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The Christmas Lecture

for the year

2001.

Preserving British Culture:

An American's Perspective.

by

Mr Rudy Carmanety

Mr Rudy Carmenaty.

Biographical Information

Rudy Carmenaty is a Senior Court Attorney with the Unified Court System of the city of New York.

He is a graduate of Rutgers College and the Columbia Law School. He attended the Program of Instruction for Lawyers' Mediation Workshop held at the Harvard Law School. Mr. Carmenaty is a member of the Bars of New York State and of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

He sits on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Folk Festival. In his spare time, he writes on cultural issues.

Preserving British Culture:

An American's Perspective.

When chaos has penetrated into the moral being of nations they can hardly be expected to produce great men. A great man need not be virtuous nor his opinions right, but he must have a firm mind, a distinctive, luminous character; if he is to dominate things something must be dominant in him.

George Santayana,
Winds of Doctrine 1913.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by first thanking The Churchill Society London for allowing me this platform to express my thoughts. Particular thanks go to Mr. Norman Harvey Rogers, the most excellent founder and the General Secretary of the Society and the man most responsible for this particular Christmas Lecture.

I say this not only because I am delivering this lecture at Norman's request, but as well because when fashioning this lecture I drew particular inspiration from Norman's musical composition The Churchill Music. In a very broad sense, Norman's wonderful composition is the musical equivalent of what the words that follow seek to convey. Or at least, that is my sincerest hope.

I could never abandon my England because that was a part of myself...but {this is} not to be confused with the real, public, ever-changing England.... My England was only the illusion with which the real England had inspired me. This illusion contained some truth; but it sprang from a few contacts, many of them indirect, and supplied by other poetic fictions. Shakespeare and Dickens were important sources....

George Santayana,
My Host, The World 1953.

Appropriately enough, I was first presented with the opportunity to deliver this lecture while I was at Chartwell making a sentimental pilgrimage to the home of the great man for whom this organization is named. As I strolled the grounds, admired the remnants of Sir Winston's life, and looked across the burgeoning countryside of Kent, the words not only of Churchill, but of Milton, Shakespeare and numerous others engulfed me.

Coming from an American, I know that this must sound unusual. The United States long ago parted from Great Britain politically. The progress of American arts and letters has been such that over the course of nearly four centuries we have established our own literature and history. Yet the bonds of affection, affinity, and yes even mutual need, are so strong that Britain and America have never, and can never, be completely divorced from one another.

I believe that it was George Bernard Shaw who once noted that the British and the Americans were two peoples divided by a common language. It seems to me that the essence of what has been called the "special relationship" between Great Britain and the United States was lost on this most gifted and witty man.

The United States may have been forged in an act of rebellion against English rule, but Britain and America stem from the same English-speaking lineage. The events of the century just past, two world wars and the long twilight struggle of the Cold War, have cemented the bonds that have always existed between us. With each new struggle, it seems both nations are reminded of how much each needs and relies upon the other.

No greater example of this can be found than in the aftermath of the tragic events which have recently taken place in New York City. During the dark days that followed the terrorist attack of September 11th, every American knew there would be one nation which would stand shoulder to shoulder with us in this time of crisis: Great Britain. Every American knew that the British would be steadfast regardless of any differences which may transpire.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair may have very little in common philosophically. They represent different sides of the political aisle. They may disagree on a whole host of issues. But on one moving Thursday evening, George W. Bush pointed to Tony Blair, as he sat beside Mrs. Bush in the gallery of the Capitol during a Joint Session of Congress and said, simply and succinctly, "thank you friend". Nothing more needed to be said.

This is not to say that differences over policy will never or should never arise. Such differences are to be expected and debate is healthy. Yet the day after these terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Virginia, many of the differences between these two world leaders were set aside.

Just as the differences in political philosophy between the Tory Winston Churchill and the Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt were set aside sixty years ago in light of the common danger both nations faced. If we can maintain this spirit of co-operation, I am certain we can effectively eliminate international terrorism as together we prevailed over our mutual adversaries in the past.

Nor do these bonds of amity exist only within the councils of state. On a personal level, I myself have been blessed by the special relationship between our two peoples. As a New Yorker who lives just across the East River, within a few miles of what was once the World Trade Center, I received numerous messages of support from friends in Britain.

I drew further inspiration from the brave example set by the people of London during the Blitz. It is a testament to the Londoner's courage and resiliency that sixty years later the standard that was displayed in response to the bombing by the Luftwaffe is not only remembered but drawn upon during times of peril in other lands. Nor was Sir Winston far from my thoughts for Churchill's words rang in my ears and in my heart that September day:

"You do your worst, and we shall do our best."

It has been noted that our outgoing mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, himself looked to Sir Winston during those trying days and emulated the great man's leadership style; albeit with a thick New York accent.

If one needed any further evidence, there was a poignant reminder of the commonality and friendship of our two nations vividly displayed a few miles from Ground Zero in Union Square Park. For those uninitiated with New York City, Union Square Park is a little patch of green running along Broadway from fourteenth to seventeenth streets.

In the days immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center most of lower Manhattan was closed off below Fourteenth Street. Union Square Park was the first landmark accessible to the general public just north of the line of demarcation. As often happens today in the aftermath of tragedies, people mark their grief and loss with flowers, signs, and other tokens of their sorrows.

Among the various emblems that made up this massive, make-shift shrine - which covered nearly an entire square block - was a pair of Union Jacks. One draped a lamp post and another lay just below it. They were perhaps the most beautiful British flags that these American eyes have ever gazed upon, for they stood there amongst all the paraphernalia that accompanies such displays of public mourning and in black lettering proclaimed the unity of our two nations.

One proclaimed quite movingly that, like brothers at arms, the British and the Americans would unite to defeat this enemy; just as they had defeated Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. The other flag was far simpler. It merely laid out in bold, black lettering the names of our two countries juxtaposed in the form of a cross upon the breadth and width of the Union Jack:

Union flag

. . . .Union Jacks as a symbol of public mourning and Anglo-American unity.

This photo was taken by the author at Union Square Park, New York City
September 16, 2001.

Frankly, I have never been partial to such displays. But the sentiment was there. It was moving and it was meaningful.

America is a young country with an old mentality.

George Santayana.
Winds of Doctrine 1913

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, in spite of the differences in time, place and style, I believe that Sir Winston would have approved of those two Union Jacks displayed in Union Square Park. I have no doubt that he would have approved of the sentiments which those flags conveyed.

For as no British statesman before or since, he understood the United States. He read its literature and he wrote about its history.(No1.) He had walked the hallowed fields of Gettysburg as well as the corridors of power and wealth in Washington and New York. He was on intimate terms with America; or as he always called her... "the Great Republic".

How fitting; for as England, in a manner of speaking, is America's mother country; America was for Churchill his mother's native land.(No 2). In relishing this fact, I do hope that you can forgive me. Churchill was clearly more than a prime minister or a war leader. Churchill, for the final twenty years of his life, was rightly seen and revered as the embodiment of the British nation. But he was half-American after all. A fact in which, as an American, I take a special pride. Sir Winston always spoke of the special genius of the English speaking peoples on both sides of the Atlantic.

Reflecting on Churchill's connection to the United States brings to mind a number of telling anecdotes associated with John Adams. Adams served as our first vice-president; our second president succeeding George Washington; and our first ambassador to the Court of St. James. Indeed, it was quite a moving moment when Adams, representing the newly independent United States, was received at Court by King George III.

John Adams

Portrait of Adams at age eight-nine by Gilbert Stuart.

