The Place to Find All Things Churchill

Finest Hour 190

The Bristol Giant Books, Arts, & Curiosities

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 48

Review by Kenneth O. Morgan

Andrew Adonis, Ernest Bevin: Labour’s Churchill, Biteback Publishing, 2020, 357 pages, £20.00. ISBN 978–1785905988

Kenneth O. Morgan’s books include studies of David Lloyd George, James Callaghan, and Michael Foot. He serves in the House of Lords as Baron Morgan of Aberdyfi.

Ernest Bevin and Winston Churchill were (alongside David Lloyd George) the three titans of twentieth-century British politics. Bevin and Churchill were an astonishing contrast: Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace and educated at Harrow and Sandhurst; Bevin was a seriously disadvantaged orphan, who began life as an eleven-year-old farm labourer, was partly educated in the Baptist Sunday School and local adult education classes, and, as he liked to say, the “’edgerows of experience.” But he made his way with astonishing speed amongst the dockers of Bristol. He always had a great affection for the city. Lord Franks, who was a British ambassador to Washington, told me of his rapport with Bevin through both being Bristolians.

Churchill himself had a Bristol Connection. He became, and remains, the longest-serving Chancellor of the city’s university. Today, the memories of Bevin and Churchill are permanently joined together at Churchill College, Cambridge, where Bevin’s papers form part of the Archives. Additionally, a bust of “Ernie” presides over the Bevin Room in the college library, an important reminder that Bevin was a leading member of Churchill’s wartime coalition. It was a long road from Bristol.

Read More >

New Honorary Members

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 47

The International Churchill Society (ICS) is pleased to announce that Lady Williams of Elvel and former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown have all agreed to become honorary members of the Society. They join His Grace the Duke of Marlborough and former Prime Minister David Cameron in this capacity. All five of the current honorary members have been actively involved with ICS just this year. The Duke, Mr. Cameron, and Mr. Brown have each contributed a foreword to an issue of Finest Hour in ٢٠٢٠, while Lady Williams and Sir John—having participated in past ICS gatherings—will both be participating in this year’s virtual conference (see back cover).

Lady Williams of Elvel: At the suggestion of her uncle R. A. Butler, Jane Portal went to work as a secretary for Winston Churchill in 1949. Another of her uncles, Sir Charles Portal, served as the professional head of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War (see FH 185). Jane continued to work for Churchill until he retired as prime minister in 1955. She later married Charles Williams, who became Baron Williams of Elvel in 1985. Her conversation with Churchill granddaughter Celia Sandys was one of the highlights of the 2017 ICS conference. In accepting the honor, Lady Williams said that she was “very pleased to be joining along with her friends Sir John Major and Gordon Brown.”

The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997. Previously, in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet, he served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir John was Member of Parliament for Huntingdon from 1979 to 2001. In 1999 HM The Queen made him a Companion of Honour for his work on the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and in 2005 a Knight Companion of The Most Noble Order of the Garter. In 2013, Sir John presented the Sir Winston Churchill Award to HRH The Prince of Wales on behalf of ICS-UK. In addition to his political memoirs, Sir John has published books about the social history of Cricket and Music Hall.

The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. Previously to this he served for ten years as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Prime Minister Tony Blair and was Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath from 1983 to 2015. In 2012 Mr. Brown was appointed United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education. Mr. Brown is in fact “Dr.” Brown, having earned his Ph.D. under the direction of the late Paul Addison (see FH 189), one of the leading Churchill scholars of his time. Brown was also good friends with the late Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer and a former honorary member of ICS. Mr. Brown wrote the foreword to the preceding issue of Finest Hour, which is about Churchill and Scotland.

That Sinking Feeling Books, Arts, & Curiosities

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 47

Review by Robin Brodhurst

Jim Crossley, Churchill’s Admiral in Two World Wars: Admiral of the Fleet Lord Keyes of Zeebrugge and Dover, Pen & Sword, 2020, 200 pages, £25. ISBN 978–1526748393

Robin Brodhurst is author of Churchill’s Anchor: Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound (Pen and Sword, 2000).

