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bentley
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MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

This is another ancillary thread that we are opening up to accompany the reading of the current book selection MY EARLY LIFE by Winston Churchill. Oldesq and I have discussed opening up some ancillary threads to keep the sidebar and absolutely fantastic conversations going on within their own threads; where we can branch off into many different directions discussing in depth for example someone as important as Winston Churchill's mother to Winston himself.

This thread will allow readers to digress from the syllabus and discuss in depth developments in Winston Churchill's life which may be spoilers to those folks reading MY EARLY LIFE for the first time. We will keep the chapter threads devoted to a no spoiler rule so that folks can join into the conversation when they are ready.

However, the ancillary threads are places where any idea or topic related to any time period in Winston Churchill's or in this thread's case Jennie Jerome's life may be discussed with no restrictions.

The only rule here is that this thread is dedicated to the discussion of Lady Randolph (Jennie Jerome) and her life, her life in its entirety and what kind of a person she might have been to have a son as great as Winston Churchill became. What part did she play in Winston's life: positive, negative, no influence? Whatever your opinions are; please bring them here to discuss.

Many of you have become fascinated with Jennie Jerome and are reading other books about her. Here is where we can discuss any and all comments about her in depth with no worry about spoilers.

What do we know about Jennie Jerome?: We know that Jennie Jerome was an American who was born south of Syracuse, New York in Pompey. She came from a wealthy family and her father was Leonard Jerome who was born in Brooklyn. Her mother was Clarissa Hall, a daughter of Ambrose Hall who was also an assemblyman at one time or another. Jennie met Lord Randolph and after a short engagement they were married.

What made Jennie such an interesting woman now and then? And how did she help or hinder Winston Churchill in his life?

It would be very interesting to discover more about this sometimes controversial woman; yet a mother so much adored by her son Winston. Was the controversy surrounding Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph) deserved or not? What do you think?

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)


bentley wrote:
This is another ancillary thread that we are opening up to accompany the reading of the current book selection MY EARLY LIFE by Winston Churchill. Oldesq and I have discussed opening up some ancillary threads to keep the sidebar and absolutely fantastic conversations going on within their own threads; where we can branch off into many different directions discussing in depth for example someone as important as Winston Churchill's mother to Winston himself.

This thread will allow readers to digress from the syllabus and discuss in depth developments in Winston Churchill's life which may be spoilers to those folks reading MY EARLY LIFE for the first time. We will keep the chapter threads devoted to a no spoiler rule so that folks can join into the conversation when they are ready.

However, the ancillary threads are places where any idea or topic related to any time period in Winston Churchill's or in this thread's case Jennie Jerome's life may be discussed with no restrictions.

The only rule here is that this thread is dedicated to the discussion of Lady Randolph (Jennie Jerome) and her life, her life in its entirety and what kind of a person she might have been to have a son as great as Winston Churchill became. What part did she play in Winston's life: positive, negative, no influence? Whatever your opinions are; please bring them here to discuss.

Many of you have become fascinated with Jennie Jerome and are reading other books about her. Here is where we can discuss any and all comments about her in depth with no worry about spoilers.

What do we know about Jennie Jerome?: We know that Jennie Jerome was an American who was born south of Syracuse, New York in Pompey. She came from a wealthy family and her father was Leonard Jerome who was born in Brooklyn. Her mother was Clarissa Hall, a daughter of Ambrose Hall who was also an assemblyman at one time or another. Jennie met Lord Randolph and after a short engagement they were married.

What made Jennie such an interesting woman now and then? And how did she help or hinder Winston Churchill in his life?

It would be very interesting to discover more about this sometimes controversial woman; yet a mother so much adored by her son Winston. Was the controversy surrounding Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph) deserved or not? What do you think?

Bentley




I have placed into the glossary a list of books with their urls when available about Lady Churchill.
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bentley
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

I often wonder if Jennie Jerome Churchill was misunderstood maybe purposely because she was an American, an expat, rich, beautiful, had married Lord Randolph and was not a nurturer. In all fairness, she did provide fodder for conversation with her multiple marriages but was she really a bad mother to Winston. I am not so sure she was a bad mother; because I think she was his staunchest supporter when he was an adult; but she wasn't a nurturer or a warm, close motherly type like Mrs. Everest.

