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

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Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2004 - History - 385 pages
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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

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcvogan1 - LibraryThing

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

Contents

Parliament The Palace of Westminster as the Palace of Varieties
2
Statecraft The Haunting Fear of National Decline
25
Thrones Churchill and Monarchy in Britain and Beyond
44
Language Churchill as the Voice of Destiny
84
Locality The Chamberlain Tradition and Birmingham
116
Piety Josiah Wedgwood and the History of Parliament
133
Emollience Stanley Baldwin and Francis Brett Young
158
Diplomacy G M Trevelyan and R B Merriman
185
Conservation The National Trust and the National Heritage
223
Sentiment Noel Cowards Patriotic Ardour
243
Fantasy Ian Fleming and the Realities of Escapism
278
Acknowledgements
311
A Note on Sources
312
List of Abbreviations
313
Notes
315
Index
369

Tradition Gilbert and Sullivan as a National Institution
204

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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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