Roger Keyes had an amazing career, involving service in every type of Royal Naval ship and fighting in China, Gallipoli, and the Channel. His bravery was never in doubt, nor was his leadership, which inspired great loyalty among those who served under him. Yet some people hated him. Where Keyes fell down was in the wider aspects of strategic view and political understanding. After a brilliant early career, he was over-promoted. A superb captain and a brilliant commander of small squadrons, both submarines and destroyers, Keyes failed in the roles of fleet commander and Whitehall mandarin.

Keyes’s performance in China in 1900 was symbolic of much that followed: amazing bravery, great leadership, and considerable luck, but also direct disobedience of an order so that he could be in action. Amazingly, he got away with it and received early promotion to commander at twenty-eight. Keyes returned to England a rising star and received command of the Devonport destroyer flotilla, where his leadership skills were very soon evident; he twiced managed to ambush the battleships of the Home Fleet on exercise. In 1910 those same traits were on display when he took command of the Royal Navy’s submarines. His political skills within the Royal Navy, however, began to show their failings. He ran afoul of the Admiralty in general and of First Sea Lord Jackie Fisher in particular.

Read More >

The Forgotten Statesman Books, Arts, & Curiosities

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 45

Review by John Campbell

John Campbell, Haldane: The Forgotten Statesman Who Shaped Modern Britain, HurstPublishers 2020, 483 pages, £30. ISBN 978–1787383111.

John Campbell’s books include biographies of F. E. Smith, Aneurin Bevan, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, and Roy Jenkins.

First, to avoid confusion, I should make it clear that I am not reviewing my own book. The author of this unusual biography shares my name; but this (with the acknowledged help of a young collaborator) is his first published work. He is not a professional historian but the recently retired chairman of his own private equity house; and his book is a highly personal labour of love. He has known the Haldane family all his life, ever since he was taken as a boy to visit Cloan, the family’s house in Perthshire, and he reveres Richard Burdon Haldane to the point of hero-worship. His aim, as frankly stated in his subtitle, is to assert Haldane’s claim to be the unjustly forgotten architect of much of twentieth-century Britain. Not only that, the author presents Haldane as a model of thoughtful statesmanship that our popularity-driven politicians of today should seek to emulate.

It is a bold project, but Campbell just about brings it off. His book has an unconventional structure. Instead of the usual cradle-to-grave narrative of political biography, Campbell devotes five opening chapters—145 pages—to the private man. This could be confusing to a reader not already familiar with the issues and controversies of Edwardian politics; but it does root Haldane’s achievements in the intellectual soil from which they sprang.

Read More >

Shaw, Wells, and Maugham: Authors Churchill Knew

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 32

Winston Churchill’s literary world included novelists, playwrights, poets, and writers of short stories. Three of his best-known friends, who were professional authors, were George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and W. Somerset Maugham. Churchill met and corresponded with each man over a long period of time. His friendships with Shaw and Wells had an edginess to them, since both men were professed socialists, and Churchill enjoyed satirizing their anything-but-socialist lives. With Maugham, however, a much warmer friendship developed.


George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), like Winston Churchill, received the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Irish playwright and British statesman had a long, friendly relationship characterized by political rivalry, which Churchill describes in Great Contemporaries. Here follow extracts.

Mr. Bernard Shaw was one of my earliest antipathies. Indeed, almost my first literary effusion, written when I was serving as a subaltern in India in 1897 (it never saw the light of day), was a ferocious onslaught upon him, and upon an article which he had written disparaging and deriding the British Army in some minor war.

