Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Churchill’s Relevance

This is from Saturday’s New York Times (the Arts section). It attempts to quickly (and superficially, by using "hero" as a thread) go into why Churchill continues to resonate to the public in such times (this has been emphasized since 9/11 in part because good guys like Gulliani, Rumsfeld, et al, explicitly made reference to Winston). The reason is quite simple: Churchill was the last great and good man who found himself in the middle of a crisis that resembles the crisis we are in; he warned his country that they weren’t prepared to confront tyranny, then he prepared his country, and his country won and civilization was saved. That we can learn a lot from him goes without saying, that we cannot learn much from the author of this NYT piece is also true. Note with what approval he uses J.H. Plumb regarding Winston’s Marlborough and his other works of history: "J. H. Plumb criticized them for philistinism and their author for showing no mastery of Marx and Freud." Silly man, that Plumb. The latest biography of Churchill (not cited in the article) is by Geoffrey Best, Churchill: A Study in Greatness. Best is an Oxford prof who was skeptical until he really started getting to know Churchill’s life and work. I recommend it. Here is the Amazon offering, in case you are interested in buying yourself an early Christmas present. It is, by the way, a great read, unlike most histories written by professors of history.

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