Keep Calm and Carry On: Winston Churchill, born 1874 November 30th

For 57 consecutive nights in 1940, Nazi Germany tried to bring England to its knees. Waves of planes pummeled cities with high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices as part of a campaign to break the English spirit and destroy the country’s capacity to make war. One man stood strong against the onslaught: Winston Churchill.


Churchill was a unifier. He was a man who brought a nation together. As he said, he didn’t make people brave, he allowed their courage to come forward. It’s a very interesting distinction. To me, as I say in the book, he taught the nation the art of being fearless. And I do think fearlessness can be a learned art.

There are a lot of cases when an air raid was about to occur and Churchill would go to the roof and watch. This was how he was. He was not going to cower in a shelter during a raid. He wanted to see it. By day, he carried on as if there were no nightly air raids. This was part of his style, part of how he encouraged and emboldened the nation. If Churchill’s doing this, if he’s courageous enough, maybe we really don’t have so much to fear.

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