Professor Christopher Catherwood - Churchill

 

Rockefeller Fellow University of Virginia (2001)
Consultant to the Strategic Futures Team of British Prime Minister Tony Blair (2002)
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 
Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society  
Lecturer Churchill Memorial and Library, Westminster College Fulton, MO. (2008)
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Traveling Fellow (2010)

 

Selected Works
• Winston Churchill: The Flawed Genius of World War II 
• Martyn Lloyd-Jones A Family Portrait 
• A Crash Course in Church History 
• The Balkans in World War II 
• Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Iraq

• His Finest Hour: A Biography of Winston Churchill 
• The Second World War: A Beginner's Guide
 

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Episode #1

Q: How did you get interested in Churchill?

A: I was educated in the Westminster school which was only a 10 minute walk from the House of Parliament. My maternal grandfather’s idea of fun was to watch the great debates in parliament. The golden years of the debating and sparring between Churchill and David Lloyd George. So I was raised in the shadow of the House of Commons. My grandfather would give me presents such the biography of Churchill. So I was brought up with a love for history and fascination of Churchill. As an undergraduate at Oxford I focused on the appeasement policies of the 1930’s. So you can say I’ve stayed in the 1930’s ever since.

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Episode #2

Q: Why was Churchill a “flawed genius”? 

A: Because he made mistakes. Churchill was an icon and icons can’t make mistakes. His decision to invade Greece in 1941 took troops away from North Africa. And those troops were captured by the Germans in Crete. By helping Greece in 1941 he lost the momentum in Northern Africa. As a result, he thought the allies could not invade Europe in 1943 as the Americans wanted. His policies postponed D-Day (June 1994).

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Episode #3

Q: What did Churchill see in the 1930’s that others didn’t see?

A: Churchill was the person who saved us in 1940.

Churchill understood that Nazism was uniquely evil, pure evil. You can’t be nice, you can’t appease Hitler. He understood the persecution of the Jews.

He also understood the need to rearm and that Hitler was a serious threat to world peace

He also understood that only when America would enter the war then the war would be won. Only Churchill realized the importance of the United States.

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Episode #4

Q: If Churchill had been prime minister in 1947-48, would it have been different for the newly formed state of Israel?

A: Yes, it would.

Churchill was a Zionist. He called himself a Zionist. Even before World War I he met and interacted with Jews. He would have wanted to defend the Jewish State. With weapons and supplies. Israel, one could say, was Churchill’s creation. He helped create the mandate. And put into practice what the Balfour Declaration promised in 1917.

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Episode #5

Q: If Churchill was a “racist”, is there merit in removing his statues?

A: My wife is from Richmond Virginia. There, the statues of confederate generals were put up by racist Virginians. They were not put up in 1865 but probably in the 1920’s. So you have to look at the purpose. Churchill is different. He was not put up as a symbol of white oppression. He was put up as the man who rescued us from Hitler in 1940. So the rationale is very different….

Full Interview - Professor Christopher Catherwood

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