IRREPRESSIBLE CHURCHILL: A Treasury of Churchill's Wit by Kay -- Ed. Halle

IRREPRESSIBLE CHURCHILL: A Treasury of Churchill's Wit

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The rolling strophes of Churchillian rhetoric were particularly suited to the intelligent invective the English enjoy and expect in their patrician politicians. For instance, when his predecessor Neville Chamberlain boxed Clement Atlee, an editorial claimed it was like a snake with a rabbit. Churchill surveyed his two competitors for power and demolished the image with, ""It's more like a rabbit with a lettuce."" He was addicted to practicing his speeches and it is difficult to believe that he didn't make up his lines and wait for the opportunity to deliver them. For instance, when he was First Lord of the Admiralty, some naval big gun boomed that a change he had proposed was destructive to naval tradition. His riposte sunk their challenge ""And what is naval tradition? Rum, sodomy and. ."" The editor has combed the voluminous correspondence, his speeches, the many memoirs and his own books. The galley was submitted without an index. The text is arranged by major groupings under such headings as WWI, ""Ear Witness,"" even ""Childhood."" There isn't any hope of picking this up and laying it down -- at least not without the determination to resume it. Quintessentially quotable.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1966
Publisher: World