The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill Hardcover – 31 Aug 2001
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About the Author
Dominique Enright lives in London with her husband, son and two daughters. They all had suggestions to make for the book - some were brilliant, some impossible.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here are few excerpts:
While campaigning in 1900, it is said that the young Churchill was doing a spot of canvassing when one of those he approached exclaimed:
"Vote for you? Why, I'd rather vote for the Devil!"
"I understand", Churchill answered, "But in case your friend is not running, may I count on your support?"
* * *
When passed a very long but turgidly written memorandum on some worthy but uninspiring subject, the elderly Prime Minister weighed the thick wad of paper in his hands and commented, "This paper by its very length defends itself against the risk of being read."
* * *
Churchill liked animals; sometimes he found this difficult to reconcile with his fondness for rich food. Anthony Montague Brown recalled that 'One Christmas he was about to carve a goose. Learning it was one of his own, he put down the knife and fork and said, "I could not possibly eat a bird that I have known socially."
* * *
A BBC broadcaster described once sitting next to Churchill as he gave a speech, keeping his audience hanging on to his every word. The boradcaster noticed, howver, that what appeared to be notes in Churchill's hand was only a laundry slip, and he later remarked upon this to Churchill. "Yes", said Churchill. "It gave confidence to my audience."
And that’s what we have here: 160 pages packed full of his life. Many of them appear to have been spontaneous, delivered in conversation or as rebuts during speeches (though as FE Smith noted, “Churchill has spent the best years of his life preparing impromptu remarks”).
They range widely, from the profound to the silly, which itself is a good measure of the man. He could, as JF Kennedy said “mobilize the English language and send it into battle”, but he was equally happy messing about with it for no better purpose than the amusement of himself and those around him – and with a virtuosic ability and confidence, he was more than capable of doing so. That’s what this collection is about; it’s not Churchill’s life in words but of his words at play.
The book itself is very well put together: easy to dip in and out of, structured into broad themes but not in a way that’s distracting. It comes with enough supporting information to place comments, quotes and incidents in context where necessary, while recognising that many of them speak for themselves and that to provide references for those would smother the wit. It makes an excellent buy for anyone who’s a fan of language or of Churchill.
Clearly a work where one dives in for a specific quote or a short section to lighten the mood (rather than of the cover to cover variety) the organization works rather well, as the appropriate quotes are reasonably easy to find.
The only potential weakness is that the quotes do not contain the place or time in most instances, so if you were hoping for a reference allowing more precise quotation you will need to look elsewhere.
Overall a great place for the razor sharp wit and the occassional dose of inspiration or a smile.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book did not meet my expectations. I did not find it as amusing as I had anticipated.Published 2 months ago by Ms. E. Simpson
Arrived promptly, well packaged. The book is a very easy, amusing read without being brilliant. Would recommend for light reading.Published 3 months ago by Irene Anderson
Love this book, only bought it after watching Winston Churchill, A Giant of the Century on tv. Very interesting man & a great read.Published 6 months ago by Cheryl P
Some interesting stories and anecdotes. Enjoyable light readingPublished 6 months ago by Lakelander