Our final speaker of the day is becoming a Hillsdale regular.
He has spoken numerous times at Hillsdale events not only on land
but also at sea during a Hillsdale College cruise. His engagements on land include a
speech in October 2011 dedicating the statue of Ronald Reagan on the Hillsdale campus.
We are delighted that he is able to speak for the college once again. Andrew Roberts
is a historian and best selling author of several books. Among his most recent are A
History of English Speaking People Since 1900 which won the Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Prize, Masters and Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke Won the
War in the West, which won the Emory Reeves Prize and The Storm of War: A New History
Of The Second World War, which won the British Army Military Book of the Year Award and rose
to number two on the Sunday New York Times Bestseller List. His most recent book is Napoleon:
A Life. It won a 2014 Grand Prix History Prize from
an organization who's name will test my very rusty French language skills, the Fondation
Napoleon. The book was also very recently, just a couple of days ago, the winner of the
LA Times Biography prize and Andrew tells me just at lunch today that it's been optioned
for a Harvey Weinstein television series. Dr. Roberts is a fellow the the Royal Society
of Literature, a trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and a director of the Harry
Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Our final lecture topic of this Hillsdale College National Leadership
Seminar is Churchill and the Historians. Please welcome Dr. Andrew Roberts.
Dr. Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen it's a great honor to be invited to address you this afternoon
and thank you very much indeed Tim for those kind words. It's perfectly true that my book
got to number two on the bestseller list, beaten only by a book about Michael Jackson.
In answer to the question that was posed to James Muller about Churchill's religious sensibilities,
he of course said that although he didn't believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God
he did believe that he was the greatest man who ever lived and he described himself, Churchill,
as acting like a flying buttress for the Church of England in that he supported the church
but from the outside. I'd like to take you back to the afternoon
of Tuesday, the twenty-sixth of April, 1927, when as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston
Churchill presented that year's budget. He'd already covered the changes in the taxation
on sugar and bedding and silk and car licenses and tea. You people will recall that the British
used to impose very light taxes on tea. Before he got around to the subject of the taxation
of wine it is absolutely necessary to invoke the great name of Mr. Gladstone said Churchill,
a name which is received with reverence below the gangway on the opposition side and with
a certain amount of respect by honorable members who sit opposite. At that point some MP's
called out, "What about yourself?" Which, considering that Churchill had only rejoined
the Tory party two years earlier, might have been an awkward moment for him, an awkward
question to answer for someone who'd been a senior minister in the last liberal ministry.
"I occupy the impartial position of the historian," Churchill said diplomatically before moving
on to the details of his proposals. As an historian himself, Churchill was fascinated
by the subjects of history and mentioned history and historians often in speeches. "How strange
it is that the past is so little understood and so quickly forgotten," he said in April
1929. We live in the most thoughtless of ages, everyday headlines and short views. I've tried
to drag history up a little nearer to our own times in case it should be helpful as
a guide in present difficulties. A quarter of a century later he was saying much the
same thing when after a luncheon to celebrate the present queen's coronation he told an
American schoolboy who was on an ESU scholarship, "Study history, study history. In history
lies all the secrets of state craft." The adjective historic also crops up very
often in his speeches and the future verdict of history, not least on his own career and
achievements of course, clearly mattered to him greatly. The quality he most often attributed
to historians of the future, over-optimistically as it turned out in many cases regarding the
recording of his own doings, was impartiality. He himself had a harsh early experience of
what happened when historians were not impartial. After he had fallen in love with the written
style of the Whig historian Lord Macauley learning large parts of Macauley's Lays of
Ancient Rome by heart. He was forced to do this at school. Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate: “To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late. And
how can man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the
temples of his gods. Then out spake Spurius Lartius, a warrior proud was he. I shall stand
at thy right hand and hold the bridge with thee." He wasn't the only person who forced
to learn it at school. "I accepted all that Macauley wrote as gospel,"
recalled Churchill, "and I was grieved to read his harsh judgement upon the Great Duke
of Marlborough." Tellingly, the G in Great Duke is capitalized in Churchill's text. There
was no on at hand to tell me that this historian, ie. Macauley, with his captivating style and
devastating self-confidence was the prince of literary rogues that always preferred the
tale to the truth and smirched all glorified great men and garbled documents according
as they affected his drama. So perhaps the outrageous lack of impartiality in the history
of Winston Churchill himself is not something that would have shocked him however much it
might shock us. In 1940's, 1950's and really up until his
death in 1965, Churchill was treated with great respect by biographers and historians,
not least because they new it first hand what he had done to protect their freedom. Isaiah
Berlin, Philip Guedalla, Violet Bonham Carter, Leslie Rowse, Charles Eade, Virginia Coles,
many others of these early memoirists and biographers tended to write of him with affection
and high regard. Event the first crack in the edifice of positive recollections, the
Diaries of Lord Alanbrooke as presented in two volumes by Arthur Bryant in 1957 and 1959
cut out several of Alanbrooke's harsher wartime comments from his almost universally caustic
diaries. Since the 1980's however, and certainly in
the 1990's a new revisionist school of history has sprung up around Churchill which all too
often has sought to impose present day values on words and actions of Churchill from an
entirely different age. This has taken place simulaneously, both from the left and the
political right. On the left you have Clive Ponting who as Richard mentioned earlier in
his speech, comes up with a lot of baloney about Churchill having known about Pearl Harbor,
being an alcoholic, being responsible for the death of and so on. Christopher Hitchens,
much harder to pin down on the right or the left, but he too pretty much embraced all
of the anti-Churchill theories going. There was one article where he wrote in the Atlantic
Monthly no fewer than twenty-three separate accusations, many of them naughty conspiracy
theories which were pretty much all proven to be inaccurate.
