Finest Hour 156

Ampersand and Grace

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 64

Ampersand and Grace



The Opening Prayer at the New England Churchillians Churchill Birthday dinner last year so struck us that we asked Pastor Axford for permission to reprint it….

Sir Winston S. Churchill 137th Birthday Dinner Union Club, Boston, St. Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2011 by The Rev. W. Scott Axford, M.Div., Pastor First Universalist Church, Providence, Rhode Island



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Wit and Wisdom

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 15

Wit and Wisdom



9/11/12
In the aftermath of Middle East atrocities on the 11th anniversary of “9/11,” the killing of an ambassador and two others and the raising of the al Qaeda black flag over four embassies, we were repeatedly asked for the same two Churchill quotations by politicians and members of the media.



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Riddles Mysteries Enigmas

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 14

Riddles Mysteries Enigmas


The House of Commons is designed so that opposing MPs are far enough away from each other to prevent swordplay. Exactly how far is that?

Good question! The two sides are separated by 13 feet, said to be two swords’-lengths apart.
—Paul. H. Courtenay

In which hotel did Churchill stay when he was in Munich, where he almost met Hitler, in 1932?
—Dr. Holley Martlew, Via Email

The official biography and its document volumes do not state the hotel, but Churchill says it was the Regina, while Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, the intermediary with Hitler, says it was the Continental.

Churchill (The Gathering Storm, London: Cassell, 1948, 65) wrote:

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Around and About

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 9

Around and About


Churchillian Drift” (FH 155:9) continues. In July Donald Trump Tweeted the Churchill red herring, “However beautiful the strategy you should occasionally look at the results.” Not to be outdone, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, after release from an arrest in Houston, declaimed, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Sports writer Ray Ratto wrote: “I tried to figure out whether he was a history major, watches PBS a lot, has a nerd posse or has an agent or publicist who watches the Military Channel between Kardashian developments.” As we advised Ratto, Mr. Peterson was quoting Churchill no better than Mr.Trump. Perhaps we should start a new Twitter page called @ErsatzChurchill.

The London Olympics closing ceremony, a jolly good show, reincarnated Sir Winston, played by actor Timothy Spall, who read from Shakespeare’s The Tempest atop a replica St. Stephen’s Tower (which houses Big Ben). Spall, who played Peter Pettigrew, the rat-turned-man in Harry Potter, and WSC in The King’s Speech, always overplays Churchill. This made him perfect for the job, and better than the image of John Lennon, singing “Imagine there’s no countries” before the assembled flags of 204 countries. We preferred the majestic rendering of God Save The Queen.

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Datelines

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 6

Datelines


Quotation of the Season

“They never had to face, as we have done, and still do, the possibility of national ruin… World revolution, mortal defeat, national subjugation, chaotic degeneration, or even national bankruptcy, had not laid steel claws upon their sedate, serene, complacent life.”
-WSC, “The Earl of Rosebery,” 1929 (Page 20)


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Despatch Box

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 4

Despatch Box



The Role of the State

In a fine exposition of Churchill’s turn from youthful radicalism to mature conservatism (FH 155:13) Andrew Roberts is somewhat carried away by his enthusiasm for the change. In fact, the change was not so drastic. Did Churchill in his later phases call for the abolition of old age pensions and the National Health Service? If he did not, he was, especially on the latter, to the left of today’s Democratic Party.

Mr. Roberts cites the influence of Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, a book often cited but apparently little read. It was a polemic against democratic socialism, which the author considered an oxymoron—but not against the Welfare State. Indeed Hayek actually sounds downright like a modern liberal (definitive ed., 87-88, 148-49):

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Education – The Art of Public Speaking “One of those days that they will never forget”

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 60

Education – The Art of Public Speaking
One of those days that they will never forget

By Hannah McVey

Ms. McVey has served as education officer at Chartwell. A full report is available on request from the author: hannahmcvey@yahoo.co.uk.


ABSTRACT

How Blenheim Palace, Chartwell and the Churchill Museum at The Cabinet War Rooms Came Togather to Inspire Students in the Art of Public Speaking, Using the 20th Century,s Greatest Orator.


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Paintaceous Madeira

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 56

Paintaceous Madeira

By David Druckman

David and Lynn Druckman are world travelers in quest of Churchill; David’s articles have appeared frequently in Finest Hour. For the historical account see “Churchill’s Madeira,” by Terry Reardon (FH 121:30-31).


I was embarrassed. In the midst of presenting cruise ship lectures on Churchill’s life, one passenger’s question left me humiliated: “Tomorrow we dock in Madeira. Can you tell me about Churchill’s visit there?” Hesitating, I told the passenger I would respond in my next lecure.

