Skip to comments.Winston Churchill: America’s enduring love for Winnie and his words
Posted on 08/04/2012 4:36:27 PM PDT by Dysart
Americans love Sir Winston Churchill. That much has been obvious since even before 1963, when President Kennedy gave him the only honorary US citizenship ever awarded to a living person. Yet, in the half-century since then, that admiration and affection hasnt abated; he is one of the only non‑Americans to have a US warship named after him, and as many books are published about him in America as in Britain. Indeed, the only bookshop in the world dedicated solely to selling his books, articles and memorabilia is the splendid Chartwell Books on Madison Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. As Churchills mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn, Americans understandably regard Churchills extraordinary life as an almost semi-detached telling of their own national story.
So when the prestigious Morgan Library and Museum in New York decided to stage an exhibition entitled Churchill: The Power of Words, which would include the cream of the America-related items in the Churchill Archives at Churchill College, Cambridge, they knew that it would be popular.
What has astounded them and me, despite my being a special curator of the exhibition is quite what a stir has been created in Midtown. The crowds have exceeded all expectations, with record numbers visiting the exhibition, even in the normally quiet summer months. More than 30,000 people in the first six weeks at least 50 per cent higher than the librarys initial expectations.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Touch of genius: Winston Churchill's words had a profound effect on Britain, Europe and the United States Photo: AP
He was one of the greatest leaders of all time IMHO.
Well I wouldn't say that's a stretch.
And a funny letter written by Otto C Pickhardt, Churchills doctor, after he was nearly killed by a car on Fifth Avenue, between 76th and 77th Street, in December 1931, which reads: This is to certify that the post-accident convalescence of Hon Winston S Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at mealtimes. This at a time when America was in the grip of Prohibition. The quantity is naturally indefinite but the minimum requirements would be 250 cubic centimeters. (Dr Pickhardt presumably meant centilitres, but thats still a third of a bottle.)
From 1934, soon after Hitler and the Nazis gained power in Germany, and the vast majority of Brits chose to believe that Hitler would be no threat to peace:
I have but a short time to deal with this enormous subject and I beg you therefore to weigh my words with the attention and thought which I have given to them.
As we go to and fro in this peaceful country with its decent, orderly people going about their business under free institutions and with so much tolerance and fair play in their laws and customs, it is startling and fearful to realize that we are no longer safe in our island home.
For nearly a thousand years England has not seen the campfires of an invader. The stormy sea and our royal navy have been our sure defense. Not only have we preserved our life and freedom through the centuries, but gradually we have come to be the heart and center of an empire which surrounds the globe.
It is indeed with a pang of stabbing pain that we see all this in mortal danger. A thousand years has served to form a state; an hour may lay it in dust.
What shall we do? Many people think that the best way to escape war is to dwell upon its horrors and to imprint them vividly upon the minds of the younger generation. They flaunt the grisly photograph before their eyes. They fill their ears with tales of carnage. They dilate upon the ineptitude of generals and admirals. They denounce the crime as insensate folly of human strife. Now, all this teaching ought to be very useful in preventing us from attacking or invading any other country, if anyone outside a madhouse wished to do so, but how would it help us if we were attacked or invaded ourselves that is the question we have to ask.
Would the invaders consent to hear Lord Beaverbrooks exposition, or listen to the impassioned appeals of Mr. Lloyd George? Would they agree to meet that famous South African, General Smuts, and have their inferiority complex removed in friendly, reasonable debate? I doubt it. I have borne responsibility for the safety of this country in grievous times. I gravely doubt it.
But even if they did, I am not so sure we should convince them, and persuade them to go back quietly home. They might say, it seems to me, you are rich; we are poor. You seem well fed; we are hungry. You have been victorious; we have been defeated. You have valuable colonies; we have none. You have your navy; where is ours? You have had the past; let us have the future.
Above all, I fear they would say, you are weak and we are strong.
He was certainly the standout of the 20th century. He could have held his own in the same room as our Founding Fathers. imho. sd
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
Churchill understood the relationship of Western culture, liberty and economic prosperity. If big government leads to prosperity, we would all be admiring Cuba and Zimbabwe. North Korea has roads and bridges but no business, and their people are starving.
Winston Spencer Churchill has been my personal hero since I was a little guy and I’m in my early 60s now. I’ve read everything about him that I could get my hands on... I was not aware of this exposition going on. May need suppress my disgust for the city and head to New York for a couple of days. Thanks for posting this!
“History will be kind to me, for I shall write it.”
Winston Churchill on Dunkirque:
If the Oblahblah administration didn’t want Churchill’s bust in the White House, they should’ve called me. I would have displayed it proudly in my living room.
I've also read quite a bit of his works, and this article underscored his meticulous writing and rewriting, which if I'd considered more should have expected, but somehow previously imagined it all just flowed off his pen effortlessly. I kind of like that it did not-- and he toiled to convey his thoughts as precisely, eloquently, and persuasively as possible.
True, but he did return as PM from 1951-1955.
The most amazing thing about Churchill, that despite all of the drinking, smoking cigars, and stress, he lived to 90.
Churchill speeches from WWII:
But the Mau Mau and other Kenyans hate him.
Churchill among a great many other qualities was most prescient. I think his observations were intended to be more than just commentary but also meant as warnings. At least they can now be read that way. Here he asserted what Romney was essentially saying re: Palestinians; and which an earlier Arab council paper stated in much harsher terms that stirred such a manufactured ruckus among media critics last week. Happens when you espouse hard truths which OFFEND protected groups. Some things never change. Ha ha
William Manchester’s superb two volume bio of Churchill, the Last Lion, has numerous details of his perfectionist, agonizingy precise method of writing his public speeches. He would demand his secretary remain absolutely silent for hours at a time while dictated, revied, and revised again. Then he would apologize and let her go home to her family at 2 or 3 o’clock in rhe morning... It was said that Manchester was working on the third volume when died. Of particular interest to today’s so called journalists, he was the highest paid journalist in the world during the Boor War. (London to Ladysmith via Pretoria is brilliant). It should be required reading in J-school.
All well and good, yet when words fail... as they did with Herr Hitler--
A good tommgun... is rather handy--
I got your back... Winnie!
As do... the good Doctor and I--
I back you, Winston, with my Thompson... for it stood for Chicago values back when decency, civility, law and order mattered there.
What the hell, honey, lets... join the party!
Count me in... and let her rip!
Right, Bogie... we are all in this with Churchill--
I have to say, despite my loney left-coast liberal beliefs, the rain... always brings out my tommygun mean. I'm in!
Never let it be said, Alan Ladd and William Bendix... turned down a tommygun party.
Well, as soon as Bonnie goes to bed... I'll be right there!
If Clyde is in... so am I--
All right, you pilgrims need a leader... and here I am!
It is a full blown Sympathy Orchestra... by John Taliaferro Thompson--
Can I sing "Rocket Man" as in... terrupted by James Tiberius Kirk?
Sorry, no way, Shat... you, of all people, should know you cannot hear a tommygun in space.
Bend, can I join in... with my 12 gauge?
Why not, big... every orchestra has its piccolo--