By PAUL ADDISON
Both Churchill and Chamberlain understood that Nazi Germany was a time bomb. But whereas Chamberlain imagined that it could be defused by diplomacy, Churchill believed that it could only be defused by force, or the threat of force. When the diplomacy of appeasement failed Chamberlain was compelled to accept—albeit with the profound reluctance of a man who loathed war—that no other response was possible. In the final analysis the British Empire, which was already in decline, had to be sacrificed so that Britain itself could live.
Tags: F.E. Smith Lord Birkenhead, Hoare-Laval Pact, John Simon, Lord Halifax, Maurice Cowling, Mohandas Gandhi, Munich Agreement, Neville Chamberlain, Paul Addison, Robert Crowcroft, Stanley Baldwin, Winston S. Churchill,
By BRADLEY P. TOLPPANNEN
"I have forfeited a great deal. I have given up an office that I loved, work in which I was deeply interested, and a staff of which any man might be proud. I have given up associations in that work with my colleagues with whom I have maintained for many years the most harmonious relations, not only as colleagues but as friends. I have given up the privilege of serving as lieutenant to a leader whom I still regard with the deepest admiration and affection. I have ruined, perhaps, my political career. But that is a little matter; I have retained something which is to me of great value—I can still walk about the world with my head erect." - Duff Cooper, 1938
Tags: Alfred Duff Cooper, Appeasement, Archibald Wavell, Douglas Haig, Harold Nicolson, J.L. Garvin, Lady Diana Cooper, Leopold Amery, Max Beaverbrook, Max Reinhardt, Munich Pact, Neville Chamberlain, Richard Law, Robert Boothby, Singapore, Talleyrand, The Other Club, Violet Bonham Carter, Walter Elliot, Winston S. Churchill,
By BRADLEY P. TOLPPANEN
Von Heyking offers an interesting scholarly work that places Churchill’s many political friendships within a philosophical grounding.
Tags: Andrew Roberts, Daimonism, Duke of Marlborough, F.E. Smith, Franklin Roosevelt, Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Birkenhead, Max Aitken, Plato, Prince Eugene of Savoy, Roy Jenkins, The Other Club, Wendell Wilkie, William III, Winston S. Churchill,
By BARRY GOUGH
The name of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher, commonly known as “Jacky,” was on the lips of everyone who cared about the Royal Navy. Fisher’s resignation in May 1915, at a critical stage of the Dardanelles campaign, had led to Churchill’s removal as First Lord of the Admiralty. That post constituted the political head of naval administration, with a prominent position in Cabinet. It offered unbounded influence in all aspects of war direction. Fisher had been at that time First Sea Lord, the senior naval officer. Churchill brought the famous Admiral out of retirement in October 1914 to put zeal and drive into naval affairs. Fisher arrived at a time of misadventure.
By RON CYNEWULF ROBBINS & RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
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.”
By PAUL H. COURTENAY
Winston Churchill had met Jan Christian Smuts when he returned from the Boer War in 1900. Elected to Parliament at the end of that year, he never again visited South Africa. Yet that country was to play an important part in his life for the next fifty years.
By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
He combined two qualities: generous loyalty to those he loved, and an acid tongue and pen for those he didn’t. Most of the latter, I tend to think, richly deserved what they got. Randolph Churchill’s public persona was based on the latter quality. In the mid-1950s, surgery revealed that a tumor on his lung was benign. His friend Evelyn Waugh burst into the bar at White’s Club: “They’ve cut out the only part of Randolph that isn’t malignant!”
By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
A popular weekly half hour podcast, Revisionist History takes aim at shibboleths, real and imagined. This episode is Churchill’s turn in the barrel. The villain, aside from Sir Winston, is his scientific adviser, Frederick Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, aka “The Prof.” You’ve probably never heard of him, says narrator Malcolm Gladwell. You should have. It was Lindemann who made Churchill bomb innocent German civilians and starve the Bengalis. Accompanied by background music, uplifting or ominous as required, Mr. Gladwell unfolds his case. He claims to have read six books on Lord Cherwell (whose title he mispronounces). But his only two quoted sources are the British scientist C.P. Snow (very selectively; Snow admired Churchill); and Madhusree Mukerjee, author of a widely criticized book on the Bengal Famine. There are no contrary opinions or evidence.