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Dahl, Ogilvy, Fleming, Coward: Churchill's little dirty trick squad

As England was fighting for its life against the Nazis, the British government sent its most charming spies — including Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, Noël Coward and David Ogilvy — to America to blackmail, bully and cajol the U.S. into the war effort. [They were part of a] British spy ring that operated in Washington, D.C., during World War II.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 3, 2014 - 22 comments

Winston Churchill interviewed in January 1939.

"The essential aspects of democracy are the freedom of the individual, within the framework of laws passed by Parliament, to order his life as he pleases, and the uniform enforcement of tribunals independent of the executive. The laws are based on Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, the Petition of Right and others. Without this foundation there can be no freedom or civilisation, anyone being at the mercy of officials and liable to be spied upon and betrayed even in his own home. As long as these rights are defended, the foundations of freedom are secure. I see no reason why democracies should not be able to defend themselves without sacrificing these fundamental values."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 10, 2014 - 21 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

Coventry Cathedral

On November 14, 1940, German bombers flew through the skies for nine hours above Coventry, England in a raid that Winston Churchill probably didn't know about but if he did, did nothing to prepare for. The bombers dropped thousands of pounds of explosives and incendiaries that resulted in hundreds of deaths and huge destruction. Coventry, perhaps best known before the war for naked horseback riding and the manufacture of pretty-but-malfunction-prone automobiles, was also home to a grand cathedral, St. Michael's Church, one of the greatest cathedrals in England. The cathedral was nearly destroyed; the fire left behind little but debris and the still-standing outer walls and spire. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare on Jan 18, 2008 - 28 comments

Your random audio links of the day.

Today's post of tenuously related audio brings you ten historic radio broadcasts, 529 eternal questions in popular music, and one mildly amusing black metal band prank call.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2007 - 11 comments

"So I try to laugh about it / Cover it all up with lies"

Men get depression too. An excellent article about the hurdles men face in coming to terms with having the Black Dog. (Click "Print this" at the bottom for an easier to read one-page version; bonus links inside.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 11, 2007 - 73 comments

Tory poverty rethink hits headlines

"The Conservative Party recognises, will measure, and will act on relative poverty". Following a Mail-baiting report from policy adviser Greg Clark MP which recommends that Tory poverty policy should take inspiration from Polly Toynbee instead of Winston Churchill, David Cameron weighs in. Toynbee responds.
posted by teleskiving on Nov 24, 2006 - 13 comments

Controversial/popular German Hitler satire cartoon

Who knew Hitler sang reggae? View (YouTube, in German but with moustached rubber ducks).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 20, 2006 - 38 comments

The price of greatness is responsibility.

"There is no excuse for superior authority not choosing the most suitable agents for particular duties, and not removing unsuitable agents from particular duties." With all the talk of empires and resignations, a reflection to history turns up a remarkable story about an already remarkable man:

A tense time in British India came to a head when General Reginald Dyer's brigade opened fire on an unarmed crowd assembled in Amritsar with machine guns, killing 379 and wounding over 1500. Command wanted to relieve him of duty, but patriotic (and imperialist) fervor at home led to a parliamentary debate which was expected to repudiate this decision and honor him. Enter War Secretary Winston Churchill who defended the Government so eloquently that the minds and hearts of the entire deliberative body were turned.
posted by allan on Dec 17, 2004 - 16 comments

Great Britons

Winston Churchill has been voted as the Greatest Briton in a BBC survey. Yes, he gave some great speeches when he needed to, but who gave him the language to make them? Who is missing from the list?
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 24, 2002 - 65 comments

What do Prince William, Sir Winston Churchill and President George W. Bush have in common? They're all blood relatives.
posted by TBoneMcCool on Sep 18, 2002 - 25 comments

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