues over “Issues”

The Language: Some Issues over “Issues”

 Trashing tradition

“Issues over Issues” is reprint­ed with revi­sions from an essay in 2007.

“I con­fess myself to be a great admir­er of tra­di­tion. The longer you can look back, the far­ther you can look forward….The wider the span, the longer the con­ti­nu­ity, the greater is the sense of duty in indi­vid­ual men and women, each con­tribut­ing their brief life’s work to the preser­va­tion and progress of the land in which they live, the soci­ety of which they are mem­bers, and the world of which they are the ser­vants.” —Win­ston S. Churchill, Roy­al Col­lege of Physi­cians, 2 March 1944

“The Car­di­nals’ bus from their hotel in mid­town Man­hat­tan was delayed by more than an hour as it made its way to the ball­park on Wednes­day.…

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Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

Question:

A r ead­er writes: “Rather late in the day, I have been read­ing The Spec­ta­tor (UK) Christ­mas Spe­cial dat­ed 15/21/29 Decem­ber 2018. Page 28 refers to one Ron­nie Boyd, who had been a teenage Ordi­nary Sea­man aboard HMS Ajax in Decem­ber 1944, when Win­ston Churchill arrived in Athens to try to end the ongo­ing civ­il war.

 “British forces ‘helped put down, with con­sid­er­able force of arms, a per­ceived partisan/communist uprising—the so-called Bat­tle of Athens, or the Dekemvri­ana in Greece,’ the arti­cle states. There fol­lows the extra­or­di­nary state­ment ‘Not Win­ston Churchill’s Finest Hour, it has to be said.’…

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