A beautiful tribute to The Queen and Winston Churchill—only a click away—is by David Dilks. This book reminded me of it. Not because it is related to what Dr. Dilks wrote, but because it should have been. A good, short appreciation of their relationship, now that the last page has been turned for both, is needed. This paperback leaves us waiting.
Churchill rarely nursed a grudge. Though Joe Kennedy had upset him with defeatism when the war began, he quickly forgot. He sent condolences and flowers to the funeral of Kathleen Kennedy in 1948 and admired JFK from what he read about the young man and mutual acquaintances. He was anxious to meet Jack in 1959.
In May 1940 Stanley Bruce argued for a peace settlement with Hitler. Churchill struck out this paragraph, and wrote in the margin: “No.” Next, Bruce wrote that “the further shedding of blood and the continuance of hideous suffering is unnecessary.” Churchill wrote: “Rot."
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.”
The statement above is attributed to Churchill. I cannot find it, as a speech or in a book. Although it is widely and increasingly quoted in the Indian press and, given what is happening, he seems to have been prophetic! —K.P., India
This post has the distinction of engendering the most comment among the 500 on my website.…
In the time since his funeral I learned that Churchill’s life and thought—the eerie relevancy of his challenges and experiences—still call to us across the years. There will always be scoffers, who portray him as an anachronism. “In doing so, it is they who are the losers,” Martin Gilbert concluded, “for he was a man of quality: a good guide for our troubled present, and for the generations now reaching adulthood.”
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."