However Frank Harris noted the following which was very telling in how Winston viewed his father versus his mother: (from the Churchill Centre)

Frank Harris, who negotiated the sale of the manuscript to Macmillan, later wrote that the volumes were an admirable official Victorian biography distinguished by the remarkable fairness used to explain every incident in his political career, a politician writing of a politician. But of the man himself, his powers, his failing and his quiddities, hardly a soul-revealing word; yet Winston might, nay, probably would have written a real life, had not Randolph been his father, and had he not had his own political career to consider. However, it must be confessed that the sympathy between father and son was very slight. Winston told me once that time and again when he tried to talk seriously on politics, or indeed on anything else, his father snubbed him pitilessly. He wouldn't listen to me or consider anything I said. There was no companionship with him possible to me and I tried so hard and so often. He was so self-centered no one else existed for him. My mother was everything to me."13

So maybe she was not all that bad for Winston. And maybe she was all he had as a parent.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

CLARIFICATION ON JENNIE JEROME'S BIRTHPLACE:

Deb,

I just had an opportunity to backtrack and reread the preface that was written by Winston Churchill and in his own words: "My mother, the second of Leonard Jerome's daughters, was born in Rochester in the year 1854." That seals it for me. But in 1856 they moved to New York City and Leonard built two houses in Madison Square. Leonard Jerome he says founded a newspaper which is called the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle according to Winston. Is it still around today or it called something different? I guess in New York City, Jerome was a racing kind of guy and formed the Jockey Club and also owned the famous racehorse Kentucky who never was defeated. The earliest of the Jeromes' ancestors came from England and did settle in Pompey, New York as early as 1717."

Let me know if you can find out any local history which you can share with us about their time in Rochester. It looks like Leonard went to Princeton College in New Jersey and after Princeton became more prosperous and decided to move to Rochester. He and his brother who also went to Princeton married two sisters named Hall from Rochester. And both brothers lived next door to each other for awhile. You see how much you have helped us all out already. I have no idea yet about the Brooklyn, New York connection but we can now understand where the Pompey connection came from.

I am not sure when Leonard moved to Rochester (the year), when he got married (the year) but he did have Jennie in 1854 and two years later in 1856 moved to NYC. That we know straight from the horse's mouth.

Bentley
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

DEBBOOKS' RESPONSE:

The Rochester D&C is still around, it's our only paper. I will check to see if the houses that his grandfather and brother lived in are still standing. Rochester is more known for George Eastman and Susan B Anthony, I guess they aren't too interested in the Churchill connection, but I found that to be interesting.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

INTERESTING ARTICLE ON AUGUST BELMONT (BELMONT STAKES) AND FRIEND OF JENNIE'S FATHER LEONARD JEROME

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404707960.html
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

Some Interesting Finds by debbook about birthplace of Jennie Jerome: Update

The plot thickens; am making a copy for this thread with the conversation threads:




bentley wrote:



We are happy to have you; glad you are making progress; you can always come back and reread the other posts and respond in kind. I think Jennie was brought up much differently than Lord Randolph and I am beginning to believe that it was Lord Randolph who was the fly in the ointment and the awful parent. Not so much Jennie because even Winston has stated that she has meant everything to him; and she was his staunchest supporter as he got older when she was out from under the LORD. I think Lord Randolph should and could have done better than he did. But read on and come to your own conclusions; have you discovered anything more about the Hall girls from Rochester that married the two Jerome brothers.

Don't forget to let us know.

Bentley
I have been able to find some information that is interesting. According to an artice I found in the University of Rochester's online archives. Uof R was the first American U to award an honorary degee to WSC, in 1941. But apparently this led to disagreements between Rochester and Brooklyn over where the true birthplace of Jennie Jerome was, and according to the article, it was Brooklyn. Interesting b/c WSC states at the intro of the book that she was born in Rochester and also stated so in his acceptance speech.
A Churchill episode contains his speech if anyone is interested
Another article I found states that Leonard Jerome lived in Rochester at the same time that George W Bush's great, great grandfather did, but they haven't been able to find any proof that they knew each other.

Bentley responded:


Pretty amazing if that is true; then we are back to Brooklyn (wouldn't his mother know where she was born?) Some fascinating stuff; I will also copy and put this on the Jenny Jerome thread so that other sleuths can take a look.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)


Timbuktu1 wrote:
I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!




That is really amazing. She was out riding on a horse at 7 1/2 months pregnant (most likely side saddle too). I think whatever recklessness he had to subdue in his lifetime he certainly got it in spades from his parents. It is a good thing he survived his early arrival to this world. Thank you so much Timbuktu for that tidbit (very important bit of information).

Bentley
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

Quite a good account of Jennie Jerome; motherhood and when she and Winston became closer:

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=764

Note: this account says Brooklyn as her potential place of birth; very curious.

Source: The Churchill Centre
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

Some more info about Jennie and the younger brother Jack:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2007/10/31/ftchurchill131.xml
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

To be frank- I do not like Jennie.  I think that her lack of interest in her son exceeded the norm of the age- WSC intimates as much in his letters as other parents attended end of term award ceremonies and events and Lord and Lady Randolph shipped him off somewhere or another almost every school holiday.
 
And although some may think she redeemed herself in WSC's adult years- I look on her activities then with great skepticism as I doubt she would have been so involved had WSC been a greengrocer. 
 
Whew- had to get that off my chest!
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

There does seem to be quite a bit of conflicting information surrounding Jennie’s birth place. According to the Jennie book I am reading, Jennie wrote her memoirs and claimed that she was born in Trieste, Italy where her father was American Consul from 1851 to 1853. However, Jennie was born in 1854 according to letters that belong to the Jerome family. In Leslie’s book, she states that Jennie was born January 9, 1854 at 426 Henry Street in Brooklyn, six months after her mother returned home from Europe. According to Leslie there is no record of Jennie’s birth registration.

While looking up some information regarding Jennie, I came across the following website:  http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com/2007/11/american-jennie-portrait-of-jennie.html the author of the article states that Jennie was born at 197 Amity Street in Brooklyn. The above website is a blog, but apparently the author based her information on the following books: 

Anne Sebba - American Jennie: The Remarkable Life of Lady Randolph Churchill (W.W. Norton 2007).

Ralph G. Martin - Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, Volumes I & II.

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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

[ Edited ]


Timbuktu1 wrote:
I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!


Here is the story of Winston’s birth from page 42, Jennie, by Anita Leslie:

“On November 28th there was a shoot at Blenheim, and the imprudent Jennie went out with the guns, over-exerted herself, and a rattling drive home in a pony trap augmented her pains, which the doctor tried in vain to stop through Sunday. At one-thirty on the morning of Monday November 30th a premature baby son was born.”

Calling Jennie imprudent is probably too kind!

Timbuktu1, I think I might look into renting or purchasing the Churchill DVD that you are watching. It sounds interesting.



Message Edited by Juniperus on 07-13-2008 06:59 PM
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)



Juniperus wrote:

There does seem to be quite a bit of conflicting information surrounding Jennie’s birth place. According to the Jennie book I am reading, Jennie wrote her memoirs and claimed that she was born in Trieste, Italy where her father was American Consul from 1851 to 1853. However, Jennie was born in 1854 according to letters that belong to the Jerome family. In Leslie’s book, she states that Jennie was born January 9, 1854 at 426 Henry Street in Brooklyn, six months after her mother returned home from Europe. According to Leslie there is no record of Jennie’s birth registration.

While looking up some information regarding Jennie, I came across the following website:  http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com/2007/11/american-jennie-portrait-of-jennie.html the author of the article states that Jennie was born at 197 Amity Street in Brooklyn. The above website is a blog, but apparently the author based her information on the following books: 

Anne Sebba - American Jennie: The Remarkable Life of Lady Randolph Churchill (W.W. Norton 2007).

Ralph G. Martin - Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, Volumes I & II.






Very interesting website Juniperus; I read it with great interest. Thank you.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)



Juniperus wrote:


Timbuktu1 wrote:
I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!


Here is the story of Winston’s birth from page 42, Jennie, by Anita Leslie:

“On November 28th there was a shoot at Blenheim, and the imprudent Jennie went out with the guns, over-exerted herself, and a rattling drive home in a pony trap augmented her pains, which the doctor tried in vain to stop through Sunday. At one-thirty on the morning of Monday November 30th a premature baby son was born.”

