Cita Stelzer | The Weekly Standard | May 25, 2013
You learn a lot about America and its people on a book-signing tour.
I’ve been around the country signing copies of my new book about Winston Churchill, giving talks about the “greatest Briton of all time” and how he effectively used evenings at the dinner table to work in his country’s interests. Lesson one: With the exception of a few lefties, Americans revere Winston Churchill. Lesson two: There are some really thoughtful readers out there. Questions from readers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and detailed.
But nothing could prepare me for the wonderful surprise I received in Fulton, where I had been invited by the National Churchill Museum to give a talk. The museum commemorates Winston Churchill and the important and prescient “Iron Curtain” speech he gave at Westminster College in March 1946—one short year after victory in Europe—warning that Stalin was on the move across Eastern Europe and that communism was an ongoing threat to the West. Harry Truman had approved the draft speech; but when the Soviets strongly objected, Truman backed off his support for Churchill’s warning.
The National Churchill Museum is located in the spacious basement of St. Mary Aldermanbury, a Christopher Wren church from London that was damaged in the Blitz and was transported, brick by brick, to Fulton as a memorial to Winston Churchill. American women volunteered to embroider the kneelers, and a skilled carver copied Wren’s original wooden pulpit. I couldn’t help being moved by this display of affection for Churchill from hundreds of Americans.
“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”