Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peace

Churchill said history would be good to him, as he'd write it himself. But ostentation wasn’t Attlee's style

Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peaceFor the longest time, Clement Attlee lived in Winston Churchill’s shadow. Where Churchill was flamboyant, charismatic and eloquent, Attlee was reticent, dull and rhetorically challenged. Churchill was larger than life and Attlee was the little man who seemed to blend into the woodwork. After becoming leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party in 1935, Attlee…

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?

Has ordered a purge of documents that “may offend people”

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was not a nice man but, for a time, he was an important one. He was a favourite of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and was head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police. He was responsible for the arrests, tortures and executions during his master’s Great Purge of 1936 to 1938.…

Did John F. Kennedy really win the U.S. presidency?

There was significant anecdotal evidence of election fraud

Did John F. Kennedy really win the U.S. presidency?Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960 set the tone for subsequent conventional wisdom. John F. Kennedy was the handsome, charming, forward-looking hero. And his opponent, Richard Nixon, was the dour, resentful, unscrupulous villain. White’s many readers would’ve been in little doubt. The prince of light had vanquished the prince of darkness. Now, supported…

What holds Canada together?

It certainly isn't any sense of national purpose

What holds Canada together?As long as I’ve been following politics (which is almost as long as I’ve been alive), the question of what defines Canada has provided unsatisfying answers. Polls typically tell us that some combination of the Charter of Rights, our health care system, and the fact that we are not American top the list. Canadians generally…

Two cheers for capitalism, despite its inherent vulnerability

It may seem prosaic and uninspiring but it does deliver the goods - prosperity and personal liberty

Two cheers for capitalism, despite its inherent vulnerabilityAs part of its recent Capitalist Manifesto series, the National Post had several of its columnists identify 10 essential books on the topic. The selections included offerings from Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Deirdre McCloskey and Matt Ridley, all of whom are worth reading. But I was struck by an omission. Published in 1978, Irving Kristol’s…

Bill Davis, the man who understood Ontario

His sense of what Ontario wanted was on the money

Bill Davis, the man who understood OntarioBill Davis, the former Ontario premier, died on Aug. 8. He was the first Conservative I ever voted for. It happened in the October 1971 provincial election. My previous trip to the polls – in 1968 to vote for Pierre Trudeau’s federal Liberals – had been an enthusiastic occasion. Not this time. Davis wasn’t the…

If history is any guide, a Liberal majority government is within reach

The current Liberal iteration hasn’t been in power long enough for serious fatigue to set in and Justin Trudeau isn’t Paul Martin

If history is any guide, a Liberal majority government is within reachShould the mooted federal election materialize, it’ll be the third time in 50 years that a minority Liberal government took an early trip to the polls. So will the result resemble Pierre Trudeau of 1972 and 1974 (a minority followed by a big victory) or Paul Martin of 2004 and 2006 (a minority followed by…

J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with Khrushchev

Because of the Bay of Pigs disaster, Khrushchev pegged Kennedy as a pushover

J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with KhrushchevThings didn’t go well when U.S. President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev in June 1961. Or at least they didn’t from Kennedy’s perspective. Speaking to American journalist James Reston after the Vienna summit’s second and final day, Kennedy described it as the “roughest thing in my life.” Khrushchev, he said,…

What you see with Joe Biden is what you get

Author Jon Meacham’s most important insights about U.S. politics and the presidency are intertwined with the current officeholder

What you see with Joe Biden is what you getJon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and historian. He’s been an executive editor/vice-president at Random House, has worked for the Chattanooga Times, Time and Newsweek, and written for the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post and other publications. Several of Meacham’s books, including American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (2009), Thomas…

The Bay of Pigs fiasco upended J.F.K.’s presidential honeymoon

In his first serious foreign policy test in 1961, the new American president flunked badly. He was in way over his head

The Bay of Pigs fiasco upended J.F.K.’s presidential honeymoonThings were going swimmingly for U.S. President John F. Kennedy immediately following his January 1961 inauguration. Despite being elected by a mere whisker, his approval ratings were stratospheric and much of the media was in love with him. It was as if he was a political superman. Then came the fiasco at the Bay of…
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