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
I am a member of that lucky group. I had met Sir Martin several times at various social and academic events at Churchill College and elsewhere. But nevertheless was amazed when, having heard I was writing Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table, he rang me to ask if I had any questions that he might help answer. After all, I was hardly among the many historians who had published works dealing with the great man.
In spite of his busy schedule, writing and serving on the Chilcot Commission that was taking testimony and reviewing reams of evidence on Britain’s role in the Iraq war, he offered to read the manuscript and, as he so gently put it, to “see if he could offer some minor suggestions.” He read the entire manuscript, and drew on his unparalled knowledge to enrich and at times gently correct my manuscript. He also related some incidents that had slipped by me in my research at the Churchill Archives. This chore involved several late-day and evening meetings at my office in central London, often immediately after he had put in a long day at the Chilcot Inquiry. And often over a sandwich dinner several notches more austere than the Churchill dinners about which I was writing.
His intellect and wisdom is known to all those who met him, and many who did not. He shared those attributes with me and vastly improved my book. In part this was because he cared deeply that the legacy and history of Winston Churchill be correctly reported. But in part, too, because he wanted to lend a hand to a newcomer to his world, and help her along. I shall miss 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.
Nov 19, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 10 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
After his defeat in Britain’s 1945 general election, Winston Churchill’s wife Clementine consoled him: “It may well be a blessing in disguise.” Churchill replied, “At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.”
12:00 AM, Oct 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The following excerpts of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy address, which will be delivered later today at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, have been released for preview by the Romney campaign: