In Churchill's Shadow: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain

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Oxford University Press, 2004 - History - 385 pages
With In Churchill's Shadow, David Cannadine offers an intriguing look at ways in which perceptions of a glorious past have continued to haunt the British present, often crushing efforts to shake them off. The book centers on Churchill, a titanic figure whose influence spanned the century. Though he was the savior of modern Britain, Churchill was a creature of the Victorian age. Though he proclaimed he had not become Prime Minister to "preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," in effect he was doomed to do just that. And though he has gone down in history for his defiant orations during the crisis of World War II, Cannadine shows that for most of his career Churchill's love of rhetoric was his own worst enemy.
Cannadine turns an equally insightful gaze on the institutions and individuals that embodied the image of Britain in this period: Gilbert & Sullivan, Ian Fleming, Noel Coward, the National Trust, and the Palace of Westminster itself, the home and symbol of Britain's parliamentary government. This superb volume offers a wry, sympathetic, yet penetrating look at how national identity evolved in the era of the waning of an empire.

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IN CHURCHILL'S SHADOW: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain

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Veteran English historian Cannadine (Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire, 2001, etc.) ranges freely over an eclectic selection of topics, from the design of the palace of Westminster to ... Read full review

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User Review  - jcvogan1 - LibraryThing

A collection of essays, some of much are very interesting looks at modern Britain. Read full review


Parliament The Palace of Westminster as the Palace of Varieties
Statecraft The Haunting Fear of National Decline
Thrones Churchill and Monarchy in Britain and Beyond
Language Churchill as the Voice of Destiny
Locality The Chamberlain Tradition and Birmingham
Piety Josiah Wedgwood and the History of Parliament
Emollience Stanley Baldwin and Francis Brett Young
Diplomacy G M Trevelyan and R B Merriman
Conservation The National Trust and the National Heritage
Sentiment Noel Cowards Patriotic Ardour
Fantasy Ian Fleming and the Realities of Escapism
A Note on Sources
List of Abbreviations

Tradition Gilbert and Sullivan as a National Institution

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About the author (2004)

David Cannadine is Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. He is the author of many acclaimed books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Class in Britain, and Ornamentalism. He lives in London.

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