5 August 2017: American Thinker, americanthinker.com, “Churchill Biopics, the Trouble with the Movies,” by Richard M. Langworth
“The 1981 TV series Churchill: The Wilderness Years remains the definitive Churchill biopic. Herein Robert Hardy showed us both Churchill’s human frailties and his greatness. Hardy and the series’ writers partnered with Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, to portray the anxious politician of the 1930s, out of power, vainly warning of the Nazi menace. Brilliantly cast, the result was a masterpiece.”
READ MORE: The Wilderness Years
3 August 2017: Jerry Amernic Blog “The Fiction of Historical Hollywood”
“If you want to know what happened at Dunkirk or any other event from World War II, read a book. Maybe even two. Read Sir Martin Gilbert.”
READ MORE: The Second World War, A Complete History
21 July 2017: Management Today, managementtoday.co.uk: “Jeremy Bullmore’s best books about bosses, Stick to biographies, recommends, MT’s resident problem-solver” by Jeremy Bullmore.
“Q. I’m starting my own business and would like to read up on great bosses (my own one was pretty uninspiring). Who should I look into? And please don’t say Branson!
“Jeremy says: The best books about bosses are not about bosses. They’re about people who’ve managed to accomplish remarkable things. Very few will be soloists. All the great engineers, scientists, statesmen, generals, philanthropists, explorers, athletes, businessmen, team managers and impresarios owe some of their success to those whose allegiance they commanded. So don’t buy autobiographies; buy biographies of those whose achievements you most admire. The fundamentals of being a good boss haven’t changed that much so it doesn’t matter if many of your chosen subjects are long since dead. Some starter thoughts: Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey; Churchill by Martin Gilbert; The Double Helix by James Watson; Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.”
READ MORE on Churchill
29 May 2017: The Hindu, thehindu.com, “About a reclusive icon, Two books that tell the Fori Nehru story” by Kallol Bhattacherjee
“In 2009, after Fori turned 100, I turned to scholar and conservationist Shernaz Cama, who had known her for many years, for information. I told her that though I had found a mention in books on Indira Gandhi and B.K. Nehru, Fori’s husband, hers was a character that appeared only fleetingly. It looked as if Fori’s life lacked a full narrative force in itself. In most of the biographies of Indira Gandhi, she appears as a friend and confidante. In B.K. Nehru’s autobiography Nice Guys Finish Second, she appears as a wife who gives direction and stability to a remarkable public life.
” Cama searched her study and fetched me Letters to Auntie Fori. ‘Read this and return the book on time,’ she said. The book is remarkable as it grew out of a conversation between Fori and Martin Gilbert, a friend of her son Ashok. …
“In her lifetime, Fori remained inaccessible to most writers. However, the two books — by B.K. Nehru and Gilbert — add up to be a biography of sorts as the former offers glimpses into her life through the eyes of her family members while the latter tells us about her European past and heritage.”
21 May 2017: The Times of Israel, timesofisrael.com
“Ignoring Israel, Trump misses chance to push for peace where it counts” By Raphael Ahren.
In the comments, Mladen Andrijasevic writes:
“Sir Martin Gilbert obtained information about Churchill’s meeting with King Abdulaziz by petitioning the British Prime Minister to allow him access to the archives which were supposed to be opened in 2045, when as Martin Gilbert put it , he would have been 9 years dead even if he lived to the age of 100. He was granted access. On February 17, 1945 on his way back from Yalta Churchill stopped in Cairo and met Ibn Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia. Churchill was trying to persuade Ibn Saud to accept the creation of a Jewish state, but unfortunately for Churchill (and us) Roosevelt had already beaten him to it and promised Ibn Saud that he would not do anything to help the Jews. What is more, Roosevelt said nothing to Churchill who was there too.”
READ MORE: Churchill and the Jews
20 April 2017: The New York Jewish Week, jewishweek.timesofisrael.com, “Holocaust Memory Under Siege In Worlds Of Politics, Art, As Yad Vashem raps Trump White House, questions over its kid-glove treatment of some European governments” by Nathan Jeffay.
“Yad Vashem sends representatives to Lithuania’s Holocaust commission, despite the fact that, in a Kafkaesque turning-of-the-tables, the very same commission investigated Yitzhak Arad, a survivor and former Yad Vashem director, in relation to alleged acts against Lithuanian non-Jews when he was fighting as a partisan. This probing of Arad, who was a member of the commission, was just nine years ago and at the time, Yad Vashem’s chairman, Avner Shalev, took a tough and principled stand. He accused Lithuania of “historical revisionism and distortion,” that the country was equating Nazis and partisans — and he bolted from the commission. (So did the noted British historian Sir Martin Gilbert.)
“But today, Yad Vashem is back on the commission.”
15 April 2017: Telegram.com, Worcester, Massachussetts, “Letter: Spicer is dead wrong on Hitler’s use of poison gas” by Rev. David J. Miller.
“Sean Spicer is dead wrong. Hitler did, in fact, use poison gas to kill large numbers of his own people, German citizens in good standing.
“In his book ‘The Holocaust,’ Martin Gilbert describes how, from January 1940 to August 1941, 70,000 Germans were killed by gas in five ‘euthanasia institutions.’ The victims were Germans deemed unfit for life, the chronically sick, gypsies, and the mentally ill.”
