11:28 AM, May 10, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Seventy-five years ago today, on May 10, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Holland and Belgium. Conservative prime minister Neville Chamberlain was rebuffed by Labour in his request to join him in a National Government, and at 6 pm, King George VI asked Winston Churchill to form a government. Churchill immediately did so. Here's the last paragraph of Churchill's account in the final chapter of his The Gathering Storm:
During the last crowded days of the political crisis, my pulse had not quickened at any moment. I took it all as it came. But I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3 A. M., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. Eleven years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms. My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the way or with want of preparation for it. I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.
The man of the century.
See THE WEEKLY STANDARD's tributes from the January 3, 2000 issue, by David Frum, Christopher Matthews, and Leo Strauss.
7:21 AM, May 7, 2015 • By MICHAEL MAKOVSKY
Friday marks the seventieth anniversary of Victory in Europe, or V-E, Day, when the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after six long years of war. No one should have savored that day in 1945 more than Winston Churchill, the wartime British prime minister.
10:32 AM, Feb 7, 2015 • By CITA STELZER
Sir Martin’s passing was a sad day for who call ourselves Churchillians. His 8-volume biography of Sir Winston Churchill and the Companion volumes are the Everest of all biographies, and an indispensable source for anyone interested in the great man’s life and achievements. That this quiet, self-effacing man found the time and energy to add to that work some 60 other books concentrating on WW2, the Holocaust and histories of the Jewish people is a source of amazement to those of us privileged to know him
9:20 AM, Feb 5, 2015 • By MICHAEL MAKOVSKY
The passing of Sir Martin Gilbert at the age of 78 marked a sad milestone. He achieved popular acclaim as the official biographer of Winston Churchill, the man whose in-depth eight-volume biography served as the gold standard reference work about the greatest statesman of the twentieth century. He also was a prolific writer of Jewish history, an observer of world events, and an author of many atlases.
Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The death of Sir Winston Churchill, 50 years ago last week, reminds The Scrapbook that, while a half-century is a very long time, Churchill’s lifetime is closer to us than we suspect. Indeed, in the words William Faulkner gave to Gavin Stevens in Requiem for a Nun, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”
Dec 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 14 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Many Brits are known to enjoy a pint a day. Winston Churchill certainly did—though his daily ration was a pint of champagne, not ale. So it was fitting that the wartime prime minister was toasted last week in Washington with clinking glasses of bubbly. House speaker John Boehner invited a small group—of which The Scrapbook was happily part—to celebrate two birthdays: that of the great man himself, and that of the bust in the Capitol that honors him. One was the 140th, the other just the first.
Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Scrapbook correspondent Richard M. Langworth, the author and longtime president of the Churchill Centre in Washington, D.C., weighs in on the new statue of Gandhi to be erected in London . . .
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Every time you realize how badly the media mangles something you know about, you wonder how well they are interpreting what you don’t know.
A century-old precursor to the Obamacare debateApr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB
The debate over Obamacare may remind a student of British history of the debate in Britain over the National Insurance Act of 1911, which was in effect until the initiation of the welfare state after World War II. The protagonists in that debate (like ours, not formally a debate, but implicitly that) were Winston Churchill and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Churchill, a rising star in the Liberal party and a member of Herbert Asquith’s cabinet, heartily promoted the act.
Jan 20, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 18 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
These observations of his on the Middle East have easily withstood the test of time:
Congress’s tribute to the wartime leader.Nov 11, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 09 • By FRED BARNES
Congress has rebuked President Obama. It may have come in a subtle or backhanded way and thus was ignored by the media. It may not have been intentional. But it was a rebuke nonetheless.
May 13, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 33 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
There was one moment in President Obama’s world-weary press conference last Tuesday when he seemed genuinely interested and engaged. At the very end, when Obama had already begun to depart the podium, a reporter shouted a question about the previously obscure but now famously gay NBA center, Jason Collins.
An unexpected ending for Manchester’s Churchill.
Mar 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 25 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
This magisterial three--volume biography of Winston Church-ill, begun by William Manchester nearly 30 years ago, has at last reached completion, though the path to its finale took a circuitous trip through the wilderness, reminiscent of Churchill himself. The Last Lion is doubtless the most popular Churchill biography, its lyrical adulation for the subject comparable to Carl Sandburg’s six-volume Lincoln biography.