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Finest Hour 122

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Martin Gilbert on Churchill and D-Day. Churchill as Peacemaker. 2003 Bermuda Conference: four articles including the 1953 Churchill-Eisenhower Summit. Zoller Bibliography. Library of Congress Churchill exhibit. English-Speaking Peoples: Current Problems.  Covers: Churchill & Roosevelt, from a 1944 Canadian calendar.

Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 05

The 2003 International Churchill Conference in Bermuda this past November was splendid from every angle. The weather was beautiful. The Bermudians, from hotel staff to Governor and Prime Minister, made us feel warmly welcomed and appreciated. The attendees were most generous in praising the high quality of the panel discussions, and the panelists themselves. Many also had quite positive words for The Churchill Centre, its executive director, its new website, Finest Hour (always atop the hit parade) and other Centre programs.

We were fortunate to have Lady Soames with us throughout the Conference; and without question, her indefatigable participation in all—and I mean all—conference functions ensured their success. From the opening night receiving line at the Board of Governors reception to the final good night at our closing banquet, she was enthusiastically engaged, and in the process redefined the meaning of "Patron."

Over the years many of us have been honored and excited to have met and conversed with our Patron, who for her part has dealt adroitly with a variety of people and situations. But until November 8th, none of us realized her adeptness at impromptu pantomime.

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 17



Over 200 Churchillians took Bermuda by storm in November to attend the International Churchill Conference at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel. It was hard to miss our presence: The Royal Gazette, the daily newspaper in Hamilton, and the weekly Mid-Ocean News ran front page and feature articles every day we were there.

The conference began on Wednesday, November 5th, with the usual flurry of set-up, registrations, and organizing of rooms, people and papers in preparation for the three-day event. Co-chairs David Boler and Randy Barber had spent considerable time and effort in paving the way with local contacts in Bermuda, resulting in a substantial underwriting of conference costs by four very generous local organizations: XL Capital Ltd. and XL Foundation Ltd., with additional support from Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. and Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group. Their financial support helped The Churchill Centre add more elaborate programs and more educational offerings for our members and guests.

The conference proper began on Thursday morning, November 6th, with a book discussion led by Professor Jim Muller

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 13

By Michael McMenamin

125 Years Ago:

Spring 1879-Age 4

"I Begin to feel highly respectable"

On 15 April 1878, Lord Randolph Churchill wrote to his mother and young Winston's grandmother, the Duchess of Marlborough, on the occasion of her birthday: "I write to wish you very many happy returns of your birthday to-morrow, which is also, as perhaps you may remember, our wedding-day; and having been married five years I begin to feel highly respectable....This is now the fifth birthday you have spent in Ireland, and I am sure it must be satisfactory to you to look back on the years you have spent there. I do not think you can recollect a contretemps or a cross; and I am sure, if I may say so, no one deserves a pleasanter retrospect: and believe me, I sincerely hope next 15th of April will find you as happy and untroubled as I hope you will be tomorrow."

100 Years Ago:

Spring 1904 • Age 29

"We are fighting in a common cause"

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 47

I attended a book event at The Eisenhower Center which featured Walter Isaacson, former editor of Time, speaking about his latest book, Benjamin Franklin. Of course I accosted him about Time's cop-out choice of Einstein as "Person of the Century." We had a friendly exchange which continued after his presentation. He was about to step into an elevator when I said to him that his very description of Benjamin Franklin applied exactly to Winston Churchill. He immediately jumped off the lift and, quite good naturedly, acknowledged that I could be correct—and that it had never occurred to him until that second! He then realized that he was about to fall into a lengthy conversation, gathered himself and got on another elevator as he loudly asked me to call him so that we could continue this conversation. I will do so!

Please do! Mr. Isaacson was a distinguished editor at Time, but its performance over its "Person of the Century" showed it to be hopelessly Politically Correct and out of touch with historical reality. (See "Time's Long March to Person of the Century", FH 105: 21, Winter 1999-2000.) So I didn't bother to read his Franklin biography— who was not exactly PC.

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 19


XL Capital Ltd. • XL Foundation Ltd.


Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. • Baccardi International • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Pic


David and Diane Boler • Nancy Canary • Adelaide Comegys • Marcus and Molly Frost • Michael B., Sr. & Margaret Gratz • Craig & Lorraine Horn • William & Virginia Ives • Gerald & Judy Kambestad • Richard & Barbara Langworth • Philip & Susan Larson • Richard A. & Posey Leahy • A. Wendell Musser • Charles S. & Betty T. Northen • Bob Packwood & Elaine Franklin • Charles D. & Linda L. Platt • John and Ruth Plumpton • David Ramsay • Daniel J. & Suzanne Sigman • Kathleen Utz • Paul E. Violette

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 12

According to an on-line book locating service, the two most-sought-after books in 2003 were Sex by Madonna and The World Crisis by Winston S. Churchill. We are sure there are clever observations to be made about this, and cordially invite our readers to send them in.