'Independence Forever!'
John Adams

(1735-1826).

replied, when asked on June 30th 1826 for a comment about the fiftieth anniversary
of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Rightly referred to as the "Atlas of American Independence"; John Adams was unique among our founding fathers.(No 3). A farmer, school master and small town lawyer; Adams, as statesman and diplomat, contributed mightily to the cause of the American revolution. Presently, Adams is undergoing a reassessment of sorts wherein his achievements are receiving a fuller appreciation. (No 4).

As many of you may know, both Mr. Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the very same day; and this day was not simply any ordinary day, but the Fourth of July. Nor was this any routine Fourth of July, but July 4, 1826; the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, Mr. Adams' dying words as he lay on his death-bed in Quincy, Massachusetts, not knowing that Jefferson had passed away hours earlier at Monticello in Virginia were "Thomas Jefferson survives" (No 5).

Less well known is that in the weeks leading up to this momentous July 4th, as it appeared both of these founding fathers, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and former presidents would live to see this day, comment was sought from both men regarding the auspicious anniversary that was approaching. Jefferson is said to have written brilliantly and elaborately on the significance of American independence.

"Independence Forever!" (No 6).

Now a great deal could be read into those two simple words. But what I feel that Adams was getting at, and I believe Sir Winston would concur, is that when a nation loses its integrity and its identity it is truly lost. A nation, be it the United States or the United Kingdom, must forever remain independent, moored to its principles, or gradually it will wither away into insignificance.

The secret of English mastery is self-mastery. The Englishman establishes a sort of s atisfaction and equilibrium in his inner man, and from that citadel of rightness he easily measures the value of everything that comes within his moral horizon. In what may lie beyond he takes but a feeble interest. Enterprising enough when in a roving mood, and fond of collecting outlandish objects and ideas, he seldom allows his wanderings and discoveries to unhinge his home loyalties or ruffle his self-possession; and he remains, after all his adventures, intellectually as indolent and as secure as in the beginning.

George Santayana,
Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies 1922

When I was first presented with the opportunity to deliver this lecture, it was my original intention to focus on the prospect of the complete absorption of the United Kingdom into the European Union. My purpose, quite simply, was to stress within this context the importance of Great Britain remaining both great and British, with particular emphasis on the latter.

In light of the events of this past September, this lecture has taken on a different focus. Yet I would like to briefly touch upon this subject. Let me begin by noting that Britain, like America, cannot isolate itself from the world. Whether we like it or not, the global economy is a reality. Nor would anyone suggest that the United Kingdom abandon its treaty obligations to its European Community partners. By all means, Britain should be engaged in Europe. But it should not be consumed by Europe.

What unites the United Kingdom and the United States is our joint Anglo-American heritage. It is this very heritage, the basis of our special relationship, which is placed in jeopardy if British sovereignty is compromised by Europe. A British government which does not or cannot play its proper role in the special relationship would be a loss not only for the United States but for what Churchill once termed "the cause of freedom".

It is my fear, that by Britain entering wholesale into Europe, it will, over time, lose those time-proven standards which fostered and sustained it as a nation. It is essential that the United Kingdom remain not only a viable political state, but a robust and healthy nation, a nation able to shoulder its role in world affairs in conjunction with other nations which share its commitment to democracy.

In order for the United Kingdom to remain vital, its system of government, it's society, it's very cultural life blood has to remain strong. Parliament must be the source of all British laws. English courts have to be the sole arbiters of those laws. The Monarchy should be respected.(No 7).. The pound has to remain in circulation. To do otherwise would be to run contrary to a thousand years of history. Such a denial of the past would achieve what no continental despot, be it a Napoleon or a Hitler, was ever able to accomplish.

That is why it is so important that we study history and that we recall it properly. In this vein, I am often amused at how Churchill's words are used, and often misused, for interests that were the antithesis of all that the great man stood for.

First and foremost, Winston Churchill spent his life in defense of the United Kingdom and in furtherance of the greatness of Britain. He loved France but was not a sycophant to European manners or mores. As a chronicler of history, he knew well of Britain's need to remain ever vigilant and resolute in defense of her interests. And yet, Sir Winston's words in reference to the formation of a "United States of Europe" are trotted out as a sign of the great man's approbation of present day events.

