Re: “History should be judged in context,” Letters, June 25
I read Andy Hobbs’ letter “History should be judged in context,” wherein he says Churchill was “… the product of his times. We all are.”
That’s an old cliché and a copout. It could be said about any person, even Hitler.
We are products of our social environment; and Churchill was the product of an elitist, upper-class environment. He was no friend of the working class. He opposed free health care and free education for the working class.
He said that if working class men were educated, there would be no one to do the menial jobs. That statement was stupid, and he didn’t even consider women. But Hitler did.
Not only did Hitler want to get people back to work in the Great Depression, he insisted that women get the same wage as men for doing the same job. Maybe that was one reason why he had such a large female following.
Mr. Hobbs says that Churchill’s imperfections are completely understandable and not so egregious. They may be understandable to people raised in a sheltered, upper-class environment, but they weren’t understandable to poor people.
As for the egregiousness of his imperfections, and Mr. Hobbs’ statement that Churchill saved the U.K. and “arguable more countries from absolute tyranny,” those questions are certainly arguable.
Churchill may have been the perfect foil for Hitler, but the British people knew the peacetime Churchill and voted his party out right after the war.
It seems Mr. Hobbs has been getting his history education from, maybe, the company that calls itself The Great Courses. That outfit goes further than Hobbs; they say Churchill “changed the world.”
You don’t learn real history from the sanitized “approved” texts that are used in high schools and colleges.