A superb review in American Spectator of a celebrated work on Winston Churchill’s role during the war brings out some truths which are being hidden from today’s generation as they are taught to despise our past. (Details of the book are at the foot of this note.)
In it, the former US presidential aide Aram Backshian writes that in “..Winston Churchill, his father’s eloquence and political daring and his mother’s indomitable will and ability to charm (when she wanted to) combined to form a man of iron determination, ruthless ambition, and formidable talents.
“It is important to remember, however, that these qualities were always harnessed to Winston’s exalted Victorian conviction that men of his class were born to lead, that the empire they led was a noble, civilizing enterprise, and that the pursuit of glory in defense of that enterprise was selfless rather than selfish.
“That this lofty conviction was more than a little diluted from in no way detracts from its remarkable positive achievements.
“Even today, much of what is best in countries as different as India and Canada, Singapore and Ghana, can be traced to the educating and modernising influence of the Victorians, their dedication to the rule of law, and – at least theoretically – their respect for individuals, property, tolerance, and due process.
Churchill was a true son of this imperial vision. Thus it is the supreme irony of his life that while he is rightly credited with being one of the greatest wartime leaders in history, the empire he thought he was saving in the darkest days of World War II was already doomed for reasons having little or nothing to do with the war. Britain had carried out her “civilizing mission” all too well. Succeeding generations of British-educated colonial subjects raised on concepts of British law, liberty, and representative government were heading—slowly but inexorably—toward independence long before the world first heard of Adolf Hitler.
…Order of the boot…
World War II, its ruinous cost, and the sacrifices it exacted from Britons and colonial subjects alike merely accelerated a process already well underway both at home and abroad. This helps to explain why Churchill and his Tory party were overwhelmingly defeated in the July 1945 parliamentary elections, fresh from victory in Europe. As Churchill himself put it, the British public had awarded him “the Order of the Boot” for his wartime service.
…not the England he thought it was…
He did return to power a few years later, in time to participate in the coronation of a popular young queen and the false dawn of what many English traditionalists hoped would be a “Second Elizabethan Age.” But it was not to be. The empire was on its way out for good and all. Winston Churchill had played a key role in saving England, but the England he saved was not the England he thought it was.
…buy the book..
This 756 paged book is The last lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Volume 3 Defender of the Realm, 1940 – 1965 by William Manchester and Paul Reid Little, Brown and Co
You can order the paperback delivered post free at a special price of $40.42 by clicking here. The hardback is available, again post free at a special price of $70.27. To buy the hardback, just click here. The three volume set – a wonderful gift – is available post free at $109.50. Again, just click here [All prices are applicable at the time of writing. You can help ACM by buying here – we receive a small commissionl]