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Peace After WWII: Winston Churchill’s “Sinews of Peace”

Date: Monday, Aug. 16 | 11:00 AM–12:15 PM EDT

Following Winston Churchill’s death, the political philosopher Leo Strauss took a brief break from a lecture course to express impromptu thoughts regarding the significance of Churchill’s life for students of politics. Strauss exclaimed, “The tyrant stood at the pinnacle of his power. The contrast between the indomitable and magnanimous statesman and the insane tyrant – this spectacle in its clear simplicity was one of the greatest lessons which men can learn, at any time.” Winston Churchill, arguably the greatest statesman of the 20th century, led the allies to victory in World War II and warned of the great perils facing the West in the modern age. In our seminar, we will analyze Churchill’s most famous post-war speech titled “Sinews of Peace.” We will ask, what, in Churchill’s view, were the most pressing problems facing the West during the post war period? What was the common ground that united England and the United States during and after World War II? Beyond simple self-preservation, what principles or way of life did Churchill set out to defend? Ultimately, in this seminar we will be taking Strauss’ lead. Our goal will be to study Churchill’s spoken word to better understand the threat of tyranny and the methods used by this great statesman to preserve his people’s liberty.

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JSM- Churchill