Read More >

Action This Day – Autumn 1895, Autumn 1920, Autumn 1945

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 42

By Michael McMenamin

125 Years Ago
Autumn 1895 • Age 20
Comfort and Convenience

Churchill wrote to his mother Jennie on 30 September commenting on current events in China, Armenia, and Africa. He closed the letter by telling her he was required to take his two-and-a-half month leave from 24 October to 8 January 1896. “Do try and arrange some common rendezvous for us.” Imagine then Jennie’s surprise four days later at receiving a letter from her son grandly advising her of his spur-of-the-moment decision to travel to Cuba to observe there the unfolding rebellion. To Jennie, the impulsive decision must have reminded her of the harum-scarum boy with which she had so frequently had to deal in the past ten years.

Churchill’s first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was not pleasant. In a shipboard letter to Jennie on 8 November, he wrote, “We had it rough and stormy­—with the spray covering the whole ship & the deck almost underwater.” Nevertheless, he and his brother officer Reggie Barnes were eager to get to the action in Cuba. They had planned to spend three days in New York, but Churchill wrote his mother that they might reduce this to only a day and a half. As he left the ship in New York City, however, Churchill was met on the quay by the Irish-American lawyer, Congressman, and orator, Bourke Cockran. Earlier that year, Cockran had had a love affair in Paris with Churchill’s mother and had agreed to Jennie’s request to look after Winston when he arrived in the United States. Cockran so entranced Churchill that the young soldier extended his first visit to New York into a full week. Thus began an important relationship with America’s most famous orator, who now became a mentor to Churchill.

Read More >

Churchill the Dramatist

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 28

By Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose is the William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University and author of The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (2014), from which this article is adapted.

Though he never wrote a play, he might have been a successful playwright. Winston Churchill admired Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, and Noel Coward—and I am convinced that, had he chosen to direct his talents in that direction, he too could have produced well-made West End dramas. We all know that he played with toy soldiers as a boy, but we should also appreciate that he spent endless hours with a toy theatre. Throughout his adult life, he was a frequent and passionate playgoer, and it was in a theatre that he learned his formidable oratorial and performance skills.

But there was more to it than that. It is said that Oscar Wilde’s most memorable character was Oscar Wilde. In a very similar way, Winston Churchill was a stage character brilliantly crafted by Winston Churchill. Of course all politicians (not just Ronald Reagan) are actors, performing in front of audiences for dramatic effect, but Churchill understood the theatre better than most, and thus made himself into a mesmerizing showman. Read More >


Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 27

The long-awaited St. Augustine’s Press edition of The River War, in 2 volumes, will be the first publication of Winston Churchill’s full, unabridged text since 1899.

Editor James W. Muller’s new edition includes Churchill’s original Sudan dispatches, never before published as he wrote them, illustrations from a notebook kept during the campaign, a facsimile of his handwritten draft chapter on General Gordon’s fate, and a new foreword by the late Mary Soames.

Both trade hardcover and specially-bound

subscriber’s options are available.

To reserve your copy go to:

“What a Tale It Is!” Alexander MacCallum Scott: Churchill’s First Biographer

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 23

By David Stafford

David Stafford is author of Oblivion or Glory: Churchill 1921 (2019). His previous books include Churchill and Secret Service (1997) and Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets (2000).

On the morning of Saturday, 25 August 1928, a passenger plane took off from Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city on Vancouver Island, bound for Seattle some eighty miles to the south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The international service had been inaugurated just two weeks before, and the Ford Tri-Motor monoplane—otherwise known as “The Tin Goose”—was the largest and most modern commercial aircraft in the world. But it never arrived at its destination. Twenty minutes into its flight, it ran into thick fog and crashed into the sea near Port Townsend in the state of Washington. None of those on board, two crew and five passengers, survived. It was the worst tragedy so far in North American commercial aviation and for this reason alone made international headlines. But the tragedy involved something more. Amongst the bodies that washed ashore in the days that immediately followed were those of Churchill’s first biographer, Alexander MacCallum Scott, and Scott’s wife. Scott’s place in the Churchill story has been badly overlooked.1

Scott was born the same year as Churchill, but in the more modest circumstances of an old ferryman’s cottage in Blantyre, Scotland. He was the son of a market gardener and Presbyterian church elder, who died when Alexander was fourteen. This left his mother Rebecca to bring up her children alone. Thanks to a bursary, Scott went to Glasgow University, where he was a contemporary of the novelist John Buchan, became president of the student union, and launched himself into Liberal politics. Like many ambitious Scots of that era, he moved to London, where he qualified as a barrister, was elected a borough councillor in Lewisham, and became a radical journalist and author. In 1910 he entered the House of Commons as the Liberal MP for Glasgow Bridgeton, a seat that he was to hold for the next dozen years.

