Tag: Robert Pilpel

Churchill’s Prep for the “Iron Curtain” Speech 1946

Churchill’s Prep for the “Iron Curtain” Speech 1946

Q: Where did Churchill write the Iron Curtain address?

When we first moved to the Unit­ed States we bought a home in New Canaan, Con­necti­cut that had once been owned by Bernard Baruch and used has his get-away. We were told that, as he and Churchill were friends, Churchill had been invit­ed by Baruch to stay there and it was there he wrote his Iron Cur­tain speech. We were nev­er sure whether this was true or whether it was some­thing a local real estate agent had dreamed up. There was anoth­er house down the road where George Wash­ing­ton was said to have slept on his way through!…

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Cockran: A Great Contemporary

Cockran: A Great Contemporary

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

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.…

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Churchill’s Funeral, 50 Years On

Churchill’s Funeral, 50 Years On

His words still call to us across the years.

St. Paul’s Cathe­dral, 30 Jan­u­ary 1965….

Any­one read­ing this knows where they were on 9/11/01. A dimin­ish­ing num­ber remem­ber where they were on 1/30/65—the day we said farewell to Win­ston Churchill.

For me it was a life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence. Sud­den­ly, unfor­get­tably, on my flick­er­ing black and white TV screen in Stat­en Island, N.Y., the huge void of England’s grand­est cathe­dral filled with The Bat­tle Hymn of the Repub­lic. He was, we were remind­ed, half-Amer­i­can, an hon­orary cit­i­zen by Act of Con­gress.

That day was the start of my 50-year career in search of Churchill—of what his great­est biog­ra­ph­er, Sir Mar­tin Gilbert, describes as “labour­ing in the vine­yard.”

After the funer­al I picked up The Gath­er­ing Storm, the first vol­ume of his World War II mem­oirs, and was snared by what Robert Pilpel called his “roast beef and pewter phras­es.” It’s biased, as Churchill admitted—“This is not his­to­ry; this is my case.” But it is ordered so as to put you at his side for the “great cli­mac­ter­ics” that made us what we are today.…

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