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Churchill in Fiction

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 54

Churchill in Fiction

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, by Susan Elia MacNeal. Hardbound, 384 pages, $15, members $12, Kindle edition $9.99. Portrayal: ★ Worth Reading ★. Hitler’s Peace by Philip Kerr. Softbound 464 pages, $15, Kindle edition $12.99. Portrayal: ★ Worth Reading ★.

By Michael McMenamin

Mr. McMenamin is co-author with his son Patrick of the Churchill thrillers, The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit and The Gemini Agenda. He also compiles FH’s “Action This Day” department. Novels are rated one to three stars on two questions: Is the portrayal of WSC accurate? and, Is the book worth reading? Read More >

Thin Gruel

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 54

Thin Gruel

D for Deception: The Spy Novelist Who Lured Hitler to Defeat, by Tina Rosenberg. E-book, 130 kb, 44 pages, $1.99.

By David Stafford

Professor Stafford, of Victoria, B.C., is the author of Churchill and Secret Service, Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets, and other works on World War II and intelligence.


Many famous spy novelists have drawn on personal experience of intelligence to craft their fiction. Ian Fleming’s career in British naval intelligence during the Second World War furnished him with ample material for his James Bond novels; Graham Greene profited from his wartime spell with MI6 to produce Our Man in Havana; and without John Le Carre’s early stints with MI5 and MI6 the world would have been denied the pleasures of the legendary George Smiley, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, and the London Circus.

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Titanic: The Strange Verdict

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 53

Titanic: The Strange Verdict

Who Sank the Titanic? The Final Verdict, by Robert Strange. Hardbound, illus., 224 pp., $32.95, Amazon $25.04, Kindle $13.99.

By Michael Richards


The author’s contentions, that Churchill, as a newly promoted President of the Board of Trade, was distracted from carefully reviewing the Titanic by political ambition, pursuit of his future wife and “wounded pride,” were covered in “Datelines” last issue (FH 155: 7-8). We cover here only the accompanying accusations, that Churchill was warned about the ship’s insufficient lifeboats, and failed to take action; and that he should have known (somehow) that corners were being cut (maybe) in Titanic‘s construction.

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Backhanded Compliment

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 52

Backhanded Compliment

The Treasures of Winston Churchill: The Greatest Briton, by Christopher Catherwood. Andrew Deutsch, hardbound in slipcase, 96 pp. illus. with photos and reproduced documents, £30, £19.50 from Amazon UK.

By Richard M. Langworth


The author’s three previous Churchill volumes accuse the “Greatest Briton” of ensuring endless strife in Iraq, communizing Eastern Europe by preventing a 1943 Second Front, and being a depressed, alcohol-dependent “flawed genius.”* So it’s startling to see his byline on what is outwardly a coffee-table tribute sponsored by Churchill Heritage Ltd. Is this his apologia, then? Yes and no.

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Tall Tiger’s Tale

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 51

Tall Tiger’s Tale

Catch That Tiger: Churchill’s Secret Order That Launched the Most Astounding and Dangerous Mission of World War II, by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague. John Blake, hardbound, illus., 228 pp., $24.95, members $19.95.

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A Great Deal of Substance and a Certain Amount of Spin

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 50

A Great Deal of Substance and a Certain Amount of Spin

British Prime Ministers and Democracy: From Disraeli to Blair, by Roland Quinault. Continuum, hardbound, 302 pp., $120, Kindle edition $14.82.

By William John Shepherd

Mr. Shepherd is an associate archivist at The Catholic University of America. Washington.


Professor Quinault has written widely on British politics and leaders, with sympathetic studies of Gladstone and Churchill. Here he examines the role of democracy in the governments of ten prominent prime ministers since the mid-19th century: five Tories (Disraeli, Salisbury, Baldwin, Churchill, Thatcher); two Liberals (Gladstone, Lloyd George); and three Labourites (MacDonald, Attlee, Blair).

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A Little Gem

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 50

A Little Gem

Winston Churchill, by Kevin Theakston. Softbound, illus., 56 pp., $12.95, members $11.

By Erica L. Chenoweth

Ms. Chenoweth (“Churchill and the Theatre,” FH 152) is a fishery biologist in Alaska.


In the opening of his autobiography, Edward Gibbon, the historian admired by Churchill and his father, writes: “…the public are always curious to know the men who have left behind them any image of their minds.” WSC left behind a uniquely prolific and wide-ranging series of images for curious minds to examine.

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