14 April 2017: The Canadian Jewish News, cjnews.com, “With Yom Hashoah Nearing, We Remember Acts of Jewish Resistance” by Mark Mietkiewicz
“This year on the evening of April 23, people will pause to remember the heroism of the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust. They will also remember the Jews who marshalled what resources they had in order to fight back against Nazi oppression. As Yom Hashoah approaches, here’s a look at Jewish resistance during the Second World War.
“The late renowned historian, Sir Martin Gilbert described resistance in his book, The Holocaust, the Jewish Tragedy: ‘In every ghetto, in every deportation train, in
every labor camp, even in the death camps, the will to resist was strong, and took many forms. Fighting with the few weapons that would be found, individual acts of defiance and protest, the courage of obtaining food and water under the threat of death, the superiority of refusing to allow the Germans their final wish to gloat over panic and despair.’
“Gilbert takes a broad definition of resistance. ‘Even passivity was a form of resistance. To die with dignity was a form of resistance. To resist the demoralizing, brutalizing force of evil, to refuse to be reduced to the level of animals, to live through the torment, to outlive the tormentors, these too were acts of resistance. Merely to give a witness of these events in testimony was, in the end, a contribution to victory. Simply to survive was a victory of the human spirit.'”
13 April 2017: The Times, thetimes.co.uk, “Don’t let the revisionists rewrite Nazi history” by David Aaronovitch, mentioning Jim Allen’s 1987 play Perdition:
“A television debate between Allen and the historian Martin Gilbert … ended in the playwright’s intellectual evisceration.”
5 April 2017: Honest Reporting Canada, “HRC Commentary in Winnipeg Free Press: ‘Balfour Declaration’s Centenary a Historic Moment'” by Mike Fegelman, quoting Michael Coren:
“Balfour’s comment was told to me by my old friend Sir Martin Gilbert, the famous historian and fellow of All Souls Oxford. Martin was a close and dear friend and also Churchill’s official biographer and also one of the greatest historians of Israel and also the Holocaust.”
Correction: Sir Martin was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford.
7 March 2017: History News Network, “Yes, Churchill Really Was a Friend of the Jews” by Daniel Mandel
“Revisionism is a long-standing cottage industry where Winston Churchill is concerned …. which clashes with much that is presented in the late Sir Martin Gilbert’s Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship ….”
24 January 2017: International Business Times, ibtimes.co.uk, “Sadiq Khan urges ‘zero tolerance attitude towards hate crimes’ following anti-Semitic attacks in London” by Lara Rebello
“… while meeting with genocide survivors at City Hall on 23 January. … At the event the mayor read an excerpt from Sir Martin Gilbert’s book on Holocaust survivors – The Boys: Triumph Over adversity – and met World War II Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich and Cambodian genocide survivor Sokal Din among others.”
5 January 2017: The Times of Israel, timesofisrael.com, “A chance meeting … or was it?” Blog by Zelda Harris.
“Dan then went on to tell me that his grandfather had originated from Germany and was one of ‘The Boys’ did I know about them?
“I smiled almost wept and said ‘There’s wonderful film of that name made by the late Sir Martin Gilbert, its about what happened when they came to England. I have always said it should be shown in every school’.”
30 December 2016: Belfast Telegraph, belfasttelegraph.co.uk, “We are not living in a ‘post-truth’ world, we are living in a world of lies: Nigel Farage is not a Nazi, nor is Donald Trump. But what is terrifying – and deeply akin to fascism – is our ability to ‘think’ our way from truth into lies” by Robert Fisk.
“Most of us remember Nigel Farage’s disgraceful – and untrue – words to the European Parliament on 28 June when he claimed that most members ‘have never done a proper job’. But it was his other remark which was so frightening: ‘Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?’
“Those words jogged my memory. Where I had I heard this sneer before?
“Then, quite by chance, there I was in Poland a few days ago, reading the late Martin Gilbert’s Auschwitz and the Allies, about the US and British failure to respond militarily to news of the Nazi death camps. And there I read these words, uttered by Adolf Hitler on 30 September 1942: ‘In Germany, too, the Jews once laughed at my prophecies. I don’t know whether they are still laughing, or whether they have already lost the inclination to laugh, but I can assure you that everywhere they will stop laughing.’ In 1925, newly released from prison, Hitler had written a lengthy editorial in Volkischer Beobachter, attacking Jews, Marxists and the Weimar Republic. And that was 17 years before his 1942 ‘not laughing’ speech.”
16 December 2016: Haaretz, haaretz.com, “Theresa May’s Effort to Eradicate Anti-Semitism Needs Our Help” by Michael Laitman.
“Consciously or not, Jewish unity has always been a sore in the eyes of some non-Jews. They argue that the Jews are using their close ties with one another to gain unfair advantage over people from their host nations. Others, such as Winston Churchill, sensed that the ‘corporate spirit, the spirit of their race and faith,’ as Martin Gilbert quoted him in Churchill and the Jews, has a special role in Judaism. Churchill believed that this corporate spirit gives Jews a ‘special power which … nothing else would ever give.’ ”
14 December 2016: From the Catholic Herald, catholicherald.co.uk, “For years Pius XII has been smeared. The BBC retraction shows the tide is turning; Major historians such as Sir Martin Gilbert have demolished the myths first perpetrated by the Soviet Union” by William Doino, Jr.
