Author: Thomas E. Ricks
Facilitated by: Dr. Richard D’Elia
A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.
Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930s — Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they’d died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly-successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century, they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept freedom as the focus for the West.
About the Facilitator
Dr. Richard D’Elia was born in Manhattan and raised in Larchmont, New York. He has a great interest in Churchill and read his first Churchill biography at age nine. To better understand Churchill’s multifaceted life, he read about the social and political milieu in which Churchill lived and worked, especially the pre- and post-WWII eras. Dr. D’Elia is a both a retired Army officer and college professor.
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