Churchill by Himself, my encyclopedia of Winston Churchill’s most quotable remarks, is to be republished. (If the publishers can ever agree about what form and substance they will allow each other to produce.) To the the original 4000 quotes I’ve added so far 600 new ones.
The “Red Herrings” appendix of misquotes has also grown apace. That, however, is always kept up to date online. You can look it up:
“Boris Johnson, who has sought comparison with Winston Churchill, denounced spending national lottery money to save the wartime leader’s personal papers for the nation,” chortled The Guardian in December. (The Churchill Papers cover 1874-1945. Lady Churchill donated the post-1945 Chartwell Papers to the Churchill Archives in 1965.)
In April 1995 Johnson, then a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, deplored the £12.5 million purchase of Churchill Papers for the nation. The lottery-supported National Heritage Memorial Fund, said Johnson, was frittering away money on pointless projects and benefiting Tory grandees. Johnson added: “…seldom in the field of human avarice was so much spent by so many on so little …”
The Memorial Fund replied the Churchill Papers were a national heirloom under threat of being sold outside the country.…
Manchester in the 1980s brought more people to Churchill than anyone then. Accomplished scholars, who took great issue with his conclusions, were often careful to credit him with that. Gilbert's work "rises with the tempo of accumulating disasters and Churchill’s presence, too, rises above the panic, like a great granite cliff."
Andrew Roberts, Churchill: Walking with Destiny. New York, Viking, 2018, 1152 pages, $40, Amazon $25.47, Kindle $17.99. Also published by the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For Hillsdale reviews of Churchill works since 2014, click here. For a list of and notes on books about Churchill from 1905 currently through 1995, visit Hillsdale’s annotated bibliography.
Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life: A Roving Commission. (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1930; New York: Scribners, 1930.) Numerous reprints and editions since, including e-books. Excerpted from the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the full article, click here.
My Early Life appeared a year before the last volume of The World Crisis. The subtitle, “A Roving Commission,” is from the first chapter of Churchill’s Ian Hamilton’s March. It seems he took it from an earlier novel by G.A. Henty, one of his favorite authors. The titles changed places in the first American edition.
A wonderful treat is in store in this most approachable of Churchill’s books. …
A wristwatch that the Commune de Vaud gave Churchill on 11 September 1946 was sold recently by Sotheby’s. Did he wear wristwatches? One almost always sees him with a pocket watch. —S.R., New Hampshire
From the 1890s until the end of his life Churchill carried his father’s pocket watch, nicknamed “The Turnip.” He did however sometimes wear a wristwatch, as the above photo shows. N.B.: This is a revised, extended version of a 2009 post, which I have left up for the comments by readers: click here.
A lifelong supporter of Zionism and the Jews, Winston Churchill is sometimes labeled an anti-Semite. The proffered evidence, an alleged article of his, has made the obligatory rounds of the Internet.
A 1937 article draft in the Churchill Archives supposedly proves that Churchill’s off-expressed sympathy for the Jews was hypocrisy. Churchill was, if this article is to be believed, a closet anti-Semite.
The 1937 draft, “How the Jews Can Combat Persecution,” had “apparently lain unnoticed in the Churchill Archives at Cambridge since the early months of the Second World War,” stated The Independent:
Churchill criticised the “aloofness” of Jewish people from wider society and urged them to make the effort to integrate themselves….Churchill…
Written for a colleague who asked various contributors for 300 words on the qualities of Winston Churchill they most admire.
Few great leaders are also great writers; none who were both compare with Winston Churchill. In 1940 he saved civilization by keeping Britain in the fight until those “who hitherto had been half blind were half ready.” His historical and biographical eloquence won a Nobel Prize. Uniquely for a politician, he thought and wrote deeply about the nature of man. He hated and tried to prevent war. He fought to preserve constitutional liberty.…
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. …
When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys, by Thomas Maier. New York: Crown Publishers, 784 pages, $30, Kindle Edition $11.99. Written for The Churchillian, Spring 2015.
The most touching and durable vision left by Mr. Maier comes toward the end of this long book: the famous White House ceremony in April 1963, as President Kennedy presents Sir Winston Churchill (in absentia) with Honorary American Citizenship—while from an upstairs window his stroke-silenced father, Joseph P. Kennedy, watches closely, with heaven knows what reflections:
Whatever thoughts raced through the mind of Joe Kennedy—the rancor of the past, the lost opportunities of his own political goals, and the tragic forgotten dreams he had once had for his oldest son, could not be expressed.…