Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 19, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On January 30, 1946, Churchill was in Miami where historian Martin Gilbert says:

(Churchill) had a long talk with Emery Reves, who before the war had insured the wide circulation of his articles throughout Europe, about the publishing aspect of his war memoirs.

"I have not forgotten what you have done for me before the war" Churchill told Reves, "and I shall want you to handle it"

Over the next decade, and more, Reves made sure that the memoirs obtained the widest possible circulation, translation and financial benefit.
Shortly after Churchill began work on his memoirs, tension developed between the two as Reves made numerous criticisms of Churchill's drafts.

Churchill, you'll recall, often said that while he liked to learn, he didn't like being taught.

But the two men were able to work through their differences. Reves was even able to persuade Churchill to change the title he'd selected for the first volume of his multi-volume WWII memoirs. Thus, The Downward Path became The Gathering Storm.
Reader's Note: Some will reasonably wonder whether Churchill actually said
"have done for me before the war" instead of "did for me before the war."

The Churchill quote, along with the rest of Martin Gilbert's text quoted here, appears on page 864 of his Churchill: A Life.