Winston Churchill, Imperial Monstrosity

Alex Skopic in Current Affairs:

In today’s Britain, the figure of Winston Churchill is all but deified. His face adorns the £5 note, where he glares sternly out at passersby, the only Prime Minister to be so honored; he is a perennial subject for BBC documentaries and high-budget biopics, and he even has his own series of Doctor Who radio dramas, where he routinely saves the world from alien invasion. (Yes, really.) To hear the cultural mainstream tell it, Churchill almost single-handedly defeated Nazi Germany with a few rousing speeches, and remained a beacon of British fortitude and “Blitz Spirit” throughout his public life. It’s an undeniably compelling image, but in the new book Winston Churchill: His Times, His CrimesTariq Ali argues that it’s also a carefully constructed falsehood.

One of Ali’s central premises is that a “Churchill Cult” has become entrenched in British society, inflating the memory of its subject beyond all reason and shutting down well-deserved criticism before it can begin.

More here.