“When I read the BBC’s correction, I could not but help think of the impressive scholarship of men like Chadwick and Gilbert, who did so much to exonerate Pius XII, and whom I had the privilege of consulting before their respective deaths. Both of them, I am sure, would have welcomed the BBC’s about-face, especially Gilbert, whose book,The Righteous, is a comprehensive study of Christians, including Pius XII, who rescued Jews during World War II – often at great risk to themselves.
“In 2003, the year Gilbert’s book was published, he granted me an extensive interview in which he methodically demolished the charges against Pius XII, emphasizing two things:
- Not only was the Catholic Church not “silent,” during the Holocaust, Vatican Radio, authorized and sustained by Pius XII, was among the first major voices to publicly condemn Nazi atrocities against Jews and Catholics in Poland, shortly after World War II began. Hence, said Gilbert, ‘To assert Pius XII was “silent” about Nazi mass murder is a serious error of historical fact.’ Sir Martin also told me that the Pope’s Christmas message of 1942, which condemned the extermination of people based upon their ‘race or descent’ was extremely important, because it ‘put the Pope squarely and publicly against the Holocaust.’ Indeed, the Nazis were so infuriated by it that they denounced Pius XII as a ‘mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.’
- Asked if he agreed with the Vatican’s 1998 declaration on the Holocaust (‘We Remember’) that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Jews were rescued under Pius XII, Gilbert, who spent decades meticulously researching the Holocaust in archives around the world, told me that that statement was not a self-serving exaggeration, but historically accurate: ‘Yes, that is certainly correct. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, saved by the entire Catholic Church, under the leadership, and with the support of Pope Pius XII – would, to my mind, be absolutely correct.’
“Gilbert has helped to inspire a generation of writers who have defended Pius XII with hard facts and serious research.”
8 December 2016: Jewish Link of New Jersey, jewishlinknj.com, “Should/Could the Allies Have Bombed Auschwitz?” by Norbert Strauss.
“Martin Gilbert … who is best known as the Biographer of Winston Churchill, wrote “Auschwitz and the Allies”. It is the best known reference work on the subject.”
2 December 2016: The Daily Caller, dailycaller.com, “The Crown: A Not-So-Crowning Achievement” by Richard M. Langworth.
“About that stroke: A whole episode is devoted to the Queen’s shock, after the fact, at learning that Churchill and his deputy, Anthony Eden, were simultaneously out of commission, and the country leaderless, in late June 1953. She summons Lord Salisbury (Clive Francis) and the Prime Minister himself, and gives them a dressing-down. After all, an adviser tells her, they are upper-class British schoolboys, used to a right good hiding by their nanny.
“Except it never happened.
“Three days after Churchill’s stroke, the Queen wrote from Edinburgh: ‘I am so sorry to hear from [private secretary] Tommy Lascelles that you have not been feeling too well these last few days. I do hope it is not serious and that you will be quite recovered in a very short time.’ (Martin Gilbert, Never Despair 1946-1965, 852.)
28 November 2016: Jerusalem Post, jpost.com, “T.E. Lawrence wanted to see Jewish colonies – ‘bright spots in a desert’ – in the Holy Land” by Benjamin Glatt.
On November 28, 1918, a year after the Balfour Declaration, Lawrence wrote to the British newspaper “The Jewish Guardian,” cited in Martin Gilbert’s “Churchill and the Jews,” that “Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of Western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East.”
23 November 2016: liherald.com, Long Island, New York, “Learning from their stories, Holocaust survivors asked to be educators” by Jeffrey Bessen.
“Maurice Vegh, 86, who was also at the luncheon, took that mission to heart many years ago. The Long Beach resident took it upon himself to visit public and private schools and museums, and tell his story, which is part of “The Boys: The Story of 732 Young Concentration Camp Survivors,” written by Sir Martin Gilbert and published in 1997.”
14 November 2016: GuelphToday.com, “From the Second Storey, A Holocaust survivor remembers, Howard Chandler’s story comes full circle with surprise find at Guelph exhibit” by Andrew Vowles.
“In Sir Martin Gilbert’s book The Boys: Triumph Over Adversity, published in 1996, Chandler says, ‘We were packed onto an open freight train and shuffled to and fro, depending which way the front was moving. We shuffled like this for four weeks, on two days of rations, and it took a very heavy toll. It was the worst time ever since entering the camps.’ ”
20 October 2016: The Wall Street Journal, wsj.com, “Restoring the Fortunes of Zion” book review of Israel, A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis, by Neil Rogachevsky.
“His explanations of Israel’s major wars and the grinding conflicts of recent years are often evocative, but readers would be better off with two straightforward classics: Martin Gilbert’s “Israel” (1998) and Walter Laqueur’s “A History of Zionism” (1972), which remain the works to beat.”
30 August 2016: The Wall Street Journal, wsj.com, “The Forgotten Story of Winston Churchill’s Daring Escape, Author Candice Millard on ‘Hero of the Empire’ and the art of historical writing”, by Eben Shapiro.
When asked “How many Churchill biographies did you read? Which do you recommend” Millard responded first with Sir Martin Gilbert’s “… all-encompassing biography ….”
30 August 2016: Vice.com, “This Documentary Is Telling the Story of World War I in Real Time” by Luke Winkle.
“On average, Neidell is writing about five episodes of ‘The Great War’ at once, studying macro-analyses like Sir Martin Gilbert’s The First World War and daily newspaper archives.”