MP Turned Biographer

Scott by his own measure was only a moderate success in politics, a fact that he attributed to his lack of personal wealth, powerful friends, and charisma. Instead, he was strongly drawn to the contemporary who clearly possessed all of these attributes: Winston Churchill, who had entered Parliament in 1900 as a Conservative. In May 1904 the elder son of Lord Randolph Churchill, who had electrified British politics a generation before with his meteoric rise and fall as Chancellor of the Exchequer, stunned the House of Commons by crossing the floor to join the Liberals over the issue of free trade. Scott was delighted that the Liberal cause now found a powerful and eloquent ally. As Churchill readied himself to stand as a candidate for Manchester North West in the next general election, Scott turned a series of press articles he had written into a brisk and well-illustrated biography entitled simply Winston Spencer Churchill. With furious cries of “turncoat,” “apostate,” and “opportunist,” being hurled at his subject by Conservatives, Scott launched a vigorous and lively defence by arguing that the change was merely that of party colour, not of principle.

Yet it was less Churchill’s stand on policy than his personality and future prospects that attracted Scott to his subject. Here, he enthused, was a “youth of thirty…confidently spoken of by his admirers as a future Prime Minister.” Scott’s own admiration of Churchill shone from every page. “He is of the race of giants,” Scott declared. “In the tempestuous gambols and soaring ambitions of his youth, we read the promises of a mighty manhood.” He also lauded Churchill’s power with the pen that “gave abundant evidence of mature thought, of penetrating criticism, and of profound political instinct,” not to mention his ability to describe scenes that “seem to lie like a picture on the page.” In his final chapter, entitled “A Future Leader,” Scott draws the portrait of a vivid personality who compels attention, excites curiosity, and is a born orator. “Churchill uses words with the practiced skill of an artist, not only to state facts,” Scott writes, “but to express fine and complex shades of meaning, to excite emotion, to arouse sympathy, to carry conviction.” This is as succinct and perceptive a summary of Churchill’s rhetorical gifts as any offered by most subsequent biographers. Churchill’s greatest gift, proffered Scott, was that of character, as revealed in the adventurous course of his life as army subaltern, war correspondent, and politician: one of “will, courage, originality, and magnetism.” Finally, Scott concluded, Churchill “plays for high stakes, but his nerve is steady and his eye is clear. He will at any rate make a fight for it, and the fight will be something to have lived for and to have seen.”2

Doubling Down

Ten years later came the disaster of the Dardanelles and Churchill’s humiliating fall from grace amidst a torrent of savage and accumulated criticism that poured from the mouths of political enemies, rivals, and even friends. By contrast, Scott once again championed his cause. He revised and extended his biography and in 1916 brought it out under a new title, Winston Churchill in Peace and War.3 It presented more than a cogent defence of Churchill’s actions at the Admiralty, robust though that was. It also prophesied that Churchill was far from finished and still had a shining future ahead of him. Indeed, argued Scott, he believed Churchill would emerge from the crisis as a better and stronger man. “If Churchill be the man of genius and of power which his past career would indicate,” Scott predicted, “he will come again, and he will be all the stronger and wiser for the bitter experience through which he has passed.”4 This was the message, too, of the book’s Foreword, written by the distinguished editor of The Observer newspaper, J. L. [“Jim”] Garvin. “A hard check in mid-career best shows of what stuff a statesman is made,” Garvin wrote. “If…Mr. Churchill is full, as I judge, of the right stuff of mind and fibre, his future will take care of itself.” Garvin was one of the rare Conservatives to find a single good word to say at this time about Churchill.

