Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Churchill Series – Nov. 7, 2008

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

I’ve not read the book I’m about to call to your attention. What follows is an announcement, not a review.

Richard Langworth is editor of
Finest Hour, the Churchill Centre’s quarterly journal and author of a number of outstanding books including Connoisseur's Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill and The Churchill Lexicon.

Now at Amazon's site there's news of Langworth’s just released annotated collection of Churchill sayings. The following is from the Product Description portion of Amazon’s order page:

“Never give in!” Winston Churchill is famous for admonishing: “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.” What most people don’t know is that when he said this he was addressing not a nation facing the threat of invasion, but a roomful of schoolboys at his old school.

A powerful, persuasive speaker and notorious wit, Churchill is one of the twentieth century’s most oft-quoted leaders—and one frequently misquoted or quoted out of context. Yet his actual remarks were often much wiser and wittier than reported.

Churchill By Himself is the first exhaustive, attributed, and annotated collection of Churchill sayings. Edited by a longtime Churchill scholar and authorized by the Churchill estate, the quotations provide the first wholly accurate record of the esteemed statesman’s words.
Based on what Langworth and a few other historians who’ve read sections of the work in preparation have said, calling Churchill By Himself “the first wholly accurate record of the esteemed statesman’s words” is commercial hype.

This from a reviewer at Amazon sounds more like what I feel sure the book really is:
Richard Langworth has hit another grand slam with his new book,
Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations. This is an extraordinary work of scholarship that documents what Churchill said and didn't say.

Like his previous work,
A Connoisseur’s Guide to
the Books of Winston Churchill
(unfortunately I lost mine in Katrina),
Richard's meticulous attention to detail sheds pure white light on
Churchill's quotations. It's about time someone cleared the air! …

I'm no longer surprised how many quotations are attributed to Churchill which he
never said or would have said. Now we can all get ground truth thanks to Richard Langworth.
While Churchill By Himself was only released last week and is sure to be a heavy seller, Amazon has discounted it.

You can learn more about the book and how to order it here.

I hope you all have a very nice weekend that includes a few minutes ordering
Churchill By Himself.

Even without reading the book, I feel certain it'll give you hours of pleasure, useful information, wisdom, and inspiration.


Paul R. said...

I'd bet Richard's book will answer your question posted last week regarding Churchill and the drunk/ugly tale. My copy of the book has yet to arrive, but I plan on using it to help me vet certain quotes for a biography of Churchill I'm in the process of finishing. I think the drunk/ugly tale may well be apocryphal; I've seen many versions of it, sometimes Lady Astor, sometimes others, different locales and such. As such, I've chosen not to include some of these tales in my work, including for example, the tale of Winston greeting Roosevelt naked and dripping wet with "You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to hide..." Churchill's bodyguard and a secretary tell similar versions, but Winston denied saying that for the very good reason Britain DID have secrets to be kept from the Americans. That said, he did greet the President dripping wet and naked(and so informed the King). Roosevelt had come to Churchill's White House suite to announce his pithy new name for the newly formed Allies: The United Nations.
Keep up the enjoyable work.