[See Also: Thoughts On Winston Churchill’s MARLBOROUGH: HIS LIFE AND TIMES by James Kirkpatrick]
Friends and readers, it’s not too late to enjoy our July Book Club selection, Book Two of Sir Winston Churchill’s Marlborough: His Life and Times. The full work is traditionally presented in a four-volume set.
I will be discussing the continuing (and somewhat ominous) relevance of this book with Peter Brimelow on Thursday, June 23, and the full podcast will be available to all Book Club members shortly afterward. That discussion will focus on Book One.
Current members, don’t forget to download your discussion questions here.
In July, we will focus on Book Two. In August, we’ll do Books Three and Four.
I’d like to remind all members of two important events for next month.
Why is this book so important? What justifies it being explored over three months? I give three reasons.
First, as Leo Strauss argued, it is “the greatest historical work written in our century, an inexhaustible mine of political wisdom and understanding, which should be required reading for every student of political science.” You may disagree with that, but frankly, I don’t.
Second, as Peter Brimelow noted in 2019: “[In that era], prosecution was simply an occupational hazard of public life. Now, again, America is moving back towards the criminalization of policy differences.” Indeed, that may understate the case. Even guilt by association, as in working for a certain political figure, is enough for one to face legal trouble.
Finally, I’ve long thought that America has been disconnected from its English heritage. The Historic American Nation is, at its core, an Anglo-Saxon nation. That matters to all of us.
The term “Native American” is idiotic unless it simply refers to those of us who were born in this country and have no other homeland. America did not exist in any meaningful sense until settlers of British descent created it. American Indians were not part of the polity when it was founded. They were nations of their own who warred, allied with, or ignored the colonies and the later United States depending on their own interests. Even Thomas Jefferson’s egalitarian Declaration of Independence dismissed them as the “merciless Indian savages.”
However, this also means it is simplistic to say that America was a white creation. After all, Virginia Dare, the namesake of this site, our historically illiterate critics notwithstanding, was not the first white child born in the New World. She was the first English child. Nor were the English colonies the first white settlements in areas that would be part of the future United States.
The Spanish, Dutch, French, and even the Swedes, among others, all had claims to areas that would later be part of America. (Baron Joseph Ford Cotto’s new book Eye for an Eye: A True Story of Life, Liberty, Murder–and the Pursuit of Revenge–at the Birth of America describes the brutal intra-European conflict in the New World in the starkest of terms. I interviewed Baron Cotto about his last book, Runaway Masters, in January.)
If Spain or France had established dominance in North America, there might still have been a majority-European nation (or several) here, but it would not resemble our country.
Thus, Marlborough is an important look at the political culture and conflicts that shaped the way our Founders built this country and its institutions. Even those of us who aren’t descended from English (or even British) settlers owe what we have to the founding stock.
History matters and at a time when we are besieged by lies, it’s important to rediscover our roots and the people and culture who made this country what it is. That’s why we established the Book Club to begin with.