Tag: The Last Lion

Urinal Humor: Churchill & Attlee

Urinal Humor: Churchill & Attlee

Churchill and Clement Attlee (Hansard Soci­ety)

Syn­di­cat­ed colum­nist Charles Krautham­mer cit­ed an amus­ing encounter between Churchill and social­ist Prime Min­is­ter Clement Attlee in the Mem­bers’ uri­nal at the House of Com­mons, cir­ca 1951. Attlee is stand­ing over the trough as Churchill enters on the same mis­sion. Observ­ing Attlee, Churchill shuf­fles as far away as pos­si­ble.

Attlee: “Feel­ing stand­off­ish today, are we, Win­ston?”

WSC: “That’s right. Every time you see some­thing big you want to nation­alise it.”

I labeled this an unat­trib­uted quip in the “Red Her­rings” appen­dix to my quo­ta­tions book, Churchill by Him­self.  I am hap­py to say that I was wrong, thanks to the help of colum­nist Chris­t­ian Schnei­der, who also recent­ly pub­lished the quote in the Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal-Sen­tinel.  

Mr.…

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Churchill’s Biographers: Gilbert vs. Manchester

Churchill’s Biographers: Gilbert vs. Manchester

You Can’t Read One with­out the Oth­er

A read­er asks for “a clear sum­ma­ry of Mar­tin Gilbert’s and William Manchester’s writ­ing styles, remind­ing me of the vast but com­ple­men­tary dif­fer­ence between Churchill’s two most famous biog­ra­phers.

There are big dif­fer­ences between them, but both should be read for a full appre­ci­a­tion of Churchill. In 1986, as Man­ches­ter was com­plet­ing Vol­ume II of The Last Lion, he received an encour­ag­ing note from Gilbert: “Our work pro­ceeds on par­al­lel tracks.”

William Man­ches­ter

Man­ches­ter was a lit­er­ary styl­ist of the first mag­ni­tude, which is quick­ly appar­ent from the sonorous, emo­tive, rolling phras­es of The Last Lion, reflect­ing the skill that ear­li­er brought us Death of a Pres­i­dent and Amer­i­can Cae­sar, his mas­ter­piece on Dou­glas MacArthur.…

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