Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 22, 2009

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

Yesterday marked the end of the reposting, with updating, of a 2006 set of posts concerning the three month long trip Churchill, his brother, Jack, and their sons, Randolph and Johnny, took in 1929 across Canada, down the American West coast, and than back by train across America to New York.

I want to share a few comments concerning the “travel series.”

Churchill’s zest for living, his capacity to wring so much out of a day never ceases to amaze me. During the trip he produced newspaper and magazine articles, wrote and delivered at least 24 speeches by my count (no doubt he delivered more), and researched for the four volume biography of his ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough.

Some of those speeches were on very complicated and internationally sensitive subjects including naval force reduction treaties and international debt repayment plans. They were delivered before important and well-informed audiences; and were almost always followed by Q&A sessions.

Most politicians would have relied on many different sets of expert staffers to produce those speeches. But with the exception of some occasional consultation with British consulate staff, Churchill produced the speeches himself. He had few books and policy papers with him. Most of what went into those speeches came right from one of the twentieth century’s great storehouses of knowledge: Churchill’s mind.

His command of knowledge in diverse areas and his ability to organize that knowledge reminds us again: he was a very brilliant man.

There’s more I could say, but I don’t want to rattle on. I’d be very glad to hear what you think.