In November 1895, Winston Churchill sailed for America for the first time. His ultimate destination was Cuba, where the Spanish government was attempting to put down an insurrection by Cuban rebels. The twenty-year-old Churchill (he turned twenty-one while in Cuba) was a Second Lieutenant in the British Army, and he was going to Cuba as • Read More »
Archives: David Reynolds
Churchill commands history (or tries to); My Lai; how to avoid sugar; and a bonus: newsletter March 23, 2018March 26, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 1 Comment | Filed in: journalism.
When the American public heard about what happened a year later, My Lai quickly became a symbol for America’s tragic misadventure in Southeast Asia. My Lai exposed the lack of clear mission, inadequate training, miscommunication, and less-than-straightforward truth-telling that had characterized the whole enterprise.
Compelling reasons for Churchill to write his much-anticipated history of World War II presented themselves forcefully by early 1946. There were also monumental obstacles that stood in the way of Churchill’s efforts to write his memoirs. Churchill either found a way around them or turned them to his advantage as he began plans for his multi-volume saga in the first months of 1946.
More than a few times, Churchill expressed the sentiment that “history will be kind to me for I will write it.” Through his life and particularly in his later years, Churchill would say that, sometimes as a threat to others but usually just as a comfort to himself.
But Churchill went much farther than other famous people in an attempt — futile as it is — to make that happen.