Soon afterwards Scott drew closer in practical ways to Churchill. In 1917 he joined him as his parliamentary private secretary at the Ministry of Munitions and the next year followed him to the War Office, where he stayed for several months before reluctantly resigning on the grounds that he could no longer afford the time it took. Later, at Churchill’s suggestion, he was appointed the Scottish Whip in Lloyd George’s coalition government, and he held the position until being swept away, as was Churchill himself, in the General Election of 1922. With the virtual disappearance of the Liberals as a radical political force in Britain, Scott joined the Labour Party and became friends with its leader, Ramsay MacDonald, who was to become Labour’s first Prime Minister in 1924. By the time he perished in the waters of Juan de Fuca Strait, Scott was the prospective Labour Party candidate for the Scottish constituency of East Aberdeenshire, a seat then held by another erstwhile follower of Churchill, the radical Tory MP, Robert Boothby.

People Power

There is no written record of Churchill’s reaction to the tragic death of his first biographer. But we must imagine that it could only have been generous. For Scott and Churchill were not just biographer and subject. They were active collaborators in defending and promoting his career.

Scott penned his first biography as a deliberate effort to promote Churchill’s campaign in North West Manchester. To ensure that his subject approved the contents, Scott sent Churchill the proofs in advance. Similarly, for the updated 1916 edition, the two men again marched in step. After his demotion and departure from Asquith’s government over the Dardanelles, Churchill threw his energies into constructing an extensive dossier of documents in defence of his actions. Learning of Scott’s decision to update his original biography, in the spring of 1916 Churchill lent the dossier to Scott as background material for the new book. Not surprisingly, Churchill was pleased with the result. “Pleasant reading,” he enthused to Clementine after finishing the section about the Dardanelles in the proofs that Scott sent to his advanced battalion headquarters at Laurence Farm near Ploegsteert in Belgium. “What a tale it is!”5

By way of return, Scott helped Churchill with some frank advice about the strategy he planned for his political comeback in the House of Commons, where by that summer he had become a vocal backbench critic of the Asquith government’s performance. In the first edition of the biography, Scott had identified Churchill as a fellow radical Liberal. “His sympathies are with labour as against the power of organized wealth,” Scott argued. “He is determined that capital shall be made the servant and not the master of the State.” Scott now advised Churchill that, instead of harping on side issues, he should focus on the great central issue of the war and especially on the fact that it might last a long time. Above all, Churchill should urge the government to organize the economy accordingly, especially with respect to the home front, the condition of the hard-pressed working class faced with rising inflation, and the need for state intervention to help it.6

This all struck a chord with Churchill. Since 1908 he had represented the heavily deprived and impoverished Scottish constituency of Dundee and had always seen himself as a champion of the working class in the tradition of his father’s “Tory Democracy.” Much water had flowed under the bridge since then. But elements of Churchill’s youthful radical sympathies remained, and Scott clearly prompted his social conscience. It has often been remarked that Churchill hero-
worshipped Napoleon, which has usually been taken to mean admiration for the Corsican’s military generalship. But in fact, as he once confessed to Scott, it was about much more than that. The French emperor was a hero for him, he told his biographer, because of his declaration that “I have always moved with five million people.” That, Churchill told Scott, “was one of the secrets of his power—his perception and his success in forecasting the movement of the popular mind. That is the secret of politics.”7

Churchill readily took Scott’s suggestions to heart about ensuring the people’s support for the war effort. In the main speech of the Adjournment debate that summer, Churchill urged the Government to get a stronger grip on the economy, mobilise it properly for war, and to restrain the rise in food prices by taking control of the shipping industry to eliminate the profits being made by ship owners. The British people, he said, “require to know that the sacrifices and sufferings they endure arise solely from the needs of the War and of the action against the enemy and that they are not added to by any lack of grip and energy in dealing with the freight problem here or by the accumulation of extortionate profits in the hands of private individuals.” He was to press similarly radical arguments about the economy as a Cabinet member of Lloyd George’s post-war coalition government.8


