It was widely noted by Ted Bromund and others last year that upon entering office President Obama returned a bronze bust of Winston Churchill. The bust had been on loan as a symbol of the Special Relationship from the British Government to the United States since 9/11. According to Newsweek’s report, a White House spokesman said the Churchill bust was removed before Obama’s inauguration as part of the usual changeover operations.
Among the thoughtful gifts then-Prime Minister Brown gave Barack Obama during Brown’s subsequent visit to Washington was the complete authorized biography of Winston Churchill. The project was initially undertaken by Churchill’s son Randolph, who completed the first two volumes. The project was then picked up by Martin Gilbert, who brought it to completion in the six remaining volumes.
The biography is a monument of modern historical scholarship. Gilbert writes that in his Churchill researches between 1968 and 1988 he read every page of an estimated fifteen tons of documentation: “The material available in archives — including, particularly for Churchill, at Churchill College, Cambridge, and in the vast Public Record Office in London — is formidable and revealing — revealing of every facet of policymaking, of success and failure, of friendship and opposition, of cause and effect, of mood and motive.”
The gift of the biography was not only a generous gift in itself, it might also provide an education that Obama badly needs if he would only avail himself of it. That was in part the point of Ted Bromund’s commentary on Brown’s gifts.
Reading Gilbert’s biography of Churchill we learn that an enormous poster appeared in the Strand and at other prominent points around London in the last week of July 1939. Placed by an advertising agent who was anxious “to get people thinking of the reinstatement of Churchill,” the poster asked simply: “What price Churchill?” (A photograph of the poster can be seen here.) On July 25, 1939, the Daily Mirror noted: “The writing on the wall? This giant poster is causing considerable comment.”
By the same token, watching the video below posted by John this morning, the question occurs to me: What price Christie?
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell