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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: "Churchill and the Historians" - Andrew Roberts

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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.

Thank you.

The Description of "Churchill and the Historians" - Andrew Roberts