Monday, January 12, 2004

Michael Knox Beran on Founding Fathers on National Review Online:

"The kind of history I have in mind would require no sacrifice of scholarly integrity. The Oxford historian A. J. P. Taylor was not a conservative and quite the reverse of a reactionary. But consider his appraisal of the character of Churchill in his history of modern Britain. It was Taylor's practice to provide, in notes at the bottom of the page, a brief summary of the lives of the men and women to whom he referred in the text � where the individual was educated, what offices he held, the nature of his family connections. Taylor would also mention a revealing idiosyncrasy or two, for he had to deal with some eccentric figures. The sketches are brief lives, and Taylor composed them with extraordinary wit and irreverence. But when he came to describe Churchill, he was laconic. His tone changed; the mirth vanished; the statement was plain and unadorned. (I quote from memory, not having the book to hand.) 'Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, K.G.; the saviour of his country.'"

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