Keeper of the Law: Louis Ginzberg

Keeper of the Law: Louis Ginzberg

Keeper of the Law: Louis Ginzberg

Keeper of the Law: Louis Ginzberg

Excerpt

WINSTON CHURCHILL has given us an illuminating insight about the delicate and subtle relations that can exist between father and son, especially when the son attempts to write about the father. When young Churchill asked Lord Rosebery, who had been his father's closest friend, for some details about his father's life, the Scottish Lord took the time and trouble to write at great length. But Churchill would not incorporate this material in his biography because Rosebery, the most elegant and proper of men, in recounting an episode of his friend's life at school, had used a slang term, a term that he refused upon request to delete. Churchill would not permit the slightest disrespect to be reflected on his father.

Such delicacy is very Victorian. But the episode cannot be completely explained by reference to an era which placed so high a value on decorum. In each generation, filial respect is a hallowed virtue, and even in the most tumultuous of times there is little sympathy for a man who fails to observe this propriety.

It is easier to determine the anecdotes that should be eschewed by sons who write about their fathers than to de-

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