Scott and his wife had spent a month touring Canada in 1928 and were planning to end their trip in Montreal to meet there with their son, who had been sightseeing in the city. Instead the bodies of the two plane-crash victims were shipped east for burial. In place of a happy family reunion, seventeen-year-old John Scott found himself the chief mourner at his parents’ funeral. In this still imperial age, visits to the Dominion by British politicians were frequent. On the very day of the crash, Ramsay MacDonald had been not far away in Vancouver unveiling a statue of the poet Robert Burns in the city’s Stanley Park. Back in Montreal for the return voyage to Britain, MacDonald modified his plans in order to take care of the grieving orphan and attend the burial. The melancholy ceremony was held in a private house attended by MacDonald, his daughter Ishbel, and a handful of Scott’s Canadian friends. There was no eulogy, reported the Montreal Gazette, and afterwards the bodies were quietly interred in the city’s Mount Royal cemetery, where they remain today.9

Scott left little mark on British politics. But he deserves to be remembered with attention and respect, and not only as Churchill’s first biographer. He also provides a telling example of Churchill’s appeal across party lines. Scott’s admiration survived the collapse of the Liberals and the radically divergent political paths the two men then took: Churchill back to the Tories and Scott to Labour. When the third volume of Churchill’s The World Crisis—his history of the First World War—was published, Scott had accumulated a thick file of the reviews that appeared in the national and regional press. “How he found time to write the book I can hardly conceive,” Scott confided admiringly to his diary in March 1927. “To judge from the reviews this book will be an enduring monument in our literature. I think it does more. In the event of another war it might secure for Churchill an authoritative position in the handling of it. It is not the work of an armchair critic. It is the manifesto of a man of action….”10

Character, not party loyalty, was the key. Scott had understood that from the start. Had he lived to see the day, this man of the Left would have rejoiced to see Churchill as wartime leader of the nation playing, as Scott predicted he would, for high stakes with a steady nerve and clear eye, and making a fight for it.


1. Accounts of the crash can be found in The Times (London) for Aug. 27, 28, 30, 31, and Sept 5, 1921. Andrew Roberts in Walking with Destiny (London: Allen Lane, 2018) refers to Scott briefly as “a journalist,” but as this article reveals he was far more than that.

2. Alexander MacCallum Scott, Winston Spencer Churchill (London: Methuen, 1905), pp. 4, 25, and 266.

3. London, George Newnes Limited, 1916.

4. Ibid., p. 153.

5. Martin Gilbert, ed., Winston S. Churchill, Companion Volume III, Part Two, May 1915–December 1916 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), p. 1479. See also Paul Addison, Churchill on the Home Front (London: Jonathan Cape, 1992), p. 182; and Cameron Hazlehurst, “Scott, Alexander MacCallum (1874–1928),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( I am grateful to Cameron Hazelhurst for generously providing me with some valuable additional references from Scott’s diary.

6. Scott, p. 263.

7. Addison, p. 184.

8. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, Volume III, The Challenge of War: 1914–1916 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), p. 801; see also Addison, p. 183.

9. Montreal Gazette, Wednesday, September 12, 1928.

10. Diary of Alexander MacCallum Scott, 5 March 1927. I am grateful to the University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections, for permission to quote this extract from the Scott Papers (Sp. Coll MS Gen 1465/22).


Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 27

The long-awaited St. Augustine’s Press edition of The River War, in 2 volumes, will be the first publication of Winston Churchill’s full, unabridged text since 1899.

Editor James W. Muller’s new edition includes Churchill’s original Sudan dispatches, never before published as he wrote them, illustrations from a notebook kept during the campaign, a facsimile of his handwritten draft chapter on General Gordon’s fate, and a new foreword by the late Mary Soames.

Both trade hardcover and specially-bound subscriber’s options are available.

To reserve your copy go to:

Two Winston Churchills and One Trademark Coexistence Agreement

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 21

By Lawrence J. Siskind

Lawrence J. Siskind is of counsel at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP in San Francisco, where he specializes in intellectual property law.

