Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Excellent Essay on Churchill

I got more out of this essay on Churchill than from a biography I read about 10 years ago that was hundreds of times as long.

One of my favorite paragraphs:

Churchill’s real legacy lies elsewhere. He is, with de Gaulle, the greatest instance in modern times of the romantic-conservative temperament in power. The curious thing is that this temperament can at moments be more practical than its liberal opposite, or than its pragmatic-conservative twin, since it rightly concedes the primacy of ideas and passions, rather than interests and practicalities, in men’s minds. Churchill was a student of history, but one whose reading allowed him to grasp when a new thing in history happened.

Is that why the "What's Wrong with Kansas" crowd are mistaken -- that ideas and passions more primary than interests and practicalities?

Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/08/30/100830crat_atlarge_gopnik#ixzz19RGS8N5B

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