The latest Churchillian to surface is Britain's new Leader of the Opposition Michael Howard: "I am a huge admirer of Winston Churchill. If it hadn't been for Churchill I wouldn't be alive today." This was his reference to the fact that, but for fleeing central Europe for Britain, members of his family would have ended their days in Auschwitz. We'll have to see how often he uses Churchill quotations in his speeches. —Dorothy Jones, Lancashire


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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 40


Churchill and Strategic Dilemmas Before the World Wars: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel, edited by John H. Maurer. Frank Cass, 164 pp., $79.95 hardbound; $26.95 softbound. Member prices to be determined but less than these; contact the editor or executive director.

Readers may ask (as I did): who was Michael Handel? During the 1990s, we learn here, he was a highly respected teacher and scholar in strategy and policy—and Churchill admirer—at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Before he died in 2001, Handel had hoped to write a book on Churchill as a strategist. This is one of three volumes of essays (the other two focus on different aspects of strategy) published in his memory, assembled by his War College colleagues and based on a conference held there.

The anthology offers four scholarly papers: the book's editor on '"The Ever Present Danger': Churchill's Assessment of the German Naval Challenge before the First World War"; Christopher Bell on "Pacific Security and the Limits of British Power, 19211941"; Brian McKercher on "The Limitations of the Politician-Strategist: Churchill and the German Threat, 1933-1939"; and David Jablonsky on "Churchill and Technology." Each takes a different tack on Churchill and his changing role.

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 23

From the Archives or Detective Sergeant Murray


The late Edmund Murray, a longtime member of the Churchill Society (UK), was the longest-serving of Churchill's bodyguards, longer even than the legendary Walter Thompson (FH #119). Sergeant Murray arrived at Chartwell in 1950 and did not leave his post until Sir Winston's death in 1965. Eddie Murray was a frequent speaker at UK events and readers may wish to refer to our publication Churchill Proceedings 1992-1993 for his outstanding recollection of "The Churchill I Knew" at the Ninth International Churchill Conference in England in 1992.

By courtesy of his son, we publish two unique mementoes of the Bermuda Summit half a century ago: the first is a photograph of the three statesmen—Churchill, Eisenhower and Laniel—at the Mid Ocean Club during the conference; the second a commemorative cachet with a special postmark which Eddie sent to his wife Beryl. Similarly, the Bermuda Post Office cancelled all outgoing mail with a special postmark during the 2003 International Churchill Conference.

Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 41

Martin Gilbert at the Chicago Humanities Festival

The First Julie and Roger Baskes Lecture in History, by Sir Martin Gilbert CBE. Chicago Humanities Festival, 2 November 2003. This lecture series is designed to honor renowned British historians.

Sir Martin Gilbert, official biographer of Winston Churchill, lightheartedly began this sold-out lecture by saying that the title he had been asked to use—"The Unique Blend of Leadership Qualities That Enabled Churchill to Re-Emerge from the Political Wilderness to Become the Savior Of His Nation"—was the longest that had ever been submitted to him. Its length guaranteed, he said, "that whatever I say this afternoon, I have never said to any audience before."

Indeed Gilbert did find fresh ways to tell a tale he has told often and well. He identified ten leadership advantages Churchill brought to Number Ten Downing Street in May 1940. Some were qualities and beliefs Churchill had carried from the beginning of his long political life, such as self-confidence, plod (the ability to outwork others), a firsthand knowledge and abhorrence of war, a steady advocacy of positive U.S.Britain relations, and a strong belief in a democratic society. Others were on-the-job skills that Churchill acquired through his long parliamentary career, notably a mastery of the legislative process and an ability to resolve problems without vindictiveness. The latter quality allowed Churchill to build an effective War Cabinet that included former political adversaries.

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Finest Hour 122, Spring 2004

Page 37


Annotated Bibliography of Works About Sir Winston Churchill, by Curt J. Zoller. M.E. Sharpe, 384 pp., $75. Member price $60.

If you are a collector of books about Churchill, this new guide is an indispensable tool. Assembling any book-length bibliography is no easy task. I have published two, on very different topics, and can speak from experience. So I hugely respect the effort that went into this new Churchill bibliography—a substantial canon in anybody's terms.

Curt Zoller needs no introduction to readers of Finest Hour, for he is a well-known collector and contributor to the journal. With the aid of Richard Langworth, Mark Weber, and other authorities, he has put together a comprehensive annotated guide for collectors and libraries of just what was published about Churchill, from the first article entries of 1900 (the first biography appeared five years later) right up to the last year or so.

Zoller divides his more than 2,500 citations into six sections, each of which is arranged and numbered in chronological order. Section A focuses on books devoted entirely to some aspect of Churchill's life (684 of them); Section B concerns "books containing substantial data about Winston S. Churchill" (more than 900); Section C covers articles and lecture

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