Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

Winston Churchill, Architect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War

Synopsis

This study establishes a "Churchillian perspective" of politics that explains Winston Churchill's policies and actions during and following World War II. Using a new approach, Lambakis describes the principles informing Churchill's statesmanship and his basic strategies in dealing with the Soviet Union when the Cold War developed. It fills a gap in scholarship regarding the final years of Churchill's career. This study departs from mainstream views on Churchill and most postwar history and should thus be of real interest to political scientists, Churchill scholars, diplomatic historians, and students in European studies.

Excerpt

In this splendid book Steven Lambakis both explains Winston Churchill the statesman and allows that explanation to raise themes and questions central to the quality of international life. Winston Churchill--Architect of Peace is an essay on statesmanship using as its vehicle the person who is all but synonymous with the concept in the twentieth century. The contrast could scarcely be greater between Lambakis' book, which is anchored in history, philosophy, and personality, and much of the arid theorizing that passes for scholarship today in the field of international relations.

The story told in these pages is fraught with paradox, at the least with apparent oppositions. For example, the relationship between the theory and the practice of statecraft is a constant theme. In a felicitous judgment the author advises that "the sword and the soapbox gave life to the pen." I wonder how many of the leading contemporary contributors to international relations theory have either wielded the sword or stood upon the soapbox. Personal experience at "the sharp end" of statecraft certainly is not everything, indeed it can be overvalued, but at least such a credential helps remind one that statecraft is a practical matter and not a thing of beauty apart, a fine art.

Other dualisms, or nexi, developed well in this book include those between peace and justice, between arming and parleying, between realism in statecraft and ethical principles, and between great men and their times. Winston Churchill--Architect of Peace is about a principled realist who understood that although statecraft is the art of the possible, it is an art that needs to be guided by the shining light of a clear vision of the desirable. A thought triggered by reading this book is that many statesmen and would-be statesmen can be identified as big--as contrasted with small--people. By that simplistic, roughcut distinction, I mean that there are political leaders who think on a broad canvas that includes a significant temporal element and there are those who do not. Also, I must add, there are those who think big, but who happen to think wrong! Great men and women are not necessarily good men and women.

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