STUMP » Articles » Friday Fun: Orson Welles and Winston Churchill » 24 October 2014, 05:25

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Friday Fun: Orson Welles and Winston Churchill  


24 October 2014, 05:25

This video tickles me every time I watch it.

My heart is warmed to see how pleased Welles is with himself and his story at the end of it.

By the way, there are loads of clips from the Dick Cavett Show on YouTube, and I highly recommend them. I might not like Dick Cavett as a person, but he ran an excellent interview show, primarily by booking really interesting people and letting them talk.

(what a concept)

The really fun stuff is when he gets people like Douglas Fairbanks, Janis Joplin, and Raquel Welch together to talk. Check it out.

If your tastes run to more serious stuff, I recommend the series of books on Churchill called The Last Lion, by William Manchester (and finished by Paul Reid when Manchester died).

I have been going through the series, but perhaps in an unorthodox way. I first listened to the second volume on audiobook (if one commutes ~150 miles per day on “normal” days, and ~250 miles per day on teaching days… one gets through a lot of audiobooks.) I really knew nothing of the period when Churchill was going it alone against pacifists and appeasers. No, not totally alone, of course, but he was extremely marginalized.

I am currently listening through the third volume, and am only up to 1942. Haven’t even gotten to the Battle of Midway yet. Thing is, though I do know more about World War II than the time between the wars, there are so many details I did not know.

I find these books very fair — gives views of Churchill from his friends and his enemies. It shows where Churchill was right and where he was very, very wrong. He was excellent at seeing decades into the future, in understanding grand causal chains, but often had issues with very short-term problems.

Even though one knows how the war will end, and what happened with key events, the books manage to keep interest and suspense going — I stop myself from looking up people’s names, as I don’t want to be “spoiled” as to what happened to them in the war and the years to come. I can look that stuff up later. Once a “character” dies, I feel secure in looking them up to see what I missed.

Great stuff.

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, VOLUME ONE: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, VOLUME TWO: Alone, 1932-1940 (Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume II)

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume Three: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

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