Although perhaps best known to history as the man who stood up to Hitler, Winston Churchill, journalist, warrior, and statesman, also made great contributions to American trademark law. Indeed, Churchill was a pioneer and one of the first proponents of trademark coexistence agreements.

Trademark coexistence agreements are peace treaties under which the owners of similar marks agree to forgo war and to divide the marketplace instead. The division may relate to goods, with one owner, for example, using its mark on raisins while the other uses its similar mark on oranges. The boundary may be geographic, allowing one party to market products on the West Coast while the other markets on the East Coast. Or the division may involve incorporating subtle distinctions in the marks themselves.

In the case of Churchill—while certainly more modest than saving civilization from Nazi conquest—his major contribution to trademark law involved a trademark dear to his heart: his own name.

A Tale of Two Churchills

Read More >

A Churchillian Exchange

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 20

June 7, 1899.

Mr. Winston Churchill presents his compliments to Mr. Winston Churchill, and begs to draw his attention to a matter which concerns them both. He has learnt from the Press notices that Mr. Winston Churchill proposes to bring out another novel, entitled Richard Carvel, which is certain to have a considerable sale both in England and America. Mr. Winston Churchill is also the author of a novel now being published in serial form in Macmillan’s Magazine, and for which he anticipates some sale both in England and America. He also proposes to publish on the 1st of October another military chronicle on the Soudan War. He has no doubt that Mr. Winston Churchill will recognise from this letter—if indeed by no other means—that there is grave danger of his works being mistaken for those of Mr. Winston Churchill. He feels sure that Mr. Winston Churchill desires this as little as he does himself. In future to avoid mistakes as far as possible, Mr. Winston Churchill has decided to sign all published articles, stories, or other works, ‘Winston Spencer Churchill,’ and not ‘Winston Churchill’ as formerly. He trusts that this arrangement will commend itself to Mr. Winston Churchill, and he ventures to suggest, with a view to preventing further confusion which may arise out of this extraordinary coincidence, that both Mr. Winston Churchill and Mr. Winston Churchill should insert a short note in their respective publications explaining to the public which are the works of Mr. Winston Churchill and which those of Mr. Winston Churchill. The text of this note might form a subject for future discussion if Mr. Winston Churchill agrees with Mr. Winston Churchill’s proposition. He takes this occasion of complimenting Mr. Winston Churchill upon the style and success of his works, which are always brought to his notice whether in magazine or book form, and he trusts that Mr. Winston Churchill has derived equal pleasure from any work of his that may have attracted his attention. Read More >

Winston Churchill, Meet Winston Churchill

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 17

By Ronald I. Cohen

Ronald I Cohen MBE is author of A Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill (2006).

Collectors of Churchill books have inevitably run into offers of volumes by Winston Churchill with unfamiliar titles such as Coniston, Richard Carvel, and Mr. Crewe’s Career. One title looks close to familiar, The Crisis, but not quite right. You can find online listings for it today by British booksellers attributing authorship to “Sir Winston Churchill.” A little fact checking by prospective purchasers or half-diligent booksellers, however, will reveal that The Crisis and the other three titles were all produced by an American author named Winston Churchill and not the British Winston Churchill to whom this journal is dedicated.

The two Winston Churchills did have connections in terms of age and avocation. The American Winston was born in 1871, just three years before the British Winston. Both Winstons became well-known writers in the late 1890s, albeit continents and subject areas apart. In My Early Life (published in 1930), British Winston explained how he became aware of the American novelist.

In the spring of 1899 I became conscious of the fact that there was another Winston Churchill who also wrote books; apparently he wrote novels, and very good novels too, which achieved an enormous circulation in the United States. I received from many quarters congratulations on my skill as a writer of fiction. I thought at first these were due to a belated appreciation of the merits of Savrola. Gradually I realised that there was ‘another Richmond in the field,’ luckily on the other side of the Atlantic.

