Was Winston Churchill really an alcoholic - Page 2




 
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September 5th, 2007  
Del Boy
 
I totally agree BD.
Most genius is flawed, I would suggest, but here I am arguing on a technical point, because in this case I am not sure that it ever became a flaw. After all, re. direction and control of a great war, I must opine that the work of a genius can only be assessed and appraised by a similar genius. (Giants and Pygmies). Who qualifies? Where were they during WW11 and where are they now - I don't see them? God knows, we could do with some! My technical point is this; was Churchill ever officially diagnosed as an alcoholic at any time? If not, then there is no case to answer.

Let us rest easy in the recognition of the quality of our first belief in this giant , that he has earned his reputation as the greatest Brit. As for all the criticism - the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. It is written history, and the finger has moved on. I am embedded somewhere in there, so I cannot live silently with denial and revisionism, and altho' the alcohol issue is not so important, it contributes the chipping away process, in my opinion.
September 5th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
I totally agree BD.
Most genius is flawed, I would suggest, but here I am arguing on a technical point, because in this case I am not sure that it ever became a flaw. After all, re. direction and control of a great war, I must opine that the work of a genius can only be assessed and appraised by a similar genius. (Giants and Pygmies). Who qualifies? Where were they during WW11 and where are they now - I don't see them? God knows, we could do with some! My technical point is this; was Churchill ever officially diagnosed as an alcoholic at any time? If not, then there is no case to answer.

Let us rest easy in the recognition of the quality of our first belief in this giant , that he has earned his reputation as the greatest Brit. As for all the criticism - the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. It is written history, and the finger has moved on. I am embedded somewhere in there, so I cannot live silently with denial and revisionism, and altho' the alcohol issue is not so important, it contributes the chipping away process, in my opinion.

But hang on a sec we judge other leaders from periods throughout recorded history without ever knowing them Churchill is no different in those respects.

As has been mentioned previously his actions and achievements will always be judged separately as we can see their results however that should not stop us discussing perceived flaws that may have affected the course of WW2.

In the end it wouldn't matter if this entire forum decided he was the worst alcoholic in the history of the world because his place in history has already been written but discussing these things does give us insight into the man and his achievements/failings.
September 5th, 2007  
Del Boy
 

Certainly MontyB - I am not suggesting that the matter is not discussed. It is simply that I am opposing the motion and have been pleased to take up the cudgels and register my opinion. I recommend to you, in this respect, my post 9.

I assume this is acceptable, however inconvenient it may seem.

Be my guest, run with it. I am at your service.
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October 26th, 2011  
jpr
 

Topic: Churchill Was Not an Alcoholic


Here is a link to the most persuasive analysis that debunks this longstanding myth. By the way, the Lady Astor story attributed to Churchill is a canard. Read Richard Langworth's definitive book of WSC quotations.http://www.winstonchurchill.org/lear...alcohol-abuser
October 27th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Whether Churchill was a drunk, a war monger or a pain in the bum for his war cabinet, his Generals, Ike, his body guards, whether he was foolhardy putting himself in danger on numerous occasions, who gives a toss? Even the King had to step in to prevent him from joining the first waves of the D Day invasion.

Love him or loath him, he was the right man at the right time.

Before Churchill became PM, Hitler admitted that he was worried about Churchill.

A book worth reading are the memoirs of his body guard, Detective Inspector Walter Henry Thompson BEM of Scotland Yard
October 27th, 2011  
muscogeemike
 
By some peoples definition anybody who has more than two drinks a week is an alcoholic. I certainly don’t think Winston was debilitated by his drinking, any more than U.S. Grant was. Rumors by enemies and Monday morning quarterbacks effect all great people. Such as J.F.K.’s womanizing, drug addiction, and possible negligence of duty during the War to J.Edgar Hoover’s cross dressing and homosexuality. Alexander the Great and Napoleon had character flaws; Gandhi was a lawyer and even Christ lost his temper once, doesn’t negate their deeds.
October 30th, 2011  
papasha408
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
and if so did it affect his performance as a leader?

