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Finest Hour 145, Winter 2009-10

Page 9

Around and About

Amazon.com is advertising a Kindle edition of “The Complete Works of Winston Churchill” for the bargain price of $2.99. Unfortunately it’s the American novelist whose works have been collected. Still, some day…

Artofmanliness.com is promoting some very nice looking “Churchill Motivational Posters,” combining good photos of WSC with quotations in a sharp black & white format. Unfortunately, more than half the quotations are wrong. Our internet chatlist lit up over this in October: http://xrl.us/bfsd5a. Readers might like to be aware of this before touting the posters. Here is what Churchill actually said (we will not reprint the misquotes):

“In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”

“My ability to persuade my wife to marry me [was] quite my most brilliant achievement.…”

“This truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.”

And here are the quotations that are not by Churchill, or at least not verifiable in any of the 50 million published words by and about him:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” (Unknown)

“I am a man of simple tastes—I am quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.” (Said about WSC—“Winston is a man...”—by F. E. Smith.)

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” (Possibly Abraham Lincoln.)

“The organ grinder still has hold of the monkey’s collar.” (Bowdlerized from something Churchill said about Hitler and Mussolini.)

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” (Unknown)

The 3 September “Great Debate” sponsored by intelligencesquared.com (FH 142: 62), fizzled. Proposing the motion, “Resolved that Winston Churchill was more a liability than an asset to the Free World,” were Pat Buchanan, Nigel Knight and Norman Stone. Opposing 
 were Antony Beevor, Richard Overy and Andrew Roberts. The vote: in favor, 181; opposed, 1194; don’t know, 34. Thirty-four didn’t know? (Review, page 40.)

Reported by Terry Reardon from the Globe and Mail, Toronto: Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, making his case recently to a group of business leaders in Edinburgh for splitting up banks before they can become “too big to fail,” said: “To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform.”

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