The second volume of William Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill (The Last Lion: Alone) covers the years 1932-1940. Although Churchill’s life during those years has had many chroniclers, I’m not aware of any book that situates Churchill within the political milieu of the ’30s as comprehensively as Manchester’s.
In that respect Manchester’s book seems to me a uniquely valuable resource. I’ve been rereading it for that reason, to try to get a handle on the Conservative Party’s policy of appeasement as well as the more familiar left-wing and religious peace movements with which Churchill contended. All were instrumental to Hitler’s success during the period.
Lord High Commissioner of the Blogosphere Hugh Hewitt has also been rereading Alone. In his Standard Online column today he finds an instructive comparison with the Clinton adminstration, courtesy of Rich Lowry’s new book Legacy: Paying the Price For the Clinton Years.
Now someone needs to let the Standard headline writer know that Manchester’s book came out in 1988 and, unlike Lowry’s, is not “new.” As Hugh’s column suggests, however, it has never been more timely.
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