Rather than hijack another thread (What was Winston Churchills greatest wartime blunder) I figured I would pose the question in a separate thread which if it deteriorates can be closed without affecting the original thread.

I would like to take LeEnfield's post as a starter.

So whats the general consensus?

I tend believe he was an alcoholic but adapted to it well ie he rarely let it show in public, nor do I believe it affected his performance as a leader.

However this quote is attributed to him.

"You, Mr Churchill, are drunk."
"And you, Lady Astor, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning."
Was Churchill an alcoholic? Is the Pope Catholic?

All kidding aside, many believe Churchill was such an alcoholic, he couldn't stand past 1800 hours. The rumour is quite fascinating. Supposedly an actor who could imitate Churchills voice exactly, did all the night time broadcasts during the war. For old Winny was either asleep or so many sheets to the wind.
Has anyone else heard of this?
October 31st, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papasha408
Was Churchill an alcoholic? Is the Pope Catholic?

All kidding aside, many believe Churchill was such an alcoholic, he couldn't stand past 1800 hours. The rumour is quite fascinating. Supposedly an actor who could imitate Churchills voice exactly, did all the night time broadcasts during the war. For old Winny was either asleep or so many sheets to the wind.
Has anyone else heard of this?
I don't believe there is any truth in this. Churchill's body guard stated in his memoirs that Churchill often held war cabinet meetings late into the night, often ending in the early hours of the morning.
October 31st, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I don't believe there is any truth in this. Churchill's body guard stated in his memoirs that church often held war cabinet meetings late into the night, often ending in the early hours of the morning.
I found this but I have not read the book...

Quote:
Was Churchill an Alcoholic?
by RICHARD M. LANGWORTH on 30 AUGUST 2009
The question frequently arises, was Churchill an alcoholic? Certainly his own accounts of his prowess (“I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me”), and his frequent depiction as a red-nosed drunk by enemies from Goebbels to modern day scoffers, lends one to believe that he drank heavily.
The truth, as Richard Geshke puts it in a communication on ChurchillChat, is that he was “a constant sipper: “I never heard any stories of a drunk Churchill.”
There is just one validated story: Danny Mander, one of WSC’s bodyguards at Teheran, recalls escorting a well-lubricated Churchill and Anthony Eden home after a lengthy series of toasts with the Russians. But Mander is careful to note they were not “falling down drunk,” just singing songs and feeling good.
Churchill’s famous 1946 retort to Bessie Braddock MP, “…and you are very ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you shall still be very ugly”), adapted from a W.C. Fields film, was fired off because, according to an eye witness, he was not drunk (leaving the House of Commons after a late night session), just tired and wobbly. (In the 1934 film It’s a Gift, the W. C. Fields character, when told he is drunk, responds: “Yeah, and you’re crazy. But I’ll be sober tomorrow and you’ll be crazy the rest of your life.”)
Two amusing quips on the subject are Prof. Warren Kimball’s: “Churchill was not an alcoholic—no alcoholic could drink that much”; and Sir John Colville’s observation that what he started sipping early in the day was a trace of whisky diluted by a full glass of water: “whisky-flavoured mouthwash.”
Finally, The Churchill Centre dealt with this “leading Churchill myth” years ago.
http://richardlangworth.com/was-churchill-an-alcoholic
October 31st, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I found this but I have not read the book...



http://richardlangworth.com/was-churchill-an-alcoholic
Other Churchillian classics include:-

Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

George Bernard Shaw once sent two tickets to the opening night of one of his plays to Winston Churchill with the following note:
Bring a friend, if you have one.

Churchill wrote back, returning the two tickets and excused himself as he had a previous engagement. He also attached the following:
Please send me two tickets for the next night, if there is one.
 


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