Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Churchill at Work

Larry Arnn has a letter to the editor in today’s Wall Street Journal called, "Late Nights, Late A.M.s, But Still a Master of All." Because there is no link (it only appears in the dead tree version) I reproduce it all below:

In regard to the charming article by Quentin Letts, "Breakfast With Winston," editorial page, June 12: It is true that Winston Churchill was often in his pajamas at 9:30 a.m., but he usually went to bed at 2 a.m. And, pajamas or no, he had been reading newspapers, having breakfast, and answering mail since 7 a.m.

In addition, Churchill found time to paint, build brick walls and dig ponds. He wrote several dozen large tomes of high quality, his own speeches running to thousands of published pages, and countless memos and state papers that can all be read in the document volumes of his biography by Sir Martin Gilbert. He wrote for the press in a quantity rivaling a full-time journalist. Churchill accomplished all this because he was a genius and worked long hours at great speed. He had mastered the type of leisure that is almost infinitely productive, as well as cultivating of the soul.

A better example for Mr. Letts would be Arthur Balfour, a very different sort of man than Churchill, but a man whom Churchill admired deeply. Churchill described Balfour, who had been born to great wealth and high station, as a man who "did not mingle in the hurly-burly. He glided upon its surface. . . . He very rarely rose before luncheon."

Churchill knew better than MacMillan the frustrations of dealing with America, the new greatest power in the world. He had begged our president to make the second invasion of Europe further east, so as better to counter the Soviets. In this and some other matters of great importance he failed, to his vast frustration. But he also knew America and toward the end of his life said, "We must persevere steadfastly and faithfully in the task to which, under United States leadership, we have solemnly bound ourselves. Any weakening of our purpose, any disruption of our organization would bring about the very evils which we all dread, and from which we should all suffer, and from which many of us would perish."

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