Getting Churchill wrong

Featured image I am familiar with Geoffrey Wheatcroft as a respected British journalist and author with a stint in editorial positions on Britain’s Spectator included on his résumé. I am therefore grateful to have Andrew Roberts send up a warning flare on Wheatcroft’s new book, Churchill’s Shadow: The Life and Afterlife of Winston Churchill. The headline of Roberts’s Spectator review poses the question “A Churchill character assassination too far?” Let us remove »

CRB: Winston is back!

Featured image We continue our preview of the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with Andrew Roberts’s review of a clutch of new books on, or bearing on, Winston Churchill. Roberts’s review is titled “Winston is back!” Subhead: “Churchill was filled to the brim with a love of life.” The heading of Roberts’s review is the message signalled to the fleet upon Churchill’s return to the Admiralty in 1939. »

Churchill & the Jews

Featured image Robert Frost concludes his 1916 poem “Choose Something Like a Star” with slightly ironic advice. It isn’t greeting card stuff. It can’t be taken at face value. The conclusion nevertheless comes to mind under conditions like the current panic: …when at times the mob is swayed To carry praise or blame too far, We may choose something like a star To stay our minds on and be staid. In this »

Happy Birthday, Sir Winston!

Featured image Today is Winston Churchill’s 144th birthday, though any day is worthy of recalling what I have taken to using with students on the first day of my seminar on political leadership—Leo Strauss’s famous eulogy to Churchill in the classroom at Chicago: The death of Churchill is a healthy reminder to students of political science of their limitations, the limitations of their craft. The tyrant stood at the pinnacle of his »

What’s This? The NY Times Likes Churchill Again?

Featured image I have commented frequently here and elsewhere that liberals used to love Winston Churchill, while conservatives were often lukewarm at best. (Read William F. Buckley Jr’s caustic obituary of Churchill, for example.) He was praised to the skies by Arthur Schlesinger, Isaiah Berlin, and especially John F. Kennedy. Yet the furies of leftist political correctness now require that Churchill be denounced. Time magazine, which named Churchill its “Man of the »

Walking with Destiny (& Andrew Roberts)

Featured image Andrew Roberts is the eminent historian and author of the one-volume biography of Churchill, Churchill: Walking with Destiny. By his count, it is the 1010th biography of Churchill. It was just published in the United States this past Tuesday, on election day. I can’t imagine that there is a better one-volume biography by which to reacquaint ourselves with Churchill or to luxuriate in his company for a week or two. »

Walking with destiny

Featured image Steve Hayward argues that biography is an overlooked resource in the study of statesmanship. The life of Winston Churchill may be the single best example available to us of the opportunities afforded by biography. His life and works remain inexhaustibly rich and rewarding. Statesmanship itself is an overlooked field of study. Churchill’s life and works illustrate the critical importance of statesmanship in all times. One of the books of the »

CRB: Twin peaks

Featured image This week we have previewed three stellar essays from the new (Summer) of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here). Forgive me for repeating myself: it is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love trustworthy essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature, and culture. We conclude our preview this week with a bonus, our own Steve Hayward’s review of Lewis Lehrman’s Lincoln & Churchill: Two »

Churchill for a Sunday Afternoon (or Monday. . .)

Featured image On my last swing through Washington several weeks back Bill Kristol invited me to sit for one of his “Conversations with Kristol” interviews on the subject of what can be learned about statesmanship from Winston Churchill. The topic is inspired partly because of the success of the Darkest Hour film, and also because of the leftist backlash the film generated, which I have commented upon here a few times now. »

Walking with Destiny: A preview

Featured image The news is so painfully stupid that I have gone in search of relief. It occurred to me yesterday that the prominent historian Andrew Roberts has a biography of Winston Churchill forthcoming this fall. I thought to look up the publication date — Roberts’s Churchill: Walking with Destiny will be published by Penguin Books on November 9. Looking for the publication date, I also found that Penguin had just posted »

Yeah, but the Cigar Will Bring Back Bad Memories

Featured image The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, AKA Hillary Rodham Clinton, AKA the person who did her best to transform Washington DC into Rodham and Gomorrah, is over in Britain at the moment, and yesterday compared herself to . . . Churchill. And the way in which she did it makes me think she is still holding out the possibility of running again in 2020. Some of the report from The Guardian »

Churchill on North Korea and Iran

Featured image I don’t think Churchill ever wrote much about North Korea, even though the Korean War was going on when he became prime minister for the second time in 1951, and Britain was our ally in that conflict. The outbreak of the Korean War mostly spurred on Churchill’s preexisting and controversial view in favor of German rearmament. But my mind has wandered back to some of Churchill enduring lessons as I »

Reminder: The Left Hates Our Civilization

Featured image I know I’ve made the point before, but there is fresh evidence in recent weeks of how much the left today hates western civilization and human excellence in general. Once again the left is determined to flunk what I’ve long called “the Churchill test.” Once upon a time leading liberals loved Churchill. Think of Isaiah Berlin’s great 1949 Atlantic Monthly essay, “Churchill in 1940,” or how much Arthur Schlesinger loved »

Churchill in five minutes

Featured image 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 »

Andrew Roberts for the Win

Featured image I am pleased to see that on the question of how to think about the Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, the great Andrew Roberts comes down pretty close to where I do–and also where to rank the other major Churchill biopics. Our one major divergence is over Brendan Gleeson’s turn in the HBO production Into the Storm, which I thought suffered more from defective writing and poor direction rather than Gleeson’s »

The Indispensable Churchill Bibliography

Featured image Pursuant to the discussion here and the podcast Scott and I produced about Darkest Hour, a number of readers have asked for recommendations for good biographies and books about Churchill. Here are ten recommended authors and titles. Right off the top, it should be acknowledged that even the most ambitious reader might not be up to getting through all eight volumes of Martin Gilbert’s official biography (the longest biography ever »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 47: Shedding Light on ‘Darkest Hour’

Featured image Yesterday Scott and I teamed up to revive our dormant podcast to talk through our divergent opinions about Darkest Hour. I agree with Scott in one major way—that the film takes huge liberties with the facts and interpretation of things, and we spend a good deal of time breaking down some of the historical defects and explaining the deeper story behind some of the truncated and altered scenes. But we »