Synopses & Reviews
The year 1945 was a chaotic one, both for the world, of course, and for Winston Churchill. Communism was on the march and the people of Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Poland all found themselves in the grip of the Soviets. The Red Army occupied a large German territory, and the Kremlin was manipulating post-war food shortages, labor disputes, and social unrest in Greece, France, and Italy.
Having spent his wilderness years” in the late 1930s warning of the dangers of diplomatic and military weakness and the growing menace of Nazism, in 1946 Churchill made a trip to Fulton, Missouri, to deliver a speech entitled The Sinews of Peace”now known as the Iron Curtain Speechwhich served to fundamentally define the dangers of Soviet totalitarian Communism. This is the story of that pivotal speech and how it came to be given, and a portrait of the irrepressible man who delivered it.
Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
Winston Churchill thought his Iron Curtain speech the most important of a long and stormy career that was studded with vital speeches; it was certainly one of his bravest. Philip White has recreated the eight months between the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II and the world-changing events in Fulton, Missouri, with impressive scholarship, a sure narrative skill and a fine eye for telling detail.”
John Lukacs, author of A New Republic: A History Of The United States In The Twentieth Century
I read Our Supreme Task with considerable care and I recommend it emphatically. There is now an enormous literature about the Cold War but very little about how it actually came about and almost nothing about this address. This book fills the gap.”
Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
Philip White has lovingly produced a detailed yet eminently readable account of Churchills speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946. White shows not only how the great British statesman crystallized in word and image the perilous divide between democratic west and communist east, but also how one speech defined an era, and how it continues to inspire today.”
The genesis, occasion and aftermath of what Winston Churchill unhesitatingly called the most important speech of my career
. White fully reproduces the address and reminds us that Churchills call for increased Anglo-American solidarity in the face of Soviet aggression was not particularly well received
Today, we remember it as one of the defining statements of the twentieth century. Whites at his best painting the small scenes in the background of the event: Churchills construction of the speech as he sunbathed and painted, the whiskey and poker-fueled train ride with Truman to Missouri and especially the frantic preparations for the big day by Westminster and Fulton officials, including the charismatic college president who conceived of the long-shot invitation to a world figure who unexpectedly said yes. A small slice of history charmingly retold.”
[An] absorbing reconstruction of events leading up to Fultons fifteen minutes of fame
. White shines a warm and winning spotlight on rural postwar America as he describes the hamlets feverish preparation to host the leader.”
The background and analysis White offers are valuable.”
In Cold War history, the Westminster speech is cited frequently as a seminal moment in the skein of events that dominated the world for the next half-century. From time to time, I wondered, Why Westminster? Was it simply because President Truman hailed from Missouri? The story is far more complex, and it is related entertainingly by Philip White in a first book that marks him as a historian to be watched.”
The dramatic history of Winston Churchills 1946 trip to Fulton, Missouri, where he delivered his speech warning of the dangers of communism and cemented his legacy
In 1946, in the midst of global turmoil and after being voted out of office, Winston Churchill made a trip to the unlikely venue of Fulton, Missouri, to deliver an address now known as the Iron Curtain Speech, which defined the dangers of totalitarian Communism. This is the story of that pivotal speech, the college president who made it happen, and the irrepressible man who delivered it.
About the Author
Philip White is a writer and a lecturer at MidAmerica Nazarene University, and a regular contributor to The Historical Society publications. Philips business writing has been recognized with awards from the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. He lives in Olathe, KS, with his wife and two sons.