Then there was Margaret Cook, the wife of Robin Cook, the British Foreign Secretary,
Labor Foreign Secretary who wrote a book about Winston Churchill being, quote, almost homosexual.
I've no idea what almost homosexual means by the way and I attended both a British boarding
school and Cambridge University. You then have the whole issue of race. This
is the new attack on Winston Churchill, again as Richard mentioned, the Bengal Famine is
brought up. There's a book by a man called Muckety and of course Richard Toye's book
on imperialism which basically argued that he was such a racist that he didn't care about
the deaths of black and brown people and in the case of the Bengal Famine he as good as
encouraged it. In a review of Richard Toye's book on Churchill's imperialism in the Times
Literary supplement, written by Johan Harry it was asserted that during the Bengal Famine
Churchill quote, refused to offer any aid for months while hundreds of thousands died,
unquote. The fact that those months actually took place during the second World War when
India was trying to fight the Japanese who had pretty much captured the whole of Burma
by then is not mentioned. In the same review it's stated that President
Obama's grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama quote, was imprisoned without trial for two
years and tortured on Churchill's watch for resisting Churchill's empire. Now closer examination
of the facts show that his imprisonment actually took place before Churchill became Prime Minister.
He wasn't tortured and he hadn't been in prison for resisting imperialism either. Was Churchill
a racist? Yes, of course he was. Any men, even men of the left, such as H.G. Wells were,
in those days, they believed biological racism was accepted as a scientific fact. To criticize
Churchill for this is a bit like criticizing people for ignorance for thinking the sun
moved around the earth before the time of Galileo. Anyhow, and this is the fact that
most people ignore or deny about Churchill's overt racism is that it lead him to want to
protect native peoples and because he believed the British had a profound imperial duty towards
them. I've just been rereading Churchill's 1908
book My African Journey about the time that he spent in Egypt and the Sudan and Kenya
and Uganda and Tanzania the previous year and virtually every paragraph has something
that is quite rightly completely outrageous and unsayable nowadays about the backwardness,
as he perceived it, of the native peoples but the very next paragraph, again and again,
explains the sacred duties of the British Empire as a result of this. Plucked pretty
much entirely at random for example, here are his musings about the Kenyan tribes.
He wrote, "It's unquestionably an advantage that the East African Negro should develop
a taste for civilized attire. His life will gradually be made more complicated, more varied,
less crudely animal and himself raised to a higher level of economic utility. A government
runs risks when it intrudes upon the domain of fashion but when a veritable abyss of knowledge
and science separates the ruler from the ruled, authority is dealing with a native race still
plunged in it's primary squalor, without religion, without clothes, without morals but willing
to emerge and capable of emerging, such risks may be fairly accepted."
At the Kikuyu he wrote, "No one can travel even for a little while among the Kikuyu tribes
without acquiring a liking for these lighthearted tractable, if brutish children or without
feeling that they're capable of being instructed and raised from their present degradation.
It will be an ill day for these native races when their fortunes are removed from the impartial
and august administration of the crown and abandoned to the fierce self-interest of a
small white population." So much for the anti-Churchill historians of the left and the achingly politically
correct with their chronologically challenged racial critique of Churchill.