Calling Jennie imprudent is probably too kind!

Timbuktu1, I think I might look into renting or purchasing the Churchill DVD that you are watching. It sounds interesting.



Message Edited by Juniperus on 07-13-2008 06:59 PM




Timbuktu, what DVD are you referring to; there are so many about Winston. I think I would be interested in knowing which one it is myself.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)



Oldesq wrote:
To be frank- I do not like Jennie.  I think that her lack of interest in her son exceeded the norm of the age- WSC intimates as much in his letters as other parents attended end of term award ceremonies and events and Lord and Lady Randolph shipped him off somewhere or another almost every school holiday.
 
And although some may think she redeemed herself in WSC's adult years- I look on her activities then with great skepticism as I doubt she would have been so involved had WSC been a greengrocer. 
 
Whew- had to get that off my chest!





She did have a lot of flaws Oldesq; that is for sure; I do think that she loved her son in her own way and remember she was the one who was sending him all of the books while he was in India. She also became much closer to him once Randolph was out of the way which makes me think that Randolph had a lot to do with the distance between the parents and son. It still does not excuse all that she did and all she did not do. Can you imagine leaving your son to have Christmas in a hotel alone or staying at school over the holidays because you were busy having parties and did not want to be bothered with your son at Christmas. How horrid.
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)



Juniperus wrote:


Timbuktu1 wrote:
I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!


Here is the story of Winston’s birth from page 42, Jennie, by Anita Leslie:

“On November 28th there was a shoot at Blenheim, and the imprudent Jennie went out with the guns, over-exerted herself, and a rattling drive home in a pony trap augmented her pains, which the doctor tried in vain to stop through Sunday. At one-thirty on the morning of Monday November 30th a premature baby son was born.”

Calling Jennie imprudent is probably too kind!

Timbuktu1, I think I might look into renting or purchasing the Churchill DVD that you are watching. It sounds interesting.



Message Edited by Juniperus on 07-13-2008 06:59 PM




I rented it from Netflix. It's the History Channel Presents: Winston Churchill: Disc 1.
There isn't that much on his very early life but it's well done and Martin Gilbert (the narrator) is his official biographer. It's definitely worth watching. I wish I could see Young Winston, the l972 movie based on this book we're reading, but my VHS machine is broken and it's not out on DVD.

I have put several other Churchill DVD's in my queue and I'll let you know if they're any good.

I have to admit something... My hero worship is fading. As with any idealization, eventually, when you learn enough, you start to see things a bit differently. It started with that Buchanan book, which I have not read so really, it just put a doubt in my mind, that perhaps there might have been a better way to have handled Hitler. He says that England's stepping in when it did forced an alliance between Stalin and Hitler when they would have been natural enemies. I know it's just Monday morning quarterbacking and he is a bigot but something about the idea makes sense to me. Then, there's something about his glory-seeking, his love of war, his impulsivity, that is beginning to bother me. Most of all, is the problem of England today. How do we judge historical figures and their decisions if not by seeing where they have led? We don't even judge a book a "classic" until it has been around a few decades. When I think of where England was in the early l900's and where it is now... who really won those wars? Of course Churchill didn't control it all, maybe not even most of it. But what happened? If an alien came to earth I think they might think that Germany and Japan actually won the war.

BTW, I was reading somewhere that Churchill was extremely depressed about what had happened to England. He felt he'd failed. Sigh....
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)

I wish I could erase those last sentences. I just finished reading more about that awful book, (Buchanan's). He's repulsive. I think I've answered my previous question about what did Churchill mean when he said the first look is often the truest. You can overthink things and pick things apart until they stop being real. A bigot it is a bigot and a hero is a hero. Now I'm going to sleep!
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Re: MY EARLY LIFE~~WHAT WAS JENNIE JEROME ALL ABOUT? (Lady Randolph - Winston's mother)


Timbuktu1 wrote:


Juniperus wrote:


Timbuktu1 wrote:
I just learned something (from the Winston Churchill DVD) that says it all about Jennie Jerome's attitude toward motherhood. When 7 l/2 months pregnant with Winston she was out riding in a hunting party! She fell off of the horse and went into labor. So Winston was victimized my his mother even before he was born!