Read More >

It Is Finished Final Volume of Documents Completes Official Churchill Biography

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 13

Review by Kevin Ruane

Martin Gilbert and Larry P. Arnn, eds., The Churchill Documents, volume 23, Never Flinch, Never Weary, November 1951 to February 1965, Hillsdale College Press, 2019, 2488 pages, $60. ISBN 978–0916308483

Kevin Ruane is Professor of Modern History at Canterbury Christ Church University and an Archives By-Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

The 1951–1955 Conservative government was the only one Winston Churchill formed as a result of winning a General Election. That distinction ought to have earned his administration a hallowed place in his career pantheon. Instead, it is often viewed as an anti-climax. If Churchill’s peacetime government gets any attention in historical surveys or biographies, it is usually as a postscript to the main event, his epic 1940–1945 wartime premiership. Churchill himself is portrayed as aged, ailing, and only spasmodically effective as prime minister before a stroke in 1953 worsened matters. There were occasional flashes of his old brilliance, but the day-to-day grind of peacetime leadership bored him. Having avenged his 1945 electoral defeat, Churchill stands accused in some quarters of doing little with power other than to cling to it. Friends and political intimates initially assumed that he would make way for his anointed successor, the Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, within a year. But on he went to April 1955, the fading leader of a government both “undistinguished” and “bad for the country.”1

There is, alas, some truth to all this. Pushing seventy-eightyears-of-age at the time of the 1951 election, Churchill was unquestionably past his prime. The malaise, however, both personal and political, has been exaggerated. Historians specialising in the 1951–1955 period have shown that there was much more to Churchill and his administration than popular-critical memory allows.2 Now, with the appearance of the twenty-third and final volume of The Churchill Documents, the evidence is there for all to see, more than 2,000 pages of it in a massive amplification of Martin Gilbert’s Never Despair (1988), the concluding instalment of the official Churchill biography. The volume’s sub-title, “Never Flinch, Never Weary,” taken from a 1955 Churchill speech, describes perfectly the mind-set required of successive documents-volumes editors Randolph Churchill, Martin Gilbert, and Larry P. Arnn as they went about their Herculean task. Read More >

Winston S. Churchill: The Triumphant Story of the Greatest Biography on the Planet

Finest Hour 190, Fourth Quarter 2020

Page 08

By Richard M. Langworth

Richard M. Langworth ([email protected]) has been Senior Fellow for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project since 2014. He is author or editor of sixty books, including Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality, Churchill and the Avoidable War, Churchill by Himself, A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Winston Churchill, and publisher of the first American edition of Winston Churchill’s India.

We go back a long way,” Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn recently reminded me. “I knew Dal Newfield.” He realized that would invoke a fond memory. A few are still left who remember the man responsible for where some of us are today.

Dalton Newfield was a Sacramento resident and army veteran who had admired Winston Churchill since he saw him in person during the Second World War. In 1970, I shrank away from Finest Hour after the first eleven issues, clearing the decks for an automotive writing career in New York City. Dal rescued the thin little newsletter of the “Winston S. Churchill Study Unit” and produced twenty-two issues. His first cover was memorable: a replica of The Times front page for 30 November 1874. In the upper left corner, each copy marked with a hand-applied red dot, was the announcement: “Born at Blenheim Palace, of The Lady Randolph Churchill, a son….”

The Age of Newfield

Dal’s increasingly interesting editions extended far beyond the original scope of stamp collecting. We never had more than $300 in the bank, but he found a friendly printer and begged or borrowed what we then called “halftones”—photos to liven it up. We could not afford typesetting, so he typed each issue on a carbon ribbon Selectric. Running out of space, he would continue articles up and down the margins. It was a happy, eclectic little newssheet, brimming with Churchilliana. Read More >

Join Now

Join or Renew NowPlease join with us to help preserve the memory of Winston Churchill and continue to explore how his life, experiences and leadership are ever-more relevant in today’s chaotic world. BENEFITS >BECOME A MEMBER >

The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.