25 August 2016: Fortune.com, “Goldman Sachs Says You Should Read These 9 Back-to-School Books” by Lucinda Shen.
“On Thursday, the investment banking giant published its second annual Back-to-School Reading List, a collection of books the bank’s executives put together each fall. Despite its name, the list is for both students and working adults at ‘every age and career stage,’ Goldman wrote …. CEO Lloyd Blankfein once suggested that young readers could learn a lot more reading about history than economics or the markets.
“Clark also recommends this biography exploring Winston Churchill, the U.K. prime minister during the Second World War. Churchill was fascinating ‘for his mistakes and failures as he is for his successes, his seemingly boundless energy and curiosity, and for having been an incredibly prolific writer,’ Clark said.”
GoldmanSachs.com, “2016 Back-To-School Reading List” 25 August 2016:
Kent Clark – Investment Management Division, New York:
Churchill: A Life, by Martin Gilbert
“This is a good one volume biography of Churchill by Martin Gilbert, who was the ‘official’ Churchill biographer. I think Churchill is as interesting for his mistakes and failures as he is for his successes, his seemingly boundless energy and curiosity, and for having been an incredibly prolific writer. The biography gives good perspective on some of the most important events of the 20th century, at least as seen from Churchill’s vantage point. Unless you have a good knowledge of the political figures of this era, I’d recommend an e-book edition since you can easily get a bit of information on the many characters who feature throughout the book.”
19 August 2016: Supply Chain Digest, scdigest.com, “In Supply Chain, it Pays to Put it in Writing, Too Often Scopes of Work – and Directives to Employees – Leave too Much Unclear and Open to Interpretation” by Dan Gilmore.
“As British Prime Minister in the Second World War, according to Martin Gilbert’s excellent book about Churchill’s war leadership, Churchill decided that every instruction, suggestion, proposal or criticism from him were to be in writing. Churchill insisted that all answers were to be in writing. Yes, there could be discussion, but decisions, instructions, proposals and criticism in writing.”
4 August 2016: The Daily Mail, dailymail.co.uk, London, “Three of four MPs are set to fly out of Britain for holidays this summer ….” by Matt Dathan
“Second World War titles also feature highly on this summer’s reading lists for MPs, with The Secret History of the Blitz, Roger Hermiston’s All Behind You, Winston: Churchill’s Great Coalition 1940-45, John Bew’s Citizen Clem and Martin Gilbert’s Holocaust all among the luggage as politicians jetted away for their summer breaks.”
2 August 2016: The Myeloma Beacon, myelomabeacon.com, Princeton, New Jersey, “Myeloma Rocket Scientist: Reflections on Harold Macmillan and Multiple Myeloma” by Trevor Williams.
” We are now in the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest battles of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. For that reason, I have been re-reading Somme: The Heroism and Horror of War by Martin Gilbert. It is striking how many men who became well known in later life served at the Somme, for instance J. R. R. Tolkien and the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Some of these veterans suffered long-lasting effects from their time there. One such individual is my motivation for writing this column. Something that he said about his experiences when injured seemed to resonate with my experiences as a multiple myeloma survivor.”
31 July 2016: Tribune Star (tribstar.com), Terre Haute Indiana, “The Off Season: Finding the man who died at Courcelette” by Mike Lunsford.
For more about the Battle of the Somme, he recommends Martin Gilbert’s The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War….
21 July 2016: The Oklahoman (newsok.com), Oklahoma City, “Recommended books about Winston Churchill” by Philip Hart.
If the reader limits his Churchill reading to a single work … Churchill: A Life pretty much sticks to the factual record …. couple reading it with his later book, In Search of Churchill — A Historian’s Journey. It is an account of what he learned from the many persons, then of an advanced age, who had crossed paths with Churchill; Gilbert tracked them down and interviewed them about Churchill’s personal qualities.
17th July 2016: “The Real Churchill’s London” Part 2 by Richard Langworth,
Richard Langworth recounts his memories of Sir Martin’s speech, “Spinning Top of Memories” posted by The Churchill Centre, on Churchill’s London. The best of Langworth; the best of Gilbert! https://richardlangworth.com/t
1 July 2016: The Weekly Standard, “The Battle of the Somme and Tolkien, 100 Years Later” by Michael Warren, quoting Joseph Loconte:
“Historian Sir Martin Gilbert, author of a definitive account of the Somme offensive, interviewed Tolkien in the 1960s about his life as a soldier. He notes that Tolkien’s description of the dead marshes matches precisely the macabre experience of soldiers at the Somme ….”
30 June 2016: New York Times, “How JRR Tolkein found Mordor on the Western Front” Joseph Loconte
“According to the British historian Martin Gilbert, who interviewed Tolkien decades later about his combat experience, he came under intense enemy fire. He had heard ‘the fearful cries of men who had been hit,’ Gilbert wrote. ‘Tolkien and his signalers were always vulnerable.'”
28 June 2016: The Telegraph, www.telegraph.co.uk/news, “Chilcot Inquiry: when is the Iraq War Report being published and why had it taken so long?” by Emily Allen
“Historian Gilbert was noted for his meticulous biography of Churchill and his examination of the Holocaust.”
