Winston was asked to form a government on May 10, 1940. He later wrote: "I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial."
John Lukacs, who is often thoughtful, has a new book out: Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Dire Warning: Churchills First Speech as Prime Minister. Winston’s first speech to the House was on May 13 and I salute him for all the he said and did to save civilization. His life should remind us to never flinch, never weary, never despair.
Thanks to Peter S. for bringing this new book by John Lukacs to our attention. Lukacs is an indispensable mine of wisdom on history in general and on the end of the modern world in particular. I have used his books on Churchill in my classes for some time. For a sampler, I commend to all his inspired essay on "Churchill's Funeral" in his book, Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian. Read also The Duel and Five Days in London, May 1940.
Dear Mr. Schramm: I am sure Hillary Clinton will be reading it, while getting ready to roar defiance at Andrew Sullivan & Co. Praise Churchill, but remember, he was on the right side,
1: "Churchill's Funeral" is indeed an outstanding and moving piece of work. How many people under 40 or 50 can still understand or be moved by it today, except very superficially, is nonetheless a fair question. It would be interesting to know how your students respond to it. Everything I have read by Lukacs on WWII is excellent.
It is a delightful little book on the importance not only of words but of a moral vision in the defense of Western Civilization against a dire threat. Take an evening, crack open a single-malt, and read it from cover to cover!