Archive for the ‘History’ Category


I’ve been reading much on the fantastic and inspiring life of Winston Churchill.  This volume, the eighth and final is the masterful series by Randolph Churchill (Sir Winston’s son) and Martin Gilbert (who took up the task when Randolph died), brings to life the final 20 years of this tremendous leader’s life.

What stands out, as it does in earlier volumes, is Churchill’s devotion to duty and his courage in life — as does his uncanny foresight and vision.  He saw (and acted on) what it took (and has taken) so many others to figure out years, even decades, later.  And he understood that truth is not subjective and that effective policy and effective, impactful living must be built on truth.

This monumental effort will take significant time and effort to properly read and truly absorb. Its strength is also its weakness – namely it’s exhausting attention to daily and minute (and sometimes tangential) detail.

This detail, to the observant and insightful reader, will reveal and enable a greater understanding of what was truly happening and being experienced as it happened (where hindsight is of no help). It will thus also provide a true look into how, what and why Churchill and those around him thought and acted as they did.

Finally, it will so provide, if you have the eyes to see, true lessons on living life, even into extreme old age.

But this exhausting detail brings frustration in that it can detract from the overarching and main themes, lessons and critical points of history because they are lost in the day-to-day detail.

Nonetheless, this is a remarkable literary achievement and an excellent addition for those who have a good understanding of the major events of history and who seek deeper understanding of what made Churchill great and what animated him on a deep and “in the midst of life” level.  Perhaps more importantly, Churchill’s life provides object lessons in living life well.


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