August 2, 2015

Finest Hour 168, Spring 2015

Page 04

By David Freeman, April 2015

Seventy Years On

Seventieth anniversaries are necessarily the last milestone anniversaries at which a good number of participants still survive. Accordingly, in this issue we celebrate V-E Day Seventy Years On while members of the Greatest Generation are still with us to share their memories and receive our gratitude.

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sets the tone of this issue with a letter written specifically for The Churchill Centre. He reminds us that preserving the principles Churchill defended required an Allied effort.

Jonathan Schneer shows us how Churchill handled his Cabinet and kept this “team of rivals” together. Anne Henderson provides a similar view of another prime minister, Robert Menzies, and how the Australian leader had to maneuver between his own government and Churchill’s in London.

On the military side Raymond Callahan explains how Churchill managed the Empire’s armies, while Paul Courtenay provides a quick guide to the honors the leaders of these forces received. Mark Stoler examines the most important military relationship Churchill had with an officer over whom he had no control, General George C. Marshall, and Paul Taylor compares Churchill with the mercurial General Patton.

In our autumn 2014 issue, FH 165, we provided a host of tributes to our beloved Sir Martin Gilbert, which his wife Esther was able to share with him before he passed away in February of this year. Therefore, we run our final tribute to the “historian of the century” with Sir Martin’s own account of his astonishingly productive life.

Even as we acknowledge the passing of one generation, we celebrate the arrival of another. Our cover artist this issue is twelve-year-old Grant Agamalian. His story can be found in our center spread. And opposite we are pleased to print a letter from another budding young Churchill Scholar.

The success of the 2014 film The Imitation Game about the Bletchley code breakers has stirred up a new sort of Churchill myth that Jonathan Schilling has investigated and found wanting.

Finally, in this year of major anniversaries (50 since Churchill’s death, 70 since the end of the war, 75 since Churchill became Prime Minister, 100 since the Dardanelles) books about Churchill continue to proliferate in all languages. From time to time it becomes necessary for this journal to catch up with this profusion of information and dedicate a disproportional amount of space to reviews. In this issue we look at fifteen books, but our summer and autumn issues still promise to be full with even more reviews.

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