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History As It Happens

Dec 21, 2021

Young activists in the U.K. do not view Winston Churchill as a hero. Older generations revere Churchill as the greatest Englishman of the 20th century because he stood up to Nazism during the darkest days of the Second World War, when the U.K. fought the Axis alone in 1940. But as Black Lives Matter protests roiled American cities in 2020, activists in Britain began defacing Churchill statues. Leftist academics are also questioning whether the Last Lion still deserves reverence given his racist attitudes toward Indian and Africans, epitomized by his failure to respond to the Bengal famine in 1943. In this episode, world-renowned military historian Max Hastings challenges us to embrace a balanced view of Churchill's accomplishments and failures. If we do not need heroes, we might also resist ransacking history to satisfy our present-day political causes.