The Churchill Documents, Volume 22: Leader of the Opposition, August 1945-October 1951
This volume tells Churchill’s story from August 1945 through October 1951. During this time, Churchill traveled 55,000 miles, wrote more than 700 pieces of correspondence, delivered over 250 speeches, and authored nearly a dozen new articles as well as his memoirs of the Second World War. He lost the premiership to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party in 1945 and then won it back in 1951 at nearly seventy-seven years old. He holidayed in France, Italy, and Morocco, visited America twice, and campaigned against socialism throughout Great Britain. He delivered his famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, where he made reference to the “iron curtain” and explained the principles and strategy that led to victory in the Cold War. All the while, he strove to do what he could as Leader of the Opposition to unify Europe, strengthen Britain, and maintain a close and special relationship with the United States.
In the Preface to this volume, editor Larry P. Arnn summarizes the moving force behind Churchill’s tireless efforts: “As Leader of the Opposition he was guided by the same stars he had followed from his first days in politics. He had faith ‘that the universe is ruled by a Supreme Being and in fulfilment of a sublime moral purpose, according to which all our actions are judged.’ He had made a career out of the slogan ‘trust the people.’ They disappointed him many times, especially in 1945, or perhaps one would say he disappointed them. In any case, he kept his faith in them and his conviction that political authority must flow from and not to them. In his favored dichotomy, he wanted the people to own the government and not the government the people.”