Finest Hour 136

“In Defeat, Defiance”

Ampersand

Churchill Quiz

CHURCHILL QUIZ: FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY JAMES LANCASTER  Read More >

Churchill and India: Again & Again & Again & Again

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY RICHARD M. LANGWORTH

ABSTRACT
“I hate Indians”…All right, he said it! Read More >

Media Matters

MEDIA MATTERS: FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

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Get it Right! Max’s Dad is Not WSC; WSC is Misquoted Again

ATLANTA, AUGUST 29TH— In a recent column, we attributed a quote about winning and losing to Max Cleland’s father. We withdraw the attribution. The former U.S. Senator left us a voice mail message informing us that the quote we heard him utter during a short speech in Norcross roughly twenty years ago actually belonged to Winston Churchill. Here’s the quote: “Defeat is never fatal. Victory is never final. It’s courage that counts.”

Oh well, 20 years is a long time. At least we didn’t credit the quote to Chairman Mao.

—BEN SMITH ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Unfortunately, Mr. Smith, we regret to advise that this is a double misquote. Not only did Churchill never say those words—he never said the similar words more usually attributed to him, which are: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We base this on careful research in the canon of fifty million words by and about Churchill, including all of his books, articles, speeches and papers.

Churchill did say: “No one can guarantee success in war, but only deserve it.” (Their Finest Hour, London: Cassell, 1949, 434). And he did say: “Success always demands a greater effort.” (Note to Robert Menzies, same volume, page 541). Max Cleland is a friend of ours…so we are sure he will by happy to learn this!

Iraq’s Dad was WSC; in a Manner of Speaking…

PORTLAND, MAINE, AUGUST 30TH— In an Iraq editorial in the Portland Press Herald, one Bob Harrison wrote: “The political entity of Iraq dates only from the early 20th century decisions by Winston Churchill and colleagues to impose a western solution on the very old problem of Mesopotamia. The ancient Sunni-Shiite enmity, familiar to even casual students of history, is rooted deeply enough to doom vastly more aggressive nation-building projects than Bush’s feeble effort.”

Mr. Harrison, you need to be a less casual student, by immersing yourself briefly in Churchill Proceedings and Finest Hour, for example.

The imposing of King Feisal on Iraq by Churchill in 1922 was not so much a “western solution” as a product of its time. Asked by Chris Matthews at our 2003 Churchill Lecture why Churchill believed a foreign monarch was the solution for Iraq, Professor David Fromkin, author of A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, replied:

“While Churchill himself was a monarchist, in the world in which he grew up, that is what you did. When it was decided, just before the First World War, to create an independent state of Albania, an intrinsic part of the thing was to find it a king….As for Feisal, there was a general feeling at the time that when you brought in a king for a new country, it ought to be somebody who is not from that country—not involved in its feuds. You look for an outsider and a unifier.” [Churchill Proceedings 2000-2003.)

Attempts to draw lessons for today in Churchill’s Iraq experience are doomed to failure, Professor David Freeman suggested in Finest Hour 132, because the situations are entirely different. “For example, everything about Britain’s Middle Eastern policy [in 1922] was based on one paramount and, as it turned out, erroneous assumption: that Britain would indefinitely control India…Thus the shape of the modern Middle East was largely determined by an assumption that became false almost as soon as the 1922 settlement had been reached.”

While the character of the inhabitants still offers food for thought, Freeman said, the judgments of 1922 are not valid eighty-five years later. 

More on Jan Smuts and the Apartheid Question

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY JAMES LANGWORTH  Read More >

“Keeping the Memory Green and the Record Accurate” Or: ‘There They Go Again”

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY RICHARD M. LANGWORTH

ABSTRACT
CHURCHILL, MANDELA AND SMUTS: A PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE TRIO TO SHARE PARLIAMENT SQUARE Read More >

“Some Kewpie Germans at Dunkirk”

GLIMPSES: FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

MARGARET SUCKLEY / ANDRE DE STAERKE  Read More >

Playing with Words: When is an Error Not an Error?

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

ABSTRACT
QUEEN ANNE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE SAID TO CHRISTOPHER WREN ABOUT ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL: “I FIND YOUR WORK AWFUL, TERRIBLE AND AMUSING.” AT THE TIME, THE QUEEN MEANT “POWERFUL, STRONG AND AMAZING.” A SIMILAR JUXTAPOSITION OF MEANINGS OCCURRED IN THE EARLY PAGES OF CHURCHILL’S WW1 MEMOIRS… Read More >

A Bibliographical Odyssey

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY RONALD I. COHEN

Mr. Cohen has been a contributor to Finest Hour, since the mid-1980s. His 2006 Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill, (see “Total Immersion in the Cohen Bibliography,” FH 133) was celebrated at a reception at Canada House, London, last February, from which his remarks are derived. Along with his following notes on states, editions and issues, Ron now renews our bibliography column, formerly known as “Woods Corner.”

ABSTRACT
THOUGHTS AND ADVENTURES WHILE SURVEYING THE WRITINGS OF WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL Read More >

Answering Students’ Questions… …without doing their homework

Churchillian Asides: “Oh Gort Our Hope In Ages Past”

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

Our thanks for this excerpt to James Lancaster. (Note: The choice of hymn [with its original title] had many other applications. “Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past” was chosen by Churchill, not only for the Sunday morning service with Roosevelt in Placentia Bay in August 1941, but also by the “Hope Not Committee” for Sir Winston’s state funeral service in 1965.) Read More >

“Part of the Constitution”: Winston S. Churchill and Parliamentary Democracy

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY KEVIN THEAKSTON

A Professor of British Government at the University of Leeds, England, Kevin Theakston is the author of the seminal Winston Churchill and the British Constitution (Politico’s, 264 pp.), which was reviewed in Finest Hour 124:45-

ABSTRACT
CHURCHILL WAS AS OFTEN A CRITIC AS HE WAS A CHAMPION OF DEMOCRACY. TODAY’S DEBATES ABOUT ITS INSTITUTIONS, FROM THE U.S. SENATE AND SUPREME COURT TO THE BRITISH AND CANADIAN HOUSES OF COMMONS AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION, MAY OFTEN BENEFIT FROM CHURCHILL’S PARALLEL THOUGHTS. Read More >

Wit and Wisdom

WIT AND WISDOM: FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

ABSTRACT
Intervention at 88
DESPITE OLD AGE, WSC TOOK A RARE BUT DEFINITE STAND ON BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY Read More >

My New York Misadventure

FINEST HOUR 136, AUTUMN 2007

BY WINSTON S. CHURCHILL

First published in two parts in The Daily Mail, 4/5 January 1932, and later in volume form in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, vol. IV, Churchill at Large (London: Library of Imperial History, 1975). Copyright © Winston S. Churchill, reprinted in Finest Hour by kind permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd., and the Churchill Literary Estate. Read More >

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