Your generous support will build an endowment to fund national conferences, student scholarships, a faculty chair, and the completion and publication of The Official Biography of Winston Churchill.
Hillsdale & Statesmanship
The study of statesmanship is central to the teaching mission of Hillsdale College, and the classics teach that the art can be best understood by studying those who have a reputation for it.
Churchill’s career presents an unsurpassed opportunity for the study of statesmanship, for he faced the great crises of the twentieth century and left behind one of the richest records of human undertaking.
Churchill & Hillsdale
Hillsdale College will promote a proper account of this record by combining the College’s educational expertise with its work both as publisher of Churchill’s Official Biography and as the repository of the Martin Gilbert papers.
Whether the product was profound or simple, like his vast correspondence, even his first iteration was close to the mark. Grace Hamblin, a longtime secretary, recalled: “His dictation wasn’t difficult because it was very, very slow and he weighed his words. As one knows he had a tremendous command of the English language, but he didn’t use it loosely. He considered very carefully what he was going to say.”
McKinstry is thorough and scrupulously fair. Unlike too many historians today, he goes in with no axes to grind. He simply tells the story, backed by a voluminous bibliography, extensive research and private correspondence. In scope and balance, the book reminds us of Arthur Herman’s Gandhi and Churchill—another elegant account of two contentious figures. Like Herman, McKinstry captures Churchill’s generosity of spirit, and his rival’s greatness of soul.
Churchill knew his Shakespeare and had a near-photographic memory. Darrell Holley’s Churchill’s Literary Allusions tells us he alludes to Shakespeare more than any other English author. King John, Richard III and Hamlet are his most frequent references. Henry V also moved and inspired him. He also closely read Richard II, generally accepting Shakespeare’s portrayal of his cruelty and vindictiveness.
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