Winston Churchill: Simply Imperfect

My latest piece for The National Interest evaluates the legacy of Sir Winston Churchill, who died fifty years ago this year. Click here to read the full piece; and here’s an excerpt:

Roughly fifty years ago, the media was awash with eulogies of Sir Winston Churchill, the wartime prime minister credited with rallying the British public and defense establishment during the darkest days of World War II. Particularly in 1965, close to the height of the Cold War, it seemed appropriate to remember Churchill’s role in the great mid-century triumph of democracy over tyranny. The free world had lost one of its key figureheads; a great leader had passed.

On the half-centennial of Churchill’s death at age 90, it is only to be expected that his achievements are once more recapitulated. Yet unlike in the 1960s, it is now possible to recall the man’s many flaws and weaknesses alongside his considerable strengths. For Winston Churchill was neither a saint, nor a sage. He was, instead, a mere mortal, responsible for committing numerous acts of ill-judgment over the vast span of his career…