Modern criticism of Winston Churchill is fake history – it’s based on quotes taken out of context

Some welcome sanity from historian Andrew Roberts.

British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) in the garden at 10 Downing Street, London, circa 1943. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) in the garden at 10 Downing Street, London, circa 1943. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

by Andrew Roberts

The movie Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill, has garnered many plaudits, and deservedly so. It introduced a new generation to Churchill and the inspiring story of 1940, reminding them of how Britain stood alone for a year against the might and fury of Nazi Germany.

But it has also produced a vicious backlash against Churchill and all that he stood for and unleashed an avalanche of vitriolic abuse, much of it ahistorical and ignorant.

It says more about our modern “fake history” culture than anything about…

via Modern criticism of Winston Churchill is fake history – it’s based on quotes taken out of context – The i – iWeekend #28

High Buildings, Low Morals by Rob Baker | The Great Wen

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I wrote about Rob Baker’s last book – Beautiful Idiots, Brilliant Lunatics – a couple of years ago. It’s a collection of London-based short histories inspired by Rob’s superb blog, Another Nickel In The Machine. Rob’s now written a follow-up, High Buildings, Low Morals, which again explores a dozen London stories from the 20th century, some entirely forgotten and others…

via High Buildings, Low Morals by Rob Baker | The Great Wen

The Mad Monarchist: Making a Prophet of Mussolini

In 1945, in the last days of the war, when his “Italian Social Republic” was in its death throes, Benito Mussolini made the following prediction about the future:

“The present war will produce an alteration in order of rank. Great Britain, for instance, is destined to become a second-class power, in view of disclosure of Russian and American strength…In a short time, Fascism will once more shine on the horizon. First of all, because of the persecution to which the Liberals will subject it, showing that liberty is something to reserve to oneself and refuse to others.”

And, the fact is, the liberals of today are working very hard to prove…

Source: The Mad Monarchist: Making a Prophet of Mussolini

For May Day – In Memory of Guido Picelli | toritto

Guido Picelli – Leader of the Resistance to Fascism Guido Picelli was the leader of the last armed resistance to Italian Fascism, rousing the working men and women of Parma to defeat some 20,…

Source: For May Day – In Memory of Guido Picelli | toritto

You Can Blame the Italians

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Ask any moderately intelligent person to name the bane of the 20th century and nine out of ten will probably answer “Adolph Hitler”.  A few might answer Joe Stalin or Chairman Mao but Hitler is the lens through which we view the carnage of mid-century.

On the other hand, a young millenial might answer “Madonna”.  So much for public education.

Our understanding of the Second World War and the preceding years are refracted through our comprehension of the “mad Fuhrer”.  It is the ghost of Adolph Hitler who carried the world to total war and with pseudo-scientific fanaticism exterminated millions.

It is the ghost of Adolph Hitler who shapes our understanding of the world; that persuades us that our opponents comprise “The Other” – the imponderable, fundamentalist crazies.  The ghost of Adolph Hitler shapes what we think about all dictators and the societies they rule; that each is a replica…

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The Introduction

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“Comrade Balabanoff! There is someone here I would like you to meet!”

Angelica turned around to face the voice. It was Franco, one of her colleagues on the Central Committee of the Italian Socialist Party.

“Good evening! How are you!” He gently kissed her on the cheek. With him was a young man rather shabbily dressed, looking somewhat down and out.

Angelica had seen thousands like him. No work and few prospects.

Her life had been so different. Born in Ukraine in 1878, she was the youngest of 14 children, 7 of whom had died before she was born. Her family was very well to do and she wanted for nothing except a mother’s love.

Her mother was a tyrant insisting that the poor peasant household servants bow and scrape, even before the children. Angelica still cringed with embarrassment thinking of grown men humiliating themselves before her because they needed…

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Italian Dandyism: Gabriele D’Annunzio

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da9Dandyism spread in Italy as well at the end of the nineteenth century and  Gabriele D’annunzio was its most outstanding exponent, for sure.  Aesthete, politician, journalist, playwright, poet, lover: D’Annunzio was a man of many passions, but above all the architect of himself. He studied and created his own image carefully, a mixture of exquisite taste and love for heroic actions.He was associated with the elite Arditi storm troops of the Italian Army and took part in actions such as the Flight over Vienna in 1918. Some of the ideas and aesthetics seem to have influenced Italian fascism and also the style of Benito Mussolini. However he was the Vate, the Bard, of the Italian literature during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Gabriele D’Annunzio  moved to Rome, when he was but nineteen and was soon fascinated by the swirling atmosphere of the capital. He managed to open his way to…

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The “John the Baptist” of Fascism

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Italians in Fiume cheering D’Annunzio in September 1919

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There murmur swarming through my drowsy head
In this vast furnace of a summer day
Relentless verses clamoring to be said,
As beetles round a putrid carcass play.

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One doesn’t often run into a Fascist poet although Ezra Pound was considered one. Usually poets tend to be dreamers of leftish persuasion – not Fascists.

Yet the “John the Baptist” of Italian fascism was a poet – Gabriele D’Annunzio. He was the model on which Benito Mussolini would later build the full Fascist state.

D’Annunzio was born in the Abruzzi region of Italy in March 1863 as the bastard child of a wealthy landowner. His mother’s name was Rapagnetta and it was his surname until he was adopted by a retired wealthy uncle Antonio D’Annunzio, who sent him to a fine private school to continue his education. It was there, at 16…

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