Churchill in five minutes

PragerU enlisted the services of the prominent historian Andrew Roberts to give its short course on “Winston Churchill: The man who saved the free world” (video below). It’s a good title and Roberts knows what he is talking about. He is the author of The Storm of War: A New History of World War II and the forthcoming biography Churchill: Walking with Destiny (also a good title, drawn from the concluding paragraph of The Gathering Storm).

The linked PragerU page includes a set of additional points, citations, and sources. The comments posted at YouTube include nitpicking about the video’s maps. The comments miss the point. This is the point: “The point about Churchill in 1940 is not that he stopped the German invasion, but that he stopped the British government making peace.” Sometimes you have to give war a chance.

I learned of the video via Roberts’s Twitter feed. It seems to be a box office hit in its own right.

Here is the concluding paragraph of The Gathering Storm, giving us Churchill’s thoughts on the evening of May 10, 1940: “During the last crowded days of the political crisis, my pulse had not quickened at any moment. I took it all as it came. But I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3 A. M., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. Eleven years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms. My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it. I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.”


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