As any student of Churchill knows, nothing could be further from the truth. He surely envisioned and desired a united Europe. But not at the cost of a Britain which would sacrifice its political autonomy or the ability to act in accordance with its national interests. Furthermore, Churchill always saw the United Kingdom as a key ally of the United States in world affairs. I don't believe he would be in accord with a Britain that was subordinate in a larger European confederation.

Ironically, the danger to the United Kingdom now emanates from forces within the British isles themselves. If those who would dismantle the country have their way, the United Kingdom will no longer be united. It will be broken up into little pieces to be swallowed by a new European super state. By all means the British people must retain their political sovereignty and their freedom of action. It is one thing to lose an empire, it is quite another to lose a nation. From such a loss no people can recover.

England is the paradise of individuality,
eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humours.

George Santayana.
Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies 1922.

Although the loss of British sovereignty as a result of European integration is a topic worthy of discussion, it is not the principle focus of this lecture. No, the principle focus of this lecture is a matter which goes to the heart of much of what is happening within the United Kingdom today: the undermining and abandonment of British culture and heritage. This phenomenon, in effect the surrendering of British cultural sovereignty is what I shall discuss.

During a recent visit to England, I was deeply disturbed by how many Britons, particularly the young, had little or no interest in their nation's past. As I walked the streets of London or Kent or Oxford, I sought every experience and savored every sensation England has to offer. Yet it seemed to me that many of the young people I spoke to were uninterested in those aspects of Britain's cultural heritage which I actively sought out.

Perhaps, I was being just another pesky American tourist. But I could not fail to observe, that while an extraordinary effort was being made to sell Britain's past to foreign tourists, little effort was being expended to provide her own people with the spiritual nourishment that her culture affords.

At Chartwell for instance, most of the people I encountered were retirees recalling their memories of the war years. They were not there merely to enjoy a pleasant afternoon. Rather they were there to recapture a moment in their lives when they knew what it meant to be British. Missing from Chartwell were those my age and younger. People for whom the years of Churchill's war premiership are a neglected chapter of history they were barely taught about in school.

Where are the young people I thought to myself. Why were they not at Chartwell learning about this great man? In short, it seemed as if many of those in Britain who are under thirty-five are discarding Churchill's memory and with it all that he represents with regard to British culture. The only reason that I could fathom for this phenomenon is that for at least two generations, Britons have been actively taught to deny their heroic past.

Now it has long been common practice among conservatives to decry the decline in levels of academic achievement by today's students. But what I speak of in this instance is far more profound. For I am not speaking about the so-called "dumbing down" of the academic curriculum. Rather what seems to have happened is a wholesale, Orwellian distortion of history designed to deny any vestige of British heroism or achievement.

Churchill is not the only historical figure who is being subjected to this neglect or revision but to my mind he seems to be the most conspicuous example of this trend. It is simply tragic that this giant of the past, a man who during his ninety years was a soldier, a statesman, an artist, an historian and a great deal more has been either forgotten or mischaracterized. Yet like Churchill, all the great personalities and moments of the past are now described as having neither hope nor glory.

Culture and heritage in Britain, as well as in America, are further compromised by the impact of the television medium. In television we have the most potent force of mass communication that the world has ever known. The impact of television on our politics, society, culture, even our fundamental view of ourselves and our civilization cannot be underestimated.

There is a time-worn philosophical question which asks if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well in the media age, the premise behind this question has to be rewritten. Accordingly, one must ask "if it does not happen on television or receive the sanction of the camera lens, does the event actually take place?"

Quite literally, television has altered life as we know it. Reality itself seems now confined by the boundaries of the video screen. Given this premise, it is difficult to engage in the free exchange of ideas when one position dominates as the 'reality' that is presented on television. Since television does not foster critical thinking, most people accept the images that they see on television often without question. No wonder public opinion (the wellspring of any democracy) is so misinformed and so easily misled.