21 June 2016: “The Real Churchill’s London” by Richard Langworth,
Richard Langworth recounts his memories of Sir Martin’s speech, “Spinning Top of Memories” posted by The Churchill Centre, on Churchill’s London. The best of Langworth; the best of Gilbert! https://richardlangworth.com/
7 May 2016: The Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council, “The Arabs’ Real Grievance Against the Jews” by Fred Maroun
“Before modern Israel, as the historian Martin Gilbert wrote, ‘Jews held the inferior status of dhimmi, which, despite giving them protection to worship according to their own faith, subjected them to many vexatious and humiliating restrictions in their daily lives.’ ” Quote from In Ishmael’s House, A History of Jews in Muslim Lands
6 May 2016: Canadian Jewish News, “Lecture Series to Look at Nuremberg Chief Prosecutor”, by Myron Love
“Now in its 11th year, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada’s annual Sol and Florence Kanee Distinguished Lecture Series – scheduled this year for May 16 – has brought to Winnipeg such notable scholars as Martin Gilbert and Deborah Lipstadt and journalists such as Caroline Glick and Avi Shavit.”
5 May 2016: Jerusalem Post, “Not Just News”, Grapevine: Kfar Etzion Saga
“On the day prior to Israel’s declaration of independence, members of the Arab Legion of the Jordanian Army, assisted by local Arabs, concluded a three-day battle against the settlers of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. Of the 127 Hagana combatants and kibbutz members who died in defense of the settlement, 15, according to historian Martin Gilbert, were murdered after they surrendered. Many kibbutz members who paid the supreme sacrifice during that massacre were Holocaust survivors.”
29 April 20: From The Inquirer, Philly.com, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “Commentary: At Dachau, A Grim Reminder of Horror and Atrocities” by Hannah Dougherty Campbell
“I would learn later that there were many unsung heroes of this time in the book The Righteous, by Martin Gilbert, I read about a man who hid a family in his cellar and covered the trapdoor with a rug. When Nazis searched his house, their guard dogs sniffed the rug area until he lured them away by offering them little pieces of meat. Women in various villages set loaves of bread on bushes along the trails leading to the camps so weakened prisoners would find them – and perhaps the strength to survive. Would we do the same? Risk our lives, our families, to save one person in peril?”
20 April: Bloomberg View, “Never Mind the Missile Tests, Iran Just Wants to Get Along” by Eli Lake, on Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister:
“After rehashing the history of the Iran-Iraq war and complaining about how U.S. presidents for 37 years have stated that ‘all options are on the table’ when it comes to countering Iranian aggression, Zarif writes, ‘The words “never again” resonate with Iranians, too.’
“ ‘Never again’ is of course most associated with preventing another Holocaust against the Jews. It is the title of Martin Gilbert’s history of that crime. Zarif is the front man of a regime that not only threatens to wipe out the world’s only Jewish state but also actively denies the Holocaust.”
“Sir Martin retained a great love of Cornwall, and with Lady Gilbert, made many visits to the County. They often stayed at Coverack, exploring the Lizard Peninsula, and also visited the Falmouth Jewish Cemetery. At Coverack, Martin transcribed a headstone in the Church graveyard of a young boy who had been killed in a bombing raid. He was … especially moved by this headstone because the boy could so easily have been him.”
5 April 2016: Omaha.com, Omaha, Nebraska, “This book club focuses on Churchill, but those who appreciate good conversation will feel right at home” by Blake Ursch
“The roundtable meets at Barnes and Noble in the Crossroads Mall to discuss books written by or about the United Kingdom’s most famous prime minister. Currently, the group is slogging through an eight-volume biography of Churchill written by Sir Martin Gilbert. They cover one chapter per month, meeting at 2 p.m. and often talking until the store closes.
“In his spare time, John Meeks, president (or perhaps more aptly, prime minister) of the group, is devouring an 18-volume supplementary series to the biography, filled with letters, reports and other source material. He subscribes to two Churchill periodicals (“The Churchillian” and “Finest Hour”). And, next to his bookshelf in the basement, he has a framed portrait of the statesman.
“In total, he estimates that he’s read about a dozen telephone book-sized volumes on Churchill.
“It all raises a question: Why? What’s so interesting about a figure whose reach, for many Americans, extends only so far as the cover of a 10th-grade history book?
” ‘I just find each chapter exciting,” Meeks said. “I like it because it’s nonstop action.’ ”
20 March 2016 : From The Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au, posted “Riebling’s take on the Vatican and Nazi Germany” by Peter Craven
“The most impressive thing about Church of Spies is that it offers a positive, if qualified, defence of Pius – one we’ve heard before from learned Rabbi historians – but which is here presented with a fair amount of new detail and with plenty of drama and colour. It has led Martin Gilbert, the great biographer of Churchill, to say in a blurb for the book, ‘Mark Riebling shows that the Vatican took a very powerful stance against the Nazis. It is especially important for Jewish people – and I am Jewish myself – that this information is now being gathered for all to see.’ ”
15 February 2016: The Washington Post, “How to rid the world of genocide” by Gareth Evans
“… it was such a huge breakthrough when the U.N. General Assembly in 2005 unanimously endorsed the principle of the ‘responsibility to protect,’ or ‘R2P,’ as it is now universally known: the standard of the whole international community to prevent and halt genocide and other atrocity crimes behind sovereign borders. This conceptually bridged that North-South gap, changed the language of the debate from ‘right’ to ‘responsibility’ and laid new foundations for effective practical action. The British historian Martin Gilbert described it, a little breathlessly but not without reason, as ‘the most significant adjustment to sovereignty in 360 years.’ ”
10 February 2016: St Peter Herald.Com, “Jesus, the Great Shepherd and Good Physician” by Greg Kalyvas, Faribault, Minnesota.
