Brits Forgetting Winston Churchill
Hattip to Allahpundit at Hot Air. One in five British adults were unable to identify a picture of Winston Churchill in a recent survey.
As part of the survey, carried out to mark this week’s 70th anniversary of Churchill’s prime ministerial tenure, more than 1,136 people were asked to identify three prominent 20th century PMs including Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
One in five (19%) adults failed to name Churchill, with the figure rising to 32% of 25 to 34-year-olds and 44% of those aged 16 to 24.
Following the pattern, researchers projected the rough date when the leaders would no longer be recognised, with Churchill’s demise predicted in 80 years’ time…
The survey, which involved people naming black and white headshot photos of the prime ministers, saw Churchill mistaken for Stephen Fry, Robert Hardy, Michael Gambon, Charlie Chaplin, Oliver Hardy, John Betjeman and Roy Hattersley, the Royal Mint said…
Kevin Clancy, head of Historical Services at the Royal Mint, added: “It’s shocking that one of our greatest statesmen runs the risk of potentially being forgotten.
Well, I guess it’s comforting to know that America isn’t the only nation with rotten schools and filled with people with the historical memory of a Mayfly. For anyone reading this who might be unsure who Winston Churchill was, suffice it to say that he, more than any other single man or woman, did the most to defeat Adolph Hitler and the hideous Nazi movement he headed.
When a nation becomes so decadent that it forgets its heroes, it should not be surprised to lack them when they are most needed in the future.
Update I: Time to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. The best way to learn about Churchill is to read some of the books he wrote, and he wrote 43 of them. In addition to being a statesman, Churchill was a great writer and a fine historian.
The magnum opus of Churchill as a writer is his six volume history of the Second World War. An outstanding one volume analysis of this work is David Reynold’s In Command of History.
A good short one volume biography of Churchill is Paul Johnson’s recent biography of the Great Commoner.
At the other extreme is Sir Martin Gilbert who has written endless volumes about Churchill and is the author of the official multi-volume biography that was started by Winston Churchill’s son Randolph. Gilbert is a great historian and I have benefited from, and enjoyed, each of his works that I have read.
In regard to films on Churchill, probably the best is the Wilderness Years, a mini-series starring Robert Hardy, the younger generations will recall him as the Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter series, who magnificently portrays Churchill’s lonely fight in the Thirties to awaken Britain to the menance of Nazi Germany.
Another first rate film on the same subject is The Gathering Storm, with Albert Finney in the role of Churchill.
A recent film on Churchill as Prime Minister during World War II is less successful, trying to cram too much into two hours, but Into the Storm is still worth watching.