What about the attacks from the right and in David Irving's case the ultra-right? One
rather hesitates to append the designation historian to some of these people especially
Irving. Three who are undoubtedly intelligent historians from the right, one that was mentioned
earlier by Larry, John Trombley, another two, the late Morris Cowling and Allen Clark. All
argued that Churchill increased the rate of collapse of the British empire by indulging
in an essentially unnecessary war in 1939. It ought to be unnecessary for me to re-fight
the argument over why that would have been absolutely disastrous to have made peace with
Hitler in 1940 or '41, but I'm happy to, in questions and answers if necessary.
Then you have the extreme libertarians. A man called Robert Rako at the University of,
is there such a thing as the University of Buffalo or is a university that's in Buffalo?
One or the other, anyway. There he is and he has said that Winston Churchill was a war
criminal, a stooge of Stalin and a drug addict. I find that people like that rarely take refuge
in understatement. From neither the right nor the left comes
Mr. Nicholson Baker in a book called Human Smoke. Mr. Baker says that Winston Churchill
was as bad as Hitler. He accuses him of being an anti-semite, of using gas against Iraqi
tribesman, the oldest one in the book and of course anyone who can't tell the difference
between tear gas and mustard gas should not be writing history books. Mr. Baker says in
his introduction, "I used Wikipedia during the writing of this book." This is a quote
from him saying, "especially to check facts." His previous two books, prior to this book
on Churchill were on phone sex and masturbation. Now I don't for a moment ladies and gentlemen
deny that Mr. Nicholson Baker might have been a world expert on both of his pastimes. It
doesn't do to separate a man from his hobbies but he does nothing at all about Winston Churchill.
In these cases it's always best to stay calm and to go back to the one historian one can
always trust, the late Sir Martin Gilbert. Martin's biography of Churchill has been described
as the longest biography ever written. At ten million words it is the longest biography
ever written, still it's not a page too long. Wimps can always read the condensed version
that came out in 1992. This might be a good time by the way to pay tribute to the noble
job that Larry Arnn and his team at Hillsdale are doing in completing that work. There is
a literary form of apostolic succession that starts with Randolph Churchill, hands over
the baton to Martin and then Martin handing over to Larry. Once the last of the companion
volumes are published, the Churchill, Gilbert, Arnn work will stand as a gleaming monument
to literature and scholarship so long as the English tongue is spoken.
But even the great Martin Gilbert is not without his detractors. One was Robert Rhodes James
the editor of eight volumes of Churchill's speeches. In his Times Literary review of
Martin's autobiography in praise of Churchill, wonderful book that was published in June
1994, Rhodes James wrote, quote "Gilbert's was too bland adulatory and only too open
to counter attack." He means the original biography, the official biography.
"The emptiness that I feel is that in his fervor of activity in compiling and publishing
this great archive Gilbert never stands back and reflects." "This strange and worryingly
narcissistic book", he writes that Gilbert was never even met Churchill is less important
than he has no political experience." He said Gilbert's book "conveys an impression of pettiness"
and said, "Gilbert has devoted much of his life to the search of Churchill and had done
so honorably and with much devotion and dedication but the fact that he has failed to come close
to his subject is much more evident to others than to him. My complaint is that he never
really attempted to find the man only the documents. There is more to biography than
legwork and paperwork. These are the essential prerequisites, the most difficult part of
the biographer's real task, the portrait of a soul through his adventures through life."
The very next week in the Times Literary supplement, the commentator Edward Luttwak replied superbly
to that attack on Martin by Rhodes James. He writes, "How true were the subject a romantic
poet, a reclusive painter or even a minor politician but Winston Churchill the last
I heard was sometimes engaged in public life, sometimes holding offices of high consequence,
in circumstances that sometimes endowed his decisions and actions with some importance
to some people beyond the immediate circle of his family, friends and personal employees.
That is the aspect of Churchill's life that Gilbert's gigantic labors have recovered from
many sources and most thoroughly reconstructed for all of us, but an aspect evidently of
trivial import for Mr. Robert Rhodes James who would obviously have preferred a speculative
essay on Churchill's inner life, perhaps illuminated by the always solidly reliable insights of
psycho-analysis." To those criticisms of Rhodes James I'd like
to add some of my own. To attack Martin Gilbert for narcissism is a disgraceful assertion
as anyone who knew this deeply modest and self-effacing man will attest. He was writing
and autobiography which per force must make references to the subject. There's a world
of difference between writing about oneself in an autobiography and the kind of self love
summed up by the word narcissism. I defy anyone to find a sentence in that book that could
justly be described narcissistic. I knew Rhodes James a bit in the early 1980's when he was
the president of the Cambridge University Conservative Association when I was it's chairman.