“Martin Gilbert recounts the true story of a British officer in events that transpired on the Somme battlefield in France, 1916. ….”
14 January 2016: Christian Today: “War, terror and oppression: 5 reasons religion can’t be blamed for all the evil in the world” by Heather Tomlinson.
“It’s true that some of the commonly cited evils done in the name of Christianity are an embarrassment to the faith, but the rhetoric rarely matches the reality. For example, the Catholic Church is frequently criticised for its role in the Second World War. But this ignores the many priests who hid Jews, openly challenged the policies of Hitler, and some of the positive influence that Pope Pius XII had – as the late historian Sir Martin Gilbert argues.”
31 December 2015: The Times of Israel, “NY rabbi: ‘Not even 1 million’ Jews killed in the Holocaust” by Raoul Wootliff
“While historians differ on the exact number of Jews killed at the hands of the Nazis, the most commonly cited figure for the total number has been six million with near-universal agreement among Holocaust scholars. According to British historian Martin Gilbert, the total number of victims is just under six million—around 78% of the 7.3 million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe at the time.”
30 December 2015: The Wall Street Journal, “Remembering Those We Lost This Year” by Karl Rove
“As the year closes, let us remember a few notables who left this life in 2015. Martin Gilbert, a young Oxford scholar in 1962, was asked by Randolph Churchill to help research the biography of his father, Winston S. Churchill. Following Randolph’s death in 1968, Gilbert took up the task of writing the biography’s final six volumes ….”
22 December 2015:Deseret News, deseretnews.com, Salt Lake City, Utah, “In Our Lovely Deseret: Christmas for children in the midst of war’s devastation” by Susan Evans McCloud.
“Churchill spoke movingly of the flags of the two nations intertwined, of the highest military, naval and air officers grouped together along with the ranks of British and American sailors. He spoke of the ‘deeply moving expression of the unity of faith of our two peoples’ (see Churchill: A Photographic Portrait by Martin Gilbert).
“On the Dec. 8 of that same year, just a few weeks before the holidays, Churchill had learned of Japan’s attack on the United States and America entering into the war. With grateful jubilation he responded, ‘No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. … So we had won after all! … England would live; Britain would live. … We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end.’
11 December 2015: Atlanta Jewish Times, atlantajewishtimes.com “Heroic Children focuses on a few to tell the story of Holocaust victims” by R. M Grossblatt.
“ ‘Hanoch Teller has put all of the students of the Holocaust — and of the human condition — in his debt,’ said Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill.”
From weeklystandard.com, The Magazine, December 21 issue: “Bush the Elder, A partisan’s perspective on a statesman’s career” by Thomas J. Duesterberg on Jon Meacham’s book:
“The newer breed of popular historians are more straightforward in their approach, and reach huge audiences which otherwise would be left to wonder what happened to the story of American democracy and leadership in the world, economic growth and innovation, and related themes. In contrast to France or Great Britain, where trained historians familiar with the vast array of learning on specific periods—Fernand Braudel, Martin Gilbert, Robert Skidelsky, Niall Ferguson—turn to popular history, few professional scholars in America can escape from their ideological blinders to reach a larger audience.”
4 December 2015: From The Spectator, new.spectator.co.uk, “Hubris made the 20th Century the bloodiest in history” by Allan Mallinson, in a book review of Alastair Horne’s book Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the 20th Century.
“… the late Sir Martin Gilbert, quoted with apparent approval in the preliminaries: ‘I’m not a theoretical historian, seeking to guide the reader to a general conclusion. I’m quite content to be a narrative chronicler, a slave of the facts’.”
3 December 2015:The Jewish Chronicle, thejc.com, “A prelude to horror, the evocative testimonies from victims of Kristallnacht’ by David Robson.
In a review of Ruth Levitt’s book Pogrom – November 1938, Robson writes: “How spontaneous was it? Martin Gilbert in his history of the Holocaust doesn’t concern himself with the question ….”
Good that he consulted Martin Gilbert’s classic tome, but one wonders why does he not mention Gilbert’s Kristallnacht, Prelude to Destruction which focuses entirely on this one pogrom, the lead-up to it, the fall-out from it, and the resulting changes in Nazi policy
23 November 2015: From the HollywoodReporter.com: Karski & the Lords of Humanity Film Review by John DeFore
“Gathering vintage interviews from a couple of different documentaries, the film movingly observes a man who can be physically unsettled by things he saw several decades prior. New interviews with Wood, Winston Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert and others help finish the tale, in which Karski smuggled microfilm out of Poland containing reports on the mass extermination.”
From The Churchill Centre, winstonchurchill.org, Chartewell Bulletin, Number 89, November 2015, “New Pictoral Biography Celebrates Churchill’s, Interview with Max Arthur”:
CB: You were good friends with the late Sir Martin Gilbert, who was the Official Biographer of Churchill. What did you learn from him, and how did that friendship help guide you in putting together this book?
