In 1946 Winston Churchill shook the world with his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, now the site of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library. Inscribed on the pediment of his statue at the memorial is the epigraph from Churchill's History of the Second World War:
In War: Resolution
In Defeat: DefianceIn Victory: MagnanimityIn Peace: Good Will
No other words provide so poignant a summary of the principles that sustained Churchill's life's work.
Under the auspices of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, the Crosby Kemper Lectureship was established in 1979 by the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. Lectures have been delivered annually, or biennially, at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library on the campus of Westminster College by authorities on British history and on Sir Winston Churchill. The essays included in this volume constitute the first dozen Crosby Kemper lectures, most by individuals who were personally acquainted with Churchill and all by individuals who had studied his life and his work.
Lord Robert Blake discusses Churchill's ambivalence toward the Conservative party during his political career. Philip S. Ziegler, Earl Mountbatten's biographer, examines whether Britain should have granted independence to India in 1947, taking as his departure Churchill's unequivocal belief that Britain's imperial rule there was a sacred trust not to be betrayed. Martin Gilbert, Churchill's biographer, carefully examines the origins of the Cold War and the famous Iron Curtain speech. Sir Michael Howard, Lovett Professor and Naval Historian at Yale University, further examines Churchill's role during the Cold War and the formulation of his "two-track" strategy that pushed for military strength while persistently striving for peace with the Soviets. Sir John Colville, Churchill's private secretary, ponders the extent to which great men are made by circumstances, citing Churchill's peccadilloes and strengths. Churchill's daughter Mary Soames and granddaughter, the sculptor Edwina Sandys, also give moving portraits of a much-loved family man.
All bring this illustrious leader to life in the process of interpreting his political actions, reviewing his historical contributions, and sharing anecdotes about his personal life.