Conservatives of all stripes have long made it a habit to criticize the media for its biases; but I speak of something more urgent than just a particular news commentator or the media's perpetual skepticism toward Tory policies. Nor do I speak about how television has drastically reduced its audience's attention span and weakened their ability to evaluate things critically. Nor am I at the moment concerned with how television has seduced people away from the pleasures of reading. These are all issues that need to be addressed.

What I speak of is what I see as a deliberate anti-British and anti-Western bias evident in the media. As with present-day history texts, most television coverage shows Britain in as harsh a light as possible. At the same time, non-western peoples and societies are shown in seemingly benevolent terms without criticism. Thus any act of barbarism committed by a non-westerner needs to be 'understood' for fear of one being viewed as insulated or prejudiced.

The BBC is by far the worst offender in this regard. In an earlier time, the BBC represented that which was admirable in the British character (No 8). It reflected the British people's innate sense of decency and integrity. The BBC sought to uplift its audience, irrespective of class. That situation no longer exists. In its present incarnation, the BBC exists as a self-serving government bureaucracy, elected and accountable to no one, seemingly committed to subverting the British way of life all at the tax payer's expense.

As Paul Johnson so ably described the BBC

". . . . it has no head, no heart and no soul, and above all no conscience. Religion and patriotism mean nothing to it. It would not lift a finger to defend the British constitution or Parliament. The only element of law enforcement it positively supports is the prosecution of those who evade the license fee." (No 9).

The disinformation taught in the schools along with the passivity bred by television has combined to weaken the average person's will and resolve. The premise seems to be to so undercut the pillars of traditional British culture and western civilization, that the British people will no longer have the will to assert themselves as they have done so nobly in the past. Whether out of fear or discretion, most people prefer to play it safe and remain silent.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that those of us who seek to preserve Britain's cultural heritage firmly believe in the principles of fair play. Unlike the politically correct set, we don't seek to impose our views on others. It is my firm belief that standards should never be imposed from without; they should be engendered and cultivated from within. As such, the important thing to keep in mind is not what we are against, but rather what we are for. Our message and our outlook should always be positive.

To remedy this situation we must first begin with ourselves and own families. It is up to each and every one of us to begin living up to the standards set by our forebears. We must teach our children by the example we set. Under this rubric, we must take it upon ourselves to educate our young people, cultivating in them a healthy appreciation of British culture and the values that made Britain great in the first place. We must at all times in our comportment prove worthy of the lessons we seek to impart to the young.

The next step is for those of us who feel that preserving the Anglo-American tradition is important to enter the arena of ideas. To paraphrase an age-old adage:-

'the only thing needed for evil to triumph
is for good men and women to remain silent'.

We must stop submitting to political correctness. We have the right and the responsibility to speak up when British culture is being diminished. We must stand firm and refuse to be intimidated. Only by being resolute can we restore a proper appreciation of British culture and heritage.

This does not mean however that we should permit ourselves to be dismissive or derisive of others, There has been more than enough of that to go around. Nothing is gained by being either discourteous or strident. Just as we should not be defensive, we must also seek to win others over with a sense of honor as well as purpose. It is incumbent upon people of good will and in good faith to restore and revive British institutions so that they are healthy and vigorous for generations to come.

The late Dean Acheson, who served as President Harry Truman's secretary of state, was once quoted as saying:- "Britain has lost an empire, but is in search of a role." It is my firm belief that Acheson got it only half-right. Britain's role was then - is now - and will always be - the maintaining of those standards of civility and civilization which have been admired the world over. Should Britain ever abandon those standards, it will lose more than some quaint customs.

