Winston Churchill (1874-1965) led a long, active and varied life as a soldier, statesman, orator, journalist, author, painter – and bricklayer!
Churchill entered the army in 1895 and fought in colonial wars at the nineteenth century’s close. He headed the Royal Navy at the outbreaks of the Great War in 1914 and the Second World War in 1939. Falling from grace over the Dardanelles, Churchill served in the trenches of the Western Front. Trained as a cavalry officer, he was a visionary about modern warfare: godfather of the tank, and an early proponent of military aviation and other innovations.
Elected to Parliament in 1900, he was a member of the House of Commons almost continuously until 1964, holding most major cabinet posts. He changed parties twice. His reputation rests above all upon his oratory, which gave courage to the British nation and other lovers of freedom at the darkest hours of the Second World War.
A highly paid journalist in his early 20’s, Churchill wrote four books before turning 25. He earned his living writing histories, memoirs, biographies, articles and essays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was a prodigious and talented painter in oils.
Each week we will examine a different aspect of Winston Churchill’s long and storied career, the issues of his times, and the legend he became.
Readings consisting of Churchill’s speeches, articles and other resources will be provided. Recommended readings are his youthful autobiography, My Early Life and The Churchill Companion: A Concise Guide to the Life and Times of Winston S. Churchill (available in Kindle format from www.winstonchurchill.org and elsewhere).