April 11, 2013

Good Thurs. A pleasant day here, but cold at -20 in the flats.

Yokelly we are mired in Season Three of Grey’s Anatomy. Also, I’m listening to an audio of Winston Churchill’s extremely interesting book My Early Life. Churchill was son of a prime minister. His father was in political eclipse when Churchill was young, but Churchill’s mother (who was from New York) was socially connected. Churchill recounts his experiences at a boys boarding school, where he was sent when he was 7, his training at Sandhurst military academy (the English West Point) as a cavalry officer (they wore swords and rode horses!), his devotion to polo, his service in India, Sudan, South Africa (where he was captured and then escaped from a military prison), his adventures as a war correspondent. Churchill made most of his money from his writing. The book ends before the outbreak of WWI, I believe (not there yet).

Churchill ran for office several times, was defeated several times but served as an MP, and was appointed to a variety of government posts. He was admired as a public speaker and famously led England through WWII, but few remember that he wrote 53 books and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. The most obvious American parallel is Theodore Roosevelt. Anyway, Churchill’s style is conversational and he tells a very good story. The two chapters devoted to his escape from the prisoner of war camp in Pretoria, South Africa are gripping. He also recounts his part in the cavalry charge at Omdurman, Sudan, and assorted skirmishes in the Hindu Kush. Excellent reading for the armchair history buff and traveler.

Churchill Early Life audiobook

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