Here is the story of Winston’s birth from page 42, Jennie, by Anita Leslie:

“On November 28th there was a shoot at Blenheim, and the imprudent Jennie went out with the guns, over-exerted herself, and a rattling drive home in a pony trap augmented her pains, which the doctor tried in vain to stop through Sunday. At one-thirty on the morning of Monday November 30th a premature baby son was born.”

Calling Jennie imprudent is probably too kind!

Timbuktu1, I think I might look into renting or purchasing the Churchill DVD that you are watching. It sounds interesting.



Message Edited by Juniperus on 07-13-2008 06:59 PM




I rented it from Netflix. It's the History Channel Presents: Winston Churchill: Disc 1.
There isn't that much on his very early life but it's well done and Martin Gilbert (the narrator) is his official biographer. It's definitely worth watching. I wish I could see Young Winston, the l972 movie based on this book we're reading, but my VHS machine is broken and it's not out on DVD.

I have put several other Churchill DVD's in my queue and I'll let you know if they're any good.

I have to admit something... My hero worship is fading. As with any idealization, eventually, when you learn enough, you start to see things a bit differently. It started with that Buchanan book, which I have not read so really, it just put a doubt in my mind, that perhaps there might have been a better way to have handled Hitler. He says that England's stepping in when it did forced an alliance between Stalin and Hitler when they would have been natural enemies. I know it's just Monday morning quarterbacking and he is a bigot but something about the idea makes sense to me. Then, there's something about his glory-seeking, his love of war, his impulsivity, that is beginning to bother me. Most of all, is the problem of England today. How do we judge historical figures and their decisions if not by seeing where they have led? We don't even judge a book a "classic" until it has been around a few decades. When I think of where England was in the early l900's and where it is now... who really won those wars? Of course Churchill didn't control it all, maybe not even most of it. But what happened? If an alien came to earth I think they might think that Germany and Japan actually won the war.

BTW, I was reading somewhere that Churchill was extremely depressed about what had happened to England. He felt he'd failed. Sigh....




Timbuktu, what happens to heroes in this day and age is that they are not around to defend themselves or their family and folks keep chipping away. In fact, there have been law suits against many of these folks and the families or foundations win; however, any hero seems to be fair game.

Winston Churchill is a hero if ever we had one; he is not a god or superhuman so he has flaws like all of us do; but he put himself out there and did what others could not do; so he is a hero. I do not think that Churchill loved war; he started out in the military but I believe was more content staying at home in Chartwell; to do what he was asked to do took an enormous toll on his life and his family; he was a true English patriot for what he was also asked to sacrifice in his life at great danger to himself. If you read historians, they all have their slant. The Churchill Center seems to have a balanced view of the man and what was happening at the time with opposing views too; so I would look at what they had to say. I have never liked Buchanan and there have been many stances that he has taken that are inflammatory at best; however some folks like this kind of inflammatory rhetoric; I personally do not.

Churchill was extremely hard on himself; harder than anybody else could be; I think he triumphed when others failed and because of his efforts with Roosevelt at least he got the backing from the US to help out which was a major turning point. He also practiced what he preached and never gave up.

Churchill always was trying to measure up to some imaginary yardstick; and he far surpassed everyone (only he didn't know it). He was a great man, and we have to emphasize the word man; he was not a Greek mythological figure or God who was superhuman just an average man who was capable of doing heroic deeds for his country and even for his family. He cared very deeply about many things. If you read in depth about Roosevelt or any or our great men; every one of them will have detractors. I think personally that Buchanan is putting you in a bad mood and he makes you question the goodness and motives of anyone; I know he puts me in a bad mood but I just click the remote. The same way I do when Bush is on (click). The power of the remote; it does amazing things. Dr. Weil said that the news actually affects our health and causes stress; stay away from it and Buchanan for awhile (lol). You have enough on your plate dealing with Faulkner and he is not a good news fictional writer either. You will find that you will read one thing and have an opinion, read something else and have another; there will be peaks and valleys depending upon the tone of the material but somewhere in the middle is the truth. But one thing for sure Buchanan is always trying to create news and attention for himself; that is what makes him money and keeps him on television.

Get some rest tonight and you will feel better in the morning. Take care,

Bentley