That reference about Gilbert having no political experience was really just a boast that Robert
Rhodes James himself was a conservative MP and the equally slighting reference to Martin
not knowing Churchill was a reference to Rhodes James himself having been close to Brendan
Bracken who introduced him to Churchill. Rhodes James and I never saw eye to eye, mainly
because he was virulently opposed to Margaret Thatcher whom I personally regarded, as I
still do today, as the savior of her country and the greatest peacetime prime minister
of the century. Thank you. I never had much time for Robert's judgment of people ever
since he was the principle officer in the executive office of the Secretary General
of the United Nations with the Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim. Despite being a World War II
historian Rhodes James never spotted the slight gap in his boss' resume for the rather key
years of 1944 and 1945. During which it later turned out that Waldheim hadn't been studying
for a law degree in the University of Vienna as he claimed but in fact had been an in the
stationed in Croatia where he denied seeing atrocities despite shootings of partisans
two hundred feet from his offices or having personally ever witnessed any anti-Semitism
despite his having personally approved leaflets to the Soviets saying enough of the Jewish
war, stop the killing, come over. The real point rebutting Rhodes James' critique
of Martin Gilbert is a deeper one than even Edward Luttwak makes however. Martin was more
than capable of making moral judgments and placing himself in his books when he wanted
to as his books on Israel and the holocaust proved but he recognized that the subjects
he was writing about was for the ages, not for an immediate time period. Any value judgments
he sough to impose on his great, multi-volume biography were likely to be out of date within
a few decades. By allowing Churchill to speak to us in his own words rather than through
any authorial prism of Martin's, the biography leaves us with what every reader wants and
needs from a great biographer, the real subject on his own.
That's required Martin to step back and allow the great man to take all the limelight. Of
course Martin was constantly using his historian's judgment as to what to include and what to
exclude, and we was constantly shocked that the biography was so short rather than so
long as we hear from Richard. So in that sense he was imposing himself but at no point did
he allow vanity or self-importance to go down Rhodes James' route of trying to make contemporaneous
value judgments on long past contrivances. It's the key to understanding why it is one
of the greatest biographies in the language and moreover, in my view, the sheer accumulation
of information and quotation meant that Martin did indeed succeed in painting, quote, the
portrait of a soul through his adventures through life.
Martin's totally debilitating stroke which led to his death in February came, in my view,
partly as a result, and not just my view either, by the way ladies and gentlemen, of the British
media's obsession with the Iraq war. The Chilcot Inquiry on which he sat along with Sir Lawrence
Freedman and the Judge Chilcot and two others, was exhausting work for Martin at a time that
he least needed it at an advanced age. It was just too much. We've already had four
inquiries on the Iraq war. They've all said the same thing, we didn't need to have a fifth.
Unfortunately we did. Both Martin and Laurie Freedman were attacked for even being on the
committee because they were Jewish, an appalling outbreak of anti-Semitism from amongst others.
Oliver Miles the former ambassador to Libya, a classic example I'm afraid ladies and gentlemen
of the foreign office at it's absolute arabist worst.
Biographers of Churchill left, right, good, bad and indifferent are all facing a terrible
encroaching ignorance about Churchill which stems from the fact that his life and achievements
are not presently taught about in school to anything like the degree that they ought to
be. As Richard pointed out in his speech, in a recent survey twenty-three percent of
British teenagers thought that Churchill was a fictional character. They also by the way
thought that Sherlock Holmes and Eleanor Rigby were real people. However none of this is
quite as bad as the forty percent of British teenagers, and not a small number either,
they interviewed I think 1600 of them, forty percent of them who believed that the American
War of Independence had been won by Denzel Washington.