MA: I have dedicated this book to my dear friend and inspiration. Martin had a fund of rich anecdotes which enhanced the background details of the extraordinary life of Churchill. He had amazing recall and an encyclopedic knowledge of this man who dominated the British and world landscape for so many years. He always looked for facts to support his work. He might add some historical background, but he never put thoughts or words into the mouths of people, which could not be verified by research. I have no doubt in my mind that Martin should be seen as the foremost authority on the life of Churchill. It was a privilege to know him.
12 November 2015: The Jewish Chronicle, thejc.com. Highgate rebuilds for growing congregation”.
“Highgate Synagogue is being rebuilt in a £2 million-plus project to provide modern, environmentally friendly premises for a membership that has almost tripled to 400 over the past three decades. … Features of the new building will include a learning centre in honour of the late historian, Sir Martin Gilbert, who was a regular congregant, as well as a larger house on site for Rabbi Nicky Liss and his family.”
11 November 2015:From Deseret News, Deseretnews.com, Salt Lake City, Utah, “This week in history: the Nazis unleash Kristallnacht” by Cody K. Carlson
As a pretext for unleashing the pogrom that became known as Kristallnacht, the Nazis used the Grynszpan assassination of Von Rath: “In Martin Gilbert’s book The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War, Grynszpan’s account is included ….”
Read More:The Holocaust
7 November 2015: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield West Virginia, “Veterans Day: Selfless sacrifice a hallmark of American military” by Larry Hypes
“The great Armistice, which officially ended hostilities, was itself not without controversy right up to the magic hour. In Martin Gilbert’s classic one-volume work “The First World War: A Complete History” he writes that although the fighting was scheduled conclude at the designated hour, there was no orderly path to peace on the fateful day. For example, at First and Second Army headquarters, the commanders received news at 6:30 a.m. of the surrender terms but ordered that firing continue until 11. Gilbert notes that historian Donald Smythe says, “The men who died or were maimed in those last few hours suffered needlessly and their mishandling provoked a Congressional investigation after the war. One of the officers so ordered to keep up the attacks was an Army officer from Missouri, Capt. Harry S. Truman, who maintained his attack until 10:45, just 15 minutes before the official cease fire. Gilbert wryly observed that firing skills of the military were still being refined and perfected right up to the last minute before peace.”
Read More: First World War
28 October 2015: TimesofIsrael.com, “Hitler, the Mufti and Bibi”, posted , by Wayne Kopping, director of the film Obsession, Radical Islam’s War Against the West.
Kopping writes about Bibi Netanyahu’s incorrect claim that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who met with Hitler on 28 November 1941, persuaded Hitler to murder the Jews:
” They had the same goal: Both of them wanted to exterminate Jews. Hitler was the first to propose it, but Hitler found a fervent supporter in the leader of the Palestinians. As Historian Martin Gilbert put it in Obsession, ‘Hitler saw at once that this man not only could serve his purpose, but wanted to serve his purpose.’ ”
Read More Second World War
27 October 2015: Townhall.com, “Why are Progressives Afraid of the First Amendment?” by Susan Stamper Brown
In the biography, “Churchill: A Life,” author Martin Gilbert writes how Winston Churchill loudly voiced his grave concerns about the apathy shared by those seemingly impervious to the malevolent National Socialist Movement’s intention to steam through Europe like volcanic lava, destroying everything in its way, including free speech.
24 October 2015: Londonderry Sentinel, Maiden City Great War Roll of Honour, Part 7, by Trevor Temple
” Martin Gilbert in his book, First World War, recounts the actions of the Irish Guards on the day Guardsman Rankin lost his life ….”
12 October 2015: In the Ocala Star Banner, “Expert on Winston Churchill tells large crowd of British leader’s beliefs, humor” by Andy Fillmore
“A sold-out audience at the second in this season’s Evening Lecture Series at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) heard historian and author Larry Arnn describe Winston Churchill as a genius and the greatest statesman of our time …. Arnn traveled to England and worked with Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer and his staff, where he met and married his wife Penny Arnn in 1979.”
7 October 2015: Deseret News, Utah, “This week in history, World War I nearly starts 6 years early” by Cody K. Carlson
Writing of the 1908 annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Austro-Hungary, Carlson quotes:
“In the book The First World War: A Complete History, historian Martin Gilbert wrote: ‘The annexation was not only in defiance of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin… but completed Austrian control of more than 300 miles of Adriatic coastline. Bosnia could also serve as a military base, when need or opportunity arose, for an Austrian attack on Serbia.’ ”
7 October 2015: Bible Gateway Blog, “God and Churchill: An Interview with Jonathan Sandys and Wallace Henley”, by Jonathan Petersen
Quoting Wallace Henley:
“Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, saw the importance of Churchill’s relationship with God and personally encouraged Jonathan to pursue research.”
10 September 2015: Canadian Jewish News, “5775: The year in review”
Martin Gilbert, the esteemed Jewish British historian and the biographer of Winston Churchill, dies at 78.
16 September 2015: Jewish News, “Memorial honouring prolific historian Sir Martin Gilbert set for September”.
At the time of his death, his personal website was swamped with tributes, among them leaders of the Jewish community, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who described him as “a scholar and a gentleman,” adding: “Every educated Jew’s bookshelf has been enriched by at least some of his books.”
