During the long, relaxed evenings of our winter vacation sojourn through New Mexico I have escaped the great evil of television “news” broadcasts and have enjoyed reading books on my favorite subjects: history, and biographies of historical figures. Currently, I am reading Churchill: Walking With Destiny by Andrew Roberts, a biography of Winston S. Churchill, Great Britain’s heroic (and egotistical and sanctimonious) prime minister during World War II.
Roberts is a great apologist for Churchill, rationalizing his many poor decisions and lauding all his successes. Clearly, Roberts has never quite accepted the collapse of the British Empire, the diminishment of England’s aristocracy, and the rise of those contemptable commoners of the working class. But the book is still a good read if you can struggle through its 1,000-plus pages of too much trivial information.
One insight into Churchill’s perspective on the sybaritic pleasures of life did catch my attention and affirmation, however:
As a drinker, smoker and carnivore, outliving teetotalers and vegetarians never failed to give Churchill immense satisfaction.
I’ll drink to that. And partake of a beef brisket barbecue sandwich before lighting up a cigar.
Who am I, after all, to dispute the acumen of one of the world’s most renown wartime leaders and statesmen, a man who never let the burdens of government or history’s most horrible war interfere with his self-indulgent pleasures?
So, here’s to you Winston (and Andrew) for endorsing the last of my 19th century vices and chauvinistic behaviors.