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

By Steven James Lambakis | Go to book overview

sureless Soviet ambitions, rather than western intransigence (allegedly anchored by Churchill's Fulton speech), rightly may be held accountable for the chilly atmosphere of the postwar years.

In the end, Churchill, did not compromise the security of the West with his diplomatic initiatives. He did not transgress political limits to the point were the free states were endangered or would have been endangered by his activities. For him, negotiations and diplomacy were not a substitute for the peace and freedom won by the liberal democracies in the last war. It was the folly of his countrymen that Churchill consistently warned of and fought against. Thus, it would be difficult to argue convincingly that he was unable to grasp the serious consequences of reckless behavior, or to argue that he did not have a sense of the limits of such behavior.

Churchill's postwar statesmanship attempted to add justice to the peace that was won by the triumph over despotism in 1945. He sought to utilize the interests and sense of honor of the Soviet leaders to accomplish this feat. Churchill once made the remark in a conversation about human mortality and man's short time on earth: "We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glowworm." Despite his failure to achieve a lasting settlement, it may be said that only a man of Churchill's confidence, competence, common sense, and sense of history could have embarked on such a mission. 21

Winston Churchill believed that democratic statesmen ought to exhibit an unyielding confidence in their purpose and dedication to their duties. Such a bearing was vital to the existence and prosperity of democracy itselt. "[T]he democracies of the West must be constantly convinced that those who lead them do not despair of peace if they are to take even the measures which self-preservation demands in case the worst should come to the worst."22 For this, Churchill's political career after the war deserves the sort of praise and appreciation he received before that time from people the world around.


NOTES
1.
Churchill, Complete Speeches, p. 8,473.
2.
See Churchill, The Age of Revolution, p. 286.
3.
See Churchill, The Gathering Storm, pp. 208 and 275, and Gilbert, Never Despair, p. 25.
4.
See Kenneth Waltz, for example, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979). Waltz attempted to discredit any approach to understanding state behavior that gave heavy consideration to regime characteristics (i.e., liberal or illiberal, moderate or revolutionary, democratic or tyrannical) because "systems-level [i.e., the level of the international system where analysts interpret the balance of power] causes become entangled with unit-level [state-level] causes and the latter tend to dominate" (p. 45). By remaining at the level of the system in attempting to understand international politics, Waltz rendered himself incapable of explaining the twentieth century. This century has witnessed the age of ideology (a factor that is only to be found at the state level). "Traditional

-172-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Note xii
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 Some Elements of Churchill's Political Understanding 7
  • Notes 26
  • Chapter 3 the Grand Alliance: Grand Forces, Great Men, and a Grave New World 33
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter 4 Churchill at Fulton: the Precarious Peace 85
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter 5 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part I: Force and International Politics 109
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter 6 Churchill's Postwar Statesmanship Part Ii: Negotiation and Persuasion 131
  • Chapter 7 Conclusion 163
  • Notes 172
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 181
  • About the Author 187
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