20 September 2015: Ottawa Citizen, Reported by David Pugliese.
“Governor General praises the bravery of those who fought in the Battle of Britain”: “Here is what Governor General David Johnston had to say at the Battle of Britain ceremony today:”
“Some years ago, I had the opportunity to speak to Sir Martin Gilbert, the author of a multi-volume biography of Winston Churchill and someone who knew more about Churchill’s thinking than any living person. Sir Gilbert had just gained access to Churchill’s secret wartime diaries. I asked him, “What did you learn from them that you didn’t already know?” He replied: “I learned what a close thing it was.”
The outcome of the Battle of Britain—like that of the Second World War itself—was never guaranteed. Without the great courage, ingenuity and skill of those who fought the air war, as well as the remarkable resilience of people on the home front, things might have turned out very differently. As governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, I’m grateful for this opportunity to mark this milestone anniversary.”
2 September 2015: From Clifford D. May, writing on Chamberlain and appeasement, The Washington Times
First, he did not originate the policy of appeasement. Starting in the 1920s, many in Britain believed that too much blame for the Great War had been heaped on Germany’s shoulders and that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust. Given that premise, the possibility that appeasement might lead to reconciliation was hardly baseless. In “The Roots of Appeasement,” the great historian Sir Martin Gilbert described this effort as, initially at least, “a noble idea, rooted in Christianity, courage and common sense.”
10 September 2015: From Jerry Amernic’s blog
“Sir Martin Gilbert, the late British historian whom I had the pleasure of meeting, wrote a chilling account of human depravity in his epic tome The Holocaust. The day was September 1, 1942, the place a hospital in the German-occupied city of Lodz, Poland. The perpetrators were Nazi SS officers, who were little more than boys themselves, and their victims Jewish newborns.”
11 September 2015: From The Weekly Standard Magazine, The Inner Circle, Vol 21, No. 2, “Winston Churchill as political operator” by Cita Stelzer:
“Much of what we know about Churchill relates to his wartime leadership, chronicled as part of the late Sir Martin Gilbert’s magisterial biography.”
5 September 2015: From Pakistan Today online edition, “Blame-game politics” by Khawaja Manjar Amin.
“… With lamentations, sour heart and mourning mood, one asks the million-dollar question: Why are we perpetually saddled with political pygmies and colourless nonentities? Where is our William Gladstone, our Winston Churchill, our Lloyd George, our Franklin D Roosevelt …. What was the principal difference? About one of these luminaries, Winston S Churchill, his biographer Martin Gilbert writes: ‘Churchill’s capacity for work amazed those who saw it at first hand. The four or more hours after dinner, from ten or eleven in the evening until two or even three in the morning were particularly busy ones, with long official memoranda, or chapters of the new book being tested on Treasury officials or research assistants and then dictated to one of the secretaries who worked special night shifts’.”
4 September 2015: Published in Things To Do Guide: Go Knoxville (Tennessee), “Upcoming events at Knox-area worship centers”
Temple Beth El, 3037 Kingston Pike, is hosting a photo exhibit by Robert Heller entitled “Jewish Life in Poland.” The exhibit opened on Sept. 4.
During the summer of 2007, University of Tennessee professor Rob Heller traveled to Poland for the opening of the “Living On” exhibit of portraits of Tennessee Survivors and Liberators. That week, he spent time in Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz, photographing the few remnants of Jewish life that still exist. Using Martin Gilbert’s “Holocaust Journey” as a guide, Heller photographed sights, big and small, that had significance to what was once an enormous thriving Jewish community. The exhibit will be a small sampling of those photographs.
28 August 2015, The Telegraph, Obituary for Denis Avey
Denis Avey, Auschwitz Witness – : “The historian Martin Gilbert provided a foreword to his book ….”
5 August 2015, Pravda.Ru, Lyuba Lulk
“… the exchange of gifts between Obama and then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the visit of the latter to Washington in March 2009. Barack Obama reportedly gave Brown 25 classic American DVDs, while Brown presented Obama with an on ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet and the first edition of seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.”
24 July 2015, The Huffington Post – Huffpost Arts & Culture, Annette Insdorf
“Festivals in Krakow and Jerusalem Feature Karski and Arendt”, quotes Sir Martin’s contribution to Slawomir Grunberg’s film, “Karski & The Lords of Humanity”
22 July 2015, The Jewish Chronicle – The Jewish Chronicle Online, Bernard Wasserstein
“How far did the UK aristocracy’s love of the Nazis really go?”, quotes Sir Martin’s description of the “almost meeting” between Churchill and Hitler in 1932.
20 July 2015, The Federalist, Kurt Schlichter
“Europe is Partying Like It’s 1939”, quotes, “… travelling through Europe accompanied by a copy of Martin Gilbert’s magisterial one-volume biography, ‘Churchill, A Life‘ ….”
10 July 2015, My Old Addiction, Movie Reviews by Bill Antoniou
Reviews the Martin Gilbert scripted film, Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, 1982, “Genocide”.
9 July 2015, The News Review, Reno, Nevada, Dennis Myers
“Righteous, UNR hosts an exhibit about those who rescued Jews from Nazis”, quotes from Sir Martin’s book The Righteous on the number of people needed to save even one Jew.
2 July 2015, Jewish News, Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum
“Sedra of the week: Balak” begins: “One of the most inspirational works authored by the late Sir Martin Gilbert, of blessed memory, is The Righteous. Published in 2002, it documents the work of these precious individuals, Christian, Muslim or of no faith at all who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.”