This notion of preserving traditional British culture takes on added relevance when one considers the current world situation. The conflict in which Britain and America are now engaged is more than just a war against a single sect of terrorists. Our adversaries, emboldened by what they perceive as western decadence, believe their values will triumph. Even if our military hardware defeats the enemy on the battlefield, we cannot win this immense struggle for the minds and hearts of foreign people much less our own if English-speaking culture is not vibrant and healthy.

To some people my observations may appear to be of alarmist in nature. Yet I believe this issue is so important that we must sound the alarm if we are to save a precious heritage for our children.

If we can recall recent British history for a moment, Sir Winston was at different times during his long career accused of being an irresponsible alarmist. During the 1930's when he was out of power and out of favor - his years in the political wilderness - Sir Winston prophetically warned about the danger inherent in the Nazi regime. At the time, he was criticized for his belligerent rhetoric. He was called a 'warmonger' and was ostracized.

If we can recall recent British history for a moment, Sir Winston was at different times during his long career accused of being an irresponsible alarmist. During the 1930's when he was out of power and out of favor - his years in the political wilderness - Sir Winston prophetically warned about the danger inherent in the Nazi regime. At the time, he was criticized for his belligerent rhetoric. He was called a 'warmonger' and was ostracized.

Likewise, after his "Sinews of Peace" speech at Fulton, Missouri, Sir Winston was again criticized for being a reactionary alarmist. Amazingly enough, many people on the left actually denied the fact that "an Iron Curtain" was coming down on Eastern Europe, or worse yet, they tried to rationalize Soviet conduct. (No.10). Sir Winston was denounced as an 'imperialist' and even called a 'fascist'. Yet history proved him right on both occasions.

It has often been said that Churchill's greatness lay in his ability "to mobilize the English language and send it into battle". During those dark hours when Britain stood alone, Churchill had nothing to hurl at the enemy except words of defiance. Yet those words bought the time necessary for the forces of freedom to coalesce in order to defeat Hitler.

In having been given the honor to deliver this 2001 Christmas Lecture for The Churchill Society London, I, as an American on behalf of my fellow countrymen, join with you the British people to jointly hurl these words of defiance. In doing so, we make our mutual and proper contribution to this campaign for the restoration of Anglo-American culture and the preservation of the best traditions from our respective countries.

Every one can see why the Lion should be a symbol for the British nation. He haunts by preference solitary glades and pastoral landscapes. He has small squinting eyes high up in his head, a long displeased nose, and a prodigious maw. He apparently has some difficulty in making things out at a distance, as if he had forgotten his spectacles (for he is getting to be an elderly lion now), but he snaps at the flies when they bother him too much. On the whole, he is a tame lion; he has a cage called the Constitution, and a whole parliament of keepers with high wages and a cockney accent; and he submits to all the rules they make for him, growling only when he is short of raw beef.

George Santayana,
Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies 1922.

Santayana.

George Santayana.
(1863-1952)

Throughout this lecture, I have quoted the words of the American philosopher and poet George Santayana. I have long enjoyed reading the writings of Santayana. I have drawn numerous lessons from them. It was after all Santayana who observed that:-

" . . . those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".

Santayana.
The Life of Reason, 1905-1906.

I wonder what he would make of our times where the lessons of the past apparently go unremembered and are readily distorted.

My reasons for including these quotations from Santayana go beyond having the opportunity to share with you the wisdom of this learned man. (No 11). As a keen observer of both of our countries as well as human nature, Santayana provides us not only with insight but guidance.

As I have learned so much from so many brilliant Britons, past and present, I thought it only fair that I return the favor and share an American of genius with you. I hope that in sharing the words of Santayana and those of John Adams, I have done more than just hold up the American end. I sincerely hope that I have sparked some curious minds among you to explore the ideals and virtues that have given value to the American experience.

That is why supporting an institution such as The Churchill Society is so vital. By keeping Sir Winston's flame alive, this organization does a great deal to address the important issues that face us thirty-five years after Churchill's passing. That is also why we must support the building of Churchill House. A center in the heart of London would serve as more than just a symbol or a tribute to this great man. It would be a gathering place where ideas and solutions can be generated. Sir Winston's words and his spirit must be summoned time and time again to kindle our hearts, alert our minds, and rally our spirits.