Anyway, let's look for some good news. The good news is that people are still very keen
to learn about Churchill when they're given the chance. Boris Johnson wrote that book
the other day and he has sold 200,000 copies of it. Actually my favorite review of it that
said the problem with Winston Churchill is that he thinks he's Boris Johnson. I did my
best by the way ladies and gentlemen when he sent me that book to try and get rid of
the mistakes but even I wasn't able to stop him from saying that Winston Churchill was
camp. The least camp person it's possible to think of in history must be Sir Winston
Churchill but nonetheless that's Boris. There are good, readable biographies by Roy
Jenkins, who didn't visit any archives and he seemed to be under the impression that
Winston Churchill was a liberal all his life but nonetheless it's immensely readable and
the political bits are fun. But also by Elizabeth Longford, Henry Pelling, Norman Rose, Jefferey
Best and several others. Churchill also was fortunate to have had a large number of serious
and scholarly figures, by no means all from the academy. Many of the best actually have
been enthusiasts from outside the academy who've added immeasurably to our knowledge
of him. In no particular order and conscious of missing
out dozens of others I'd like to mention Paul Addison, on Churchill's domestic policies,
John Ramsden on his legacy, David Reynolds and Manfred Weidhorn on his writing, and Max
Hastings, I don't always agree with everything Max Hastings said but nonetheless he's worked
impressively on his war craft. David Dilks has been mentioned on his friendships and
his relations with the commonwealth. Richard Langworth of course who I see as Churchill's
representative on the earth. John Mather has written about his health. Jonathan Schneer
on the war cabinet which is an aspect very well covered years ago by Sheila Lawler as
well. Lynn Olsen on his youthful divertees. Mary Soames of course, the late Mary Soams
and the late Dick Howe on his marriage. John and Celia Lee on his immediate family. Will
Morrisey and Francois Cassidy on Churchill's relationship with De Gaulle. Warren Kimball
on his relationship with FDR. David Stafford on intelligence. Con Coughlin on his time
with the Malakand Field Force. Raymond Callahan and Barry Pitt and John Keegan on his relations
with his generals and Christa Labelle and Stephen Roscoe on his relations with his admirals.
There's been Barbara Leeming on his penultimate decade. Celia Sands on his travels. Kenneth
Weisbrode on his relationship with King George the sixth. Morris Ashley and Bill Deekan on
his time as a historian. Peter Clarke on his journalism. Cita Stelzer, who's with us in
the audience today, on his eating and drinking. Ted Morgan, Michael McCannalin 0and Kurt on
his youth. Barry Singer of course on his sense of style. Stephen on his cigars. Rodney Croft
on his funeral and so on and so on and hopefully so on forever.
I suspect Warren Doctor will be joining the honor roll with his forthcoming book on Churchill's
relations with Islam as of course Larry Arnn will be with his Churchill's trial and already
is there with the work that he's been doing on the official biography and to add to that
role are also the bibliographies compiled by Ronald Cohen and Kurt Zoller and the collections
of essays by David Canadine and one edited by Robert Blake and William Roger Lewis. Then
there are the reissues of Churchill's books by Jim Muller that we've just been hearing
about, noble undertaking financed by in part think ISI which is a great institution as
well. We historians can be a disputatious and sometimes
rather vain bunch. Not for nothing is the collective noun for historians malice but
most of us tweeling in the field of Churchill studies have very conscious that we're only
really dotting the I's and crossing the T's of the great historians who've gone before,
principally of course the person who many of us here were proud to call our friend,
the late, the great, Sir Martin Gilbert. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much indeed.
Female: Again we have some time for questions. Dr. Roberts: This gentleman over there.
Male 1: Could you tell me where you were and what you were thinking in 2009 when the bust
of Winston Churchill was removed from the White House?
Dr. Roberts: This is an interesting issue because there are some people who argue that
it wasn't given to America per se. It was never expected to be kept in the Oval Office
all the time, that it was only given to the Bush administration and therefore the Obama
administration had every right to get rid of it. I frankly haven't looked into it in
anything like the degree that some others have. I of course felt, like I think probably
everybody in this room did, that it was a great shame, that it should have been taken
out of the Oval Office. I didn't know at the time that there was another bust in the White
House somewhere else and that it should have been given back to the British Embassy, but
the fact is that President Obama just has every right to put busts Martin Luther King
where ones of Winston Churchill were if he believes, which he seems to, that his grandfather
was tortured by Winston Churchill which he was not.
The president is under the impression, or seems to have been, I don't know whether he's
looked at any of this recent work that's been done and the articles that have been written
that have looked into this in some detail and which prove beyond doubt, it seems to
me, that the dreams of his father are precisely that, dreams. He seems to have been a deeply,
deeply dishonest person, President Obama's father, who made up things all the time when
he was sober and was in terms of what the accidents that he caused and the damage that
he caused to people, it strikes me as a deeply unpleasant person and if one of the lies that
he made up was that his father, President Obama's grandfather, was some great Myanmar
nationalist leader and liberation fighter. Well I'm afraid that just fits in very much
with the overall level of duplicity that that man has shown.
