Churchill’s magnanimity

Churchill expert Richard Langworth is senior fellow at the Hilldale College Churchill Project. He wrote me yesterday after I cited Churchill’s comments on Stanley Baldwin in “What base ingratitude.” I said that Baldwin had tested the limits of Churchill’s magnanimity. My quotations from Churchill suggested that Baldwin had exceeded the limits. Mr. Langworth wrote to let me know that he had “a further refinement on that[.]”

In “Churchill’s Magnanimity: Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947),” Mr. Langworth updates and elaborates on the older Langworth post I cited. Mr. Langworth commented in his message to me: “What Churchill said about Baldwin was about as rough as he said of anyone except wartime enemies—and yet he came back with those remarks at the Baldwin Memorial. Imagine our rulers today saying anything like that about old antagonists.”

Mr. Langworth is an authority on Churchill quotations. In the early days of the Obama administration, Obama to the contrary notwithstanding, he attested to the absence of the statement “We don’t torture” from Churchill’s vast corpus. I cited him in “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch.”

Mr. Langworth is the author of several books on Churchill including Churchill By Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations. Turning to the section on Baldwin we find the memorable quote: “Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.”

Reading Churchill is an elevating experience. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature and he should have won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Most recently restored to print in two volumes is James Muller’s long-awaited edition of Churchill’s The River War. The first edition quickly sold out upon publication last year, but the second edition is now available. I didn’t make the mistake of waiting to buy it this time around.

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