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.
King George V succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father, Edward VII, in May 1910. In February that year, Winston Churchill became Home Secretary. To this day he remains the youngest such since Sir Robert Peel in 1822. Roy Jenkins described the Home Office as a “plank of wood” from which many other departments have since been carved. In 1910, however, the Home Office held vast authority over domestic affairs. Among these was the prison system, where Churchill supported reform and reduction of sentences.
Churchill’s impulse to be “on the scene” where battles took place was not uniformly applauded. During World War II, his frequent excursions to various fronts worried his supporters, and caused critics to complain that he was taking unnecessary risk. Criticism mounted when Churchill hied to France only six days after D-Day. He revisited the front several times through March 1945.
There was no more enigmatic figure in Churchill’s life than Brendan Bracken, who cloaked his birth and upbringing with mystery while hinting broadly that he was the great man’s illegitimate son. It is well-authenticated that close friendship, not errant fatherhood, encompassed their relationship. But Churchill, with characteristic impishness, apparently never gave the direct lie to Bracken’s implied claim. This annoyed Churchill’s wife and peeved his son, Randolph, who spoke satirically of “my brother, the bastard.” To quell the noisome rumor Churchill quipped: “I have looked the matter up, but the dates don’t coincide.”
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