Male 2: Hello over here. Earlier you talked about the difference and the change of the
treatment of Winston Churchill by his biographers. I was wondering if you find a parallel with
that with today and Margaret Thatcher and whether she's in danger of becoming mythical
in the foreseeable future? Dr. Roberts: Well as an historian, the world
mythical is very difficult. I mean she's legendary, she'll always be legendary. Myth implies that
the stories aren't necessarily true and having know Margaret Thatcher, in fact she appointed
me to take her place on the Margaret Thatcher archive trust and she came around for dinner
at our house we went round to her and she was somebody who the more extraordinary the
story, the more likely I am to believe it in fact. So the myths about her, if you look
at them closely, of course anybody who's a strong leader like her will accrete like barnacles
accreting on the bottom of a well sailed boat. However the fact is that she was a bit like
Winston Churchill, somebody who one told stories about. She was a truly extraordinary and inspirational
person. So I think with that it's a bit like Martin Gilbert and Winston Churchill, you
go to Charles Moore's excellent official biography of her and see what he thinks.
Male 2: I meant mythical as in the twenty-three percent of British children find Winston Churchill
mythical. Dr. Roberts: I see yeah. In a hundred years
time, I'm sure twenty-three percent of British schoolchildren won't believe that Margaret
Thatcher existed either. Male 3: Should I raise my hand? Okay.
Dr. Roberts: Well unless there are any other- Male 3: Oh, I have one.
Dr. Roberts: Oh, okay. Male 3: You mentioned some of the biographies
and I'm especially recently familiar with the Jenkins biography. I think he summed it
up by saying that he had previously though Gladstone was the greatest Englishman of all
time and he changed his mind after doing his research on Churchill.
Dr. Roberts: To hold the position of Prime Minister, is what he said.
Male 3: Right. Exactly, the greatest Prime Minister, right. What about William Manchester?
You didn't talk about Manchester as a biographer. I was wondering-
Dr. Roberts: I didn't. Male 3: ... your impression of his books.
Dr. Roberts: I didn't. I'm afraid that probably I'm the only person in this room that was
actually disappointed by, not the literature of William Manchester. He was a very good
writer but it just didn't work for me. I don't know why, maybe it was the ... I read it when
I was university and I was expecting, maybe I had high expectations of the historical
scholarshop. I'm afraid I think the third volume shouldn't have been published at all.
It was pitted with errors and was unfortunately ... although it was written by a very nice
man, journalist, he hadn't covered any of the scholarship that's been done in the last
twenty years since William Manchester had his stroke and it just ... Don't worry. I
know William Manchester's written these fabulous selling books but I didn't put him down on
that list for a conscious reason. Male 4: Dr.Roberts, just to digress a little
bit, what are you currently working on and what can we look forward to in your next work?
Dr. Roberts: Well don't hold your breath because it's not going to be published until 2018.
Which for me by the way is absolutely nothing. My last book on Napoleon took me longer than
Napoleon spent on Centilina and Elba put together, but no, it's a single volume biography of
Churchill. I've been commissioned by Penguin US and UK to write a quarter of a million
word, cradle to the grave life of the great man so that's how I'm going to be spending
my next three or four years. Hugely looking forward to them. I'm already deep into the
second volume of his speeches. You know he spoke eight million words I think it was so
that's what I'm going to be doing and a bit like Richard and Jim said, the more you read
of his his own words and that's especially true of the speeches of course by you also
have the witty, we're joined in the house of commons in those speech books. The more
you realize that Martin Gilbert was so right when he said that he'd only managed to put
ten percent of the whole in to the great official biography which is another reason why the
end of writing biographies will always be more and all of us could really spend the
rest of our lives reading everything that Winston Churchill ever said or wrote.
We'd still be holding our sides with laughter at some of his witty adjoined and brilliant
epithet. I'm just going to finish with one which Richard will probably tell me he never
said. Only tell me afterwards please, rather than before the punch line Richard. When he
spoke, as you all know, he was continually broke. As we heard from Barry he spent more
money on champagne than he should have. Twenty-six pounds, eighteen shillings in 1899. Can you
imagine how much money that was? I mean that was the same as an average person earned in
those days and so he was constantly broke or on the verge of being broke and way he
made his money was to come out to America and to give speeches to enormous numbers of
people across the country. During the Indian Constitutional Crisis he was heckled by a
lady who shouted at him from the back. "So Mr. Churchill what do you intend to do about
your Indians?" "Least ways madame," he replied, "not what you did with yours." Thank you so
much. Tim: Well thank you very much Andrew and thanks
all of you for attending this Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar. We are adjourned.