One-Minute Book Reviews

April 10, 2008

Winston Churchill’s Writing Secret

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:31 am
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Did Winston Churchill ever utter a line as bad as George Bush’s, “I know how hard it is to put food on your family”? Doesn’t seem likely, does it?

Unlike the many statesmen who have won the Nobel Peace Prize, Churchill won the Nobel Prize in literature nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1953/churchill-bio.html. And even critics of his policies tend to admit that he wrote some of the greatest speeches of the 20th century. What was his secret? Part of it lies this comment, in which he summed up his approach to writing:

“Broadly speaking, short words are the best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.”

Winston Churchill as quoted in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Writer’s Block Journal (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007).

Comment by Jan:
The best book I’ve read about Churchill is the first volume in William Manchester’s unfinished “Last Lion” series, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874–1932 (Delta, 1984), which has 992 pages in its current American paperback edition. A good, shorter introduction to the life of Britain’s wartime prime minister is Winston Churchill / A Penguin Life: Penguin Lives Series (Viking, 2002) by the distinguished military historian John Keegan.

(c) 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] the work of John Keegan, perhaps the finest living military historian, and have mentioned his Winston Churchill (Viking, 2002) and his foreword to a recent edition of John Buchan’s classic spy thriller The [...]

    Pingback by John Keegan’s ‘The American Civil War’ — Was the Refusal to Allow the Confederate States to Secede the First Overt Act of American Imperialism? « One-Minute Book Reviews — October 28, 2009 @ 12:35 am | Reply


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