Listen: How Winston Churchill defeated Nazism despite his 'black dog'
"Now today on the show visual defend our island whatever they got maybe we should fight on the beaches on the landing grounds the field and in the street fighting the hill will never surrender churchill the subject of countless plies movies drama series documentaries and biographies indeed believe it or not there have been a thousand Churchill Biographies One thousand the first biography was written in nineteen ninety five and the author of the latest one is our guest today now according to the prominent British columnist and historian Tom and heffer regular guest on this program this most recent Churchill biographies the best single volume imaginable of a man whose life would seem take impossible to get into a single volume the book is called Churchill Walking with destiny and the author is Andrew Roberts who's written other water declined books including a biography on Napoleon and the storm of war a new history of the Second World War Andrew Welcome to ABC Radio Thank you Tony took great on us now as I mentioned they've already been a thousand Churchill books published what's different about yours when I was very fortunate that there's been an enormous amount of sources that have come out over the last five years since I've been writing this book the Queen allows me to be the first Churchill biographer to use of his diaries and came due to sex mets church every Tuesday at the second mobile church who trusted him the great secret civil war and luckily rate down everything churchill say within forty one new sense of papers have been deposed to church college archives in the Cambridge University and other people like the servies investor time I even mice gate rations diaries basic become available giving those same in fact now on top of the dates and accounts of the war cabinet but I discovered six years ago allows me to have some they pretty much every page book it's never appeared in nature to focus okay well let's start with Churchill's upbringing can you tell us about Winston's parents briefly well he's talking to the upper cloth he was a charismatic successful Victorian politician he became chance of Exchan- so you never saw any of genius in Churchill and green to netted frankly they all the Stanford right to any sound full of contempt and to stay and his son Winston continue to love him and Martin and when his father died when Winston was twenty he raises who's focusing in Winston sorry randolph someone's name and he basically didn't allow it to to scream up whereas his mother also route took nations over to she was a great American future in society maybe something offense with the Prince of Wales Austrian about Saddam heels Okay and you went to school did he do you have did you have much luck at school I mean what sort of student was he he was a monster the student and he made himself out to be it's very rare for politicians to try and make themselves out to be thicker than they genuinely All I it should be in fact that being the dumbs 'cause he portrayed himself broke free my life he in fact was in the top third of all the classes ooh okay well let's turn to Churchill politics because he wasn't always a conservative he crossed the parliamentary floor in Nantes in four over the threat four government opposed to free trade in non white at thirty three he was the youngest cabinet member in forty years and then of course he was pretty significant figuring the British military from an early age this is of Relevance to Australians Andrew What do you wrote about his filings glibly in Nineteen fifteen well of course he was responsible for the idea of the of attacking the Straits of the dodgers novels and it was a brilliant idea to come off name one of the great strategic tunes of the of history of all Pfaff but as we all know say silently on the eighteenth of March nineteen fifteen Liane go six ships foods straits and then of course largely town to Him we double down and and landed all the way through fifteen and of course over the next eight months few one hundred forty seven thousand casualties suffered in the in the West Inside Straight so this was a drastic and terrible decision but one boots the real problem came in implementation well yeah okay now we went into politics to elect liberals rejoined the conservatives in the mid nineteen twenties what did he do that because the conservatives came back to the idea of free trade they it'd been the policy that let's say that's the party he joined the Nipples does the Conservatives dumps feature each and David intense you're often attributed with the quite quite I if a man is not a suspect I by the time he's twenty he has no heart if he's not a conservative by the time he's forty he has no brain churchill really say that I am and unfortunately there are lots of great lines like that but he didn't say he might have if you're going to keep going for example make the safest shape about about lady astor drinking coffee around any number of things keeping lucky men like Groucho Marx no power say funny things people with cheating too even if you didn't say those funny things it was talking about Winston Churchill with Andrew Roberts now Andrew your account numerous occasions when Churchill cheated death in your fi. He survived a school stabbing Cuban Bullets Boer Artillery German shells on the western front a near drowning replaying crushes three car accidents and a house fire Croaky and I'm actually very serious mainly at the age of eleven nomadic agent doctors administered brandy to the inevitable and which she wanted to be so you will send you make the point the church will develop the art of seeing virtually everything through the prism of history yeah it was the fact that he wasn't himself from historic congruent several extremely good he's a genius he was widely seen as Virginia wasn't he won the Nobel Prize for literature and actually he's unhappy about that because the price for peace that he was going to win communicants history who actually has been disappointed when he got the Nobel Prize which shop now we talk about a lot of people think of Churchill he's attitude towards the Nazis and Hitler and of course the British policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany people forget this but in the late thirties it was actually popular with the British people tell us more about how Churchill riled against the spirit of the Times in the lightning thirties well he was only a final team is it's like jeeze you grew up with Jesus father did like the whole day with them they appreciated the service they it says humanity he was honest from quite an early age and saying he had an early warning system came during the Nazis that a lot of the other people in many wrench AC- rights didn't have also were so we mentioned earlier in being an historian he he sold the threat let's go to the European balance of power that we opposed and EDUC- seen fanaticism place in his life in a way that the other primary tonight people standing Naples we will never change and didn't say he was the first major predisposition of the decade the only major politician to not only warn against Hitler Nazis but also talk with an idea about what do I e rearming especially in the air the by the way you know you obviously know John Howard our second longest serving prime minister did you know that he's middle name is Winston it was named by his parents in mid Naughty thirty nine? When as we've discussed Winston Churchill was anything but the flavor of the month he was seen as yesterday's man rod that shows John's parents and Great must be full size. This is searching tremendously impressive actually I didn't know that's in Ann Arbor got I think yeah well during the war Churchill husband and relations with the United States which meant that America applied an important role in helping Britain defeat awesome but what about the altar pace conference towards the end of World War Two was not Churchill's finest hour why well because they back large number of famine of Yugoslavs to to get to Marshal Tito too because he he basically killed them and a hand backlog Germans and ethnic Germans who an ethnic Russians as well actually Cossacks to stone promptly murdered them as well so as far as the share sort of real politique day was concerned they had to believe result in general had to believe starlings were vulne- that he was going to get to respect the integrity and independence another eastern European countries but unfortunately Adelson those deals went shot which net new Mexico's yeah false assurances by S- talented the free elections would be held in eastern Europe but I mean you bit hot on Churchill because many historians would decide that the dying FDI he essentially stitched Churchill up I didn't believe that case I've been I've found myself we H mccown superbowl cabinet Churchill held on return from Yalta in which very much that he thought he could business was done in the deeper deep stalling the only alternative to trust on of course he was for that much thin walls and it's very other fueled fairness of course because in a million Russian soldiers variant at the time he was also at Folsom Missouri in March Ninety six When you made the Great Iron Kerr in speech the first major Western politician to warn against started was doing in eastern Europe"