Churchill: Walking with Destiny


It has been almost nine years since Plato has offered a Churchill S/DG.  During that time another fine load of Churchill books has occurred on all phases of his life, including the recent one-volume biography by Andrew Roberts.  Churchill is truly walking through destiny and history.  We will use Roberts' book, recognized by British reviewers as one of the finest one-volume texts on this statesman, for our core book.

After giving a retreat session, "Are You a Churchillian Yet?, I realized there is still so much we don't know about this giant on the world stage.  Some writers and historians think that Churchill helped to save Western Civilization.  Certainly, after his failures in World War I, it would be impossible for most statesmen to come back and lead a nation through the Blitz, convince America to support England, help plan the greatest invasion on the continent of Europe, and handle the conferences at Casablanca, Tehran, and Yalta.

As I listened at the last Churchill International Society in Williamsburg, Virginia, I realized there is much more to this man and his ideas than most people realize.  The event commemorated the Armistice Celebration of World War I.  Think about how you might have felt as Churchill with the loss of Gallipoli and the loss of your position as Lord of the Admiralty.  You might have also experienced Churchill's dark sorrow and his onset of depression.  Would you have taken up painting to soothe your nerves?

Many of us have already seen the recently released films, Churchill and Darkest Hour.  Those films depicted the strength, character, and the power of words for Parliament, the English nation, and the world.  Think of the service of this man with eight government posts in the span of 30 years.  Winston served as prime minister twice.

We need to get to know the boy and the man.  Imagine a man fighting in Malakind in Afghanistan, the Sudan (River War), and the Boer War in South Africa.  Some of you have told me about reading the exploits of Winston and his being captured as a correspondent by the Boers.  Churchill ran as one of the youngest MP in his English/Scottish district.  Later Churchill won a Nobel Peace Prize for Literature for his biographies of Lord Marlborough and his father, Randolph, his exploits in numerous wars, and the ground-breaking volumes on History of the Second World War.  In this S/DG we will try to answer the question:  What in Churchill's background made him such a world leader and his ability to manage numerous crises?

It is time to learn even more about Churchill.  Winston affected history, and he wrote lucidly about history and the 19th and 20th centuries.  We will not disappoint with our S/DG delving into everything from Winston being turned down for the cavalry at Sandhurst to his budding and lifelong love of Clementine.  It is a story for the ages, because we will not readily see the likes of Winston Churchill on this earth again.  He was the man at the right time to save Britain and the world as it existed.  

Weekly Topics

Session 1.  Early Life of Churchill and Early Years Under Fire in Afghanistan and Sudan.

Session 2.  Omdurman to Pretoria; Free Trade Principles, and Randolph's Legacy.

Session 3.  The Boer Republics; Churchill Elections; Proposals to Clementine.

Session 4.  Home Secretary Performance; First Lord of Admiralty;  and Early First World War Years.

Session 5.  Dardanelles Debacle; Happiness in the Trenches and Minister of Munitions; Reaction to Versailles Treaty and Coalition Politics.

Session 6.  Renovating Chartwell and Into the Wilderness; Predictions of Future Bombings; Final Years As Chancellor of Exchequer; Churchill Accident on Black Thursday.

Session 7.  Publishing Marlborough Memoirs; Friendship of Lady Castlerosse; Warnings about Hitler.

Session 8.  Attacks on Chamberlain; Return to Admiralty; the Special 1940; Becoming PM.

Session 9.  Preparation of 65 Years; Adopting Minister of Defense; Fall of France; Battle of Britain.

Session 10. Experiencing the Blitz, Greece Expedition and North Africa, Atlantic Charter.

Session 11.  Fall of Singapore, Dealings with India, Persuasion for Operation Gymnast (Sicily), Cairo Conference and Appointment of Montgomery; El Alamein

Session 12.  Casablanca, Operation Husky, Tehran Conference, Anzio Landings and Fall of Rome, D-Day and Breakout, Yalta

Session 13.  Election Defeat, Honorary Degrees, Churchill Opposition to Current Government, Fulton "Iron Curtain" Speech, Writing The Gathering Storm and vols. of Second World War

Session 14.  Back to PM, Suez and Death of King George VI, Awarding of Nobel Prize for Literature, PM Handover to Eden, Publication of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Painting Last Pictures;  Many Lives of Churchill, Sense of History, Churchill's Spirit.


Core Book  

Roberts, Andrew.  Churchill:  Walking with Destiny.  New York:  Viking, 2018.

Selected Bibliography  

Apps, Peter,  Churchill in the Trenches.  n.p.:  CreateSpace Independent Publishers Platform, 2015.

Attenborough, Wilfred,  Churchill and the 'Black Dog' of Depression:  Reassessing the Biographical Evidence of Psychological Disorder.              New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  

Bew, Paul.  Churchill & Ireland.  Oxford, England:  Oxford University Press, 2016.

Buchanan, Patrick J.  Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War:  How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World.  New York:    \          Three Rivers Press, 2008. 

Cannadine, David, ed.  Churchill:  The Statesman As Artist.  London:  Bloomsburg Continuum, 2018.   

Carter, Violet Bonham.  Winston Churchill:  An Intimate Portrait.  New York:  Harbrace, Brace & World, Inc., 1965.

Catherwood, Christopher.  Churchill's Folly:  How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq.  New York:  Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004.

Churchill, Sir Winston S.  The Story of the Malakand Field Force:  An Episode of Frontier War 1898.   Champaign, Illinois:  Book Jungle,               n.d..

Churchill, Winston and Intro by William Manchester,  My Early Life 1874-1904.  New York:  A Touchstone Book, 1930, 1956, 1996.

Gilbert, Martin (selectedm edited, and introduced).  Churchill:  The Power of Words.  Philadelphia:  Da Capo Press, 2012.  

Giles, Milton.  Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare:  The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat.  New York:  Picador, 2016.  

Jenkins, Roy.  Churchill:  A Biography.  New York:  A Plume Book (Penguin), 2001.  

Johnson, Boris.  The Churchill Factor:  How One Man Made History.  New York:  Riverhead Books, 2017,  

Kelly, C. Brian.  Best Little Stories from the Life and Times of Winston Churchill.  Nashville, Tennessee:  Cumberland House, 2008.  

Lavery, Brian.  Churchill Warrior:  How a Military Life Guided Winston's Finest Hours.  Oxford and Philadelphia:  Casemate Publishers,                2017.  

Lee, John and Celia.  Winston & Jack:  The Churchill Brothers.  London:  "Middlemarch," 2007.  

Lehrman, Lewis E.  Churchill, Roosevelt & Company:  Studies in Character and Statecraft.  Guilford, Conneticut:  Stackpole Books, 2017.

Manchester, William, and Paul Reid.  The Last Lion:  Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965.  New York:  Little,                 Brown and Company, 2012. 

Millard, Candice.  Hero of the Empire:  The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill.  New York:  Doubleday, 2016.

Olson, Lynne.  Citizens of London:  The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour.  New York:  Random House, 2010.

Purnell, Sonia. Clementine:  The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.  New York:  Penguin Books, 2015.  

Read, Simon.  Winston Churchill Reporting:  Adventures of a Young War Correspondent.  Philadelphia:  Da Capo Press, 2015

Scott, Brough.  Churchill at the Gallop.  Newbury, Berkshire, England:  Racing Post Books, 2017.  .   

Shelden, Michael.  Young Titan:  The Making of Winston Churchill.  New York:  Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2013,

Of course, one already knows about the six volumes of World War II, five volumes of World War I, The River War, the biography of Marlborough:  His Life and Times , four volumes of A History of English-Speaking Peoples,   and Painting As a Pastime..