Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…

In Our Times


I’m reading the biography of Winston Churchill by Max Hastings and I’m also following along with The Orwell Diaries on RSS.

I’m at a similar point in both stories and what strikes me most forcefully is how bleak those times were and how close Britain was to utter disaster. My imagination won’t stretch far enough to accommodate the events of those dark days.

It puts the rhetoric about the threats we faced from Al Qaeda in perspective for me. Britain circa 1941 faced an existential threat. America circa 2001 did not.

It’s also hard to imagine a politician in our shallow times doing something like this:

On January 27, amid increasing parliamentary criticism, Churchill faced the commons. “It is because things have gone badly, and worse is to come, that I demand a Vote of Confidence,” he said.

He won the vote by 464 to 1.

A bleg: when I am done with this, I’d like to learn a little more about the American Revolution and the Civil War. Any recommendations for a book on each? I’m more interested in the politics and the build up than the actual fighting in each case.

For the Revolutionary War especially, I want to be more prepared the next time a teacher sends a child home to interview their English father to get the “other side’s point of view” 🙁