About The Churchill Project

Hillsdale & Statesmanship

The study of statesmanship is central to the teaching mission of Hillsdale College, which includes cultivating the moral and intellectual virtues. The classics teach that we can best understand the art of statesmanship by studying those who have a reputation for it. One sees prudence, the virtue of the statesman, most clearly through the words and actions of statesmen as they pursue justice in the midst of the obstacles and necessities of political life.

The Clock Tower in Hillsdale College

Why Churchill?

Winston Churchill’s career presents an unsurpassed opportunity for such study because it was so long, because the facts of it are so well recorded, and because its quality was so very high. His career spanned the most traumatic events in history—the largest wars, the greatest depression, the worst tyrannies, and the most rapid advancement of technology and therefore of human power. As he faced these crises, Churchill wrote with profuse detail and with great ability about his doings, thereby leaving one of the richest records of human undertaking.

Winston Churchill

Churchill & Hillsdale

Hillsdale College launched the Churchill Project to propagate a right understanding of Churchill’s record. Through the Churchill Project, it has republished and completed all twenty-three volumes of The Churchill Documents, and eight narrative volumes, comprising the official biography of Winston Churchill.  It archives the papers of Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer from 1968 to 2012; the Ronald Cohen Collection of Churchill’s contributions to books and periodicals and audio recordings; and other important collections. It houses a digital resource to Churchill’s 20 million published words and 60 million words about him. It promotes Churchill scholarship through national conferences, scholarships, online courses, and an endowed faculty chair. Through these endeavors, Hillsdale College is establishing itself at the forefront of Churchill research, scholarship, and analysis.

Statue of Winston Churchill at Hillsdale College


Sir Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert

One of the leading historians of his time and the official biographer of Winston Churchill for more than 40 years, Martin Gilbert passed away in London on February 3, 2015. His career was dedicated to the writing of “true history,” based on the idea that “what happened in the past is unalterable and definite.” He worked tirelessly to uncover and write this history, publishing 88 books on Winston Churchill, the World Wars, the Jewish people, the Holocaust, Israel, and the 20th century. His commitment and mastery of his discipline shines in his greatest challenge: the nearly five decades he spent as the official biographer of Winston Churchill. His labors produced a biography that is essential reading for those who wish to understand the judgments of the supreme statesman of his time. Those who love freedom and seek to understand history owe Sir Martin a debt beyond repayment.

Hillsdale College is honored to have shared a long partnership with Martin Gilbert. In 2002, he was named the William and Berniece Grewcock Distinguished Fellow at Hillsdale College. In this capacity, he taught several courses on Churchill and gave numerous public lectures. Through the Churchill Project, Hillsdale College endeavors to propagate and expand Martin Gilbert’s masterful work on Churchill.

Click here to visit Hillsdale College’s webpage devoted to Sir Martin Gilbert.

Larry P. Arnn

Dr. Larry P. Arnn

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied in England from 1977 to 1980, first as a research student in international history at the London School of Economics, and then in modern history at Worcester College, Oxford University. While in England, he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. He has studied and taught Churchill without interruption for four decades. In 2012, he assumed responsibility for editing the final six document volumes of the official biography of Winston Churchill.

Dr. Arnn is the author of Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education; The Founder’s Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It; and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

Richard M. Langworth

Richard M. Langworth

Richard M. Langworth was appointed senior fellow for Hillsdale College’s Churchill Project in November 2014. He began his work on Churchill in 1968 when he organized the International Churchill Society and its journal, Finest Hour. From 1981 and through 2014 Mr. Langworth served as its editor, president, and chairman of its board of trustees.

Mr. Langworth published the first American edition of Churchill’s India, is the author or editor of ten books on Sir Winston. They include A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill; Churchill by Himself, the definitive book of Churchill quotations; Churchill and the Avoidable War, an examination of Churchill’s prescriptions to prevent World War II; and Winston Churchill: Myth and Reality, a correction to 36 misconceptions, fables and inaccuracies involving Sir Winston.

In 1998, Mr. Langworth was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen “for services to Anglo-American understanding and the memory of Sir Winston Churchill.”

Churchill Project Goals

Highlight of faculty

Endowed Faculty Chair

The College must add several new faculty positions as it expands its core curriculum. Among these is a chair in history that will specialize in Churchill’s statesmanship. The allocation of returns from the endowment fund will provide the salary and benefits for the chair holder, plus an additional small stipend to be used at his discretion. Already the College offers an undergraduate course on Sir Winston’s life and political philosophy, and a free online course, “Winston Churchill and Statesmanship.” For information on this six-lecture course, please click here.

Highlight of student

Scholarship / Fellowship

Winston Churchill Endowed Scholarships will provide outstanding undergraduate and graduate students an education in statesmanship focusing on the career and legacy of Winston Churchill. Scholarship recipients will contribute to the Churchill Project by working on the publication and promotion of the official biography, by maintaining and writing for the Churchill Project website, by attending Churchill-related events, lectures, and meetings, and by enrolling in courses on statesmanship. A steady flow of new publications is planned. One is an electronic version of Ronald Cohen’s essential Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill. The Project will do more publishing of original texts, some not seen since first publication. Most recently, the Project marshaled a battery of international scholars to defend and uphold Churchill’s good name from irresponsible criticism.

Official Biography

Mission Accomplished: In 2006, the College set out an ambitious agenda: To complete Winston Churchill’s official biography. In 2019, that task was completed. Conceived on a grand scale by Churchill’s son Randolph, this great work became even grander when Martin Gilbert was appointed to oversee it in 1968. Under his direction, the official biography reached its full eight volumes of narrative, and 17 of 23 volumes of The Churchill Documents were completed. In 2012, Martin Gilbert’s declining health required that he turn the project over to Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. Under Dr. Arnn’s direction, another six volumes of documents were published, covering the key years 1943 through 1965. The Churchill Project also reprinted, and keeps in print, all prior narrative and document volumes. E-book editions of all narrative volumes are available, and e-books for The Churchill Documents are in process.

Highlight of Larry P. Arnn

National Conferences

Hillsdale College organizes annual conferences to promote Churchill scholarship and educate opinion leaders, students, and the general public about Sir Winston, his life and times.  At these annual conferences, leading Churchill scholars from the U.S. and abroad address Churchill’s statesmanship and related topics in historical and current contexts. Churchill events have also been part of the College’s National Leadership Seminars and its Center for Constructive Alternatives. In 2019, the Hillsdale College Cruise featured Churchill speakers, and a Churchill tour of London, Chartwell and Blenheim Palace.

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