Over at The Weekly Standard, I have written a review of Lawrence James’s brilliant new biography of Winston Churchill, bluntly entitled Churchill and Empire: A Portrait of an Imperialist. The book examines Churchill’s relationship with the British Empire—a passion that drove his fierce patriotism and tenacity in the face of global threats. But as the sun finally set on the Empire, so it set on Churchill.
If I may be permitted to quote myself:
By the time of his death in 1965, Churchill had become an anachronism. The empire, the leitmotif of his passion and existence, had disappeared. In his nine decades of life, he had clung to the Victorian ethos of his youth, in which Britain took pride in its dominion. But the modern world had come to regard empire as a cruel and oppressive construct, and James’s account of the public’s staid reaction to Churchill’s death makes it clear that, while he was indeed regarded as a brave national leader, his passion for imperial greatness had already become an embarrassment.
Read the whole thing here.