There is nothing wrong in Britain
that cannot be solved by her people
delving into their own past and finding those inner resources of the Lion's heart.

__

Footnotes.

(1).For those interested in reading Sir Winston's perspective on the American past, his grandson Winston S. Churchill has distilled from the four volume A History of the English Speaking Peoples and other sources a collection of his historical writings on the United States entitled The Great Republic which was published in the US by Random House in 1999.

(2). Sir Winston's mother was born Jeanette (Jennie) Jerome in Brooklyn, New York in 1854. She was a remarkable figure in her own right whose ancestors had fought in the American revolution and was purported to have been part Iroquois.

In a speech before a Joint Session of Congress on December 26, 1941, just three weeks following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Churchill noted the following with regard to his American ancestry: "The fact that my American forbears have for so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am, an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this experience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful. I wish indeed that my mother, whose memory I cherish across the vale of years, could have been here to see. By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own".

(3). I prefer the term "founding fathers" as opposed to the term "the founders" which is now in vogue.

(4). I recommend most highly David McCullough's recent biography John Adams which was published this past year by Simon & Schuster. It was this book which sparked the recent resurgence of interest in Adams. This resurgence of interest has led to talk of establishing some monument in honor of Adams and his family.

The debt the United States owes John Adams and his remarkable family can never be repaid. Adams' wife Abigail was one of the great women of American history and a remarkable patriot in her own right. His son, John Quincy Adams, served as secretary of state in the administration of James Monroe and as the sixth president of the United States. Charles Francis Adams, his grandson, ably served as Lincoln's ambassador to Britain during the crucible of the Civil War and his great-grandsons included the historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams.

(5). McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon & Schuster 2001, p. 646.

(6). McCullough, p. 645.

(7). Queen Elizabeth II has devoted her entire life to the service of the United Kingdom and her Commonwealth. As Walter Bagehot once noted, the monarchy is the buckle on which the British Constitution is fastened.

(8).This was particularly true during World War II. At that time, Churchill's wartime speeches were regularly aired on the BBC serving to unite the nation. The book Voices of Britain, compiled and edited by Henning Krabbe and published in 1947, is a broadcast history of the war years. This volume demonstrates what the BBC once was and can be again. It should also be noted that for people in subjugated lands, the BBC served as the only genuine source of news and information, and yes even hope, for those enduring Nazi occupation.

(9). This description of the BBC is taken from a column that Mr. Johnson wrote in The Spectator of July 3, 1985 which is quoted in The Quotable Paul Johnson which was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1994 and appears on page 31.

(10). Churchill had prophesied about the danger posed to the West by the Soviet Regime as early as 1917 when Lenin had first seized power in Russia. Following the end of World War I, he went so far as to order the sending of an expeditionary force into Russia during that country's post-revolution civil war to as he put it "strangle Bolshevism in its cradle".

(11). George Santayana was born in Spain in 1863 and came to the United States at the age of nine. Educated at Harvard, Santayana was a member of the Harvard faculty from 1889 to 1912. For those interested in a representative study of Santayana's writings, the following tittles should be of interest: The Sense of Beauty (1896), The Life of Reason (1905-1906), Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies (1922), Skepticism and Animal Faith (1923), Dialogues in Limbo (1925), Platonism and the Spiritual Life (1927), Realms of Being (1927), Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy (1933), Obiter Scripta (1936). These selections, along with numerous other philosophical works, several volumes of poetry, an autobiography, a novel The Last Puritan (1935) and countless articles and essays, should give the reader a good sense of Santayana's intellectual output and his gifts as a writer of poetic grace.

Copyright Rudy Carmenaty.

Past Christmas Lectures

 

 

...................Ladybird.

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