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The Most Dangerous Enemy 1: The Reason Why

April 3, 2011

The opening chapter is not a good start at all. Bungay’s opener is an unabashed hagiography of Winston Churchill.

Not that Churchill is without merits. Even a cursory view at the facts should make clear that without his dogged determination to make a stand, England might well have knuckled under to a Germany victorious on the European mainland.

However, once someone starts praising Winston Churchill as an inveterate defender of liberal democracy, whose views were vindicated by Fukuyama, I find it hard to suppress an outright guffaw.

Whatever his merits, it is impossible to take seriously this classification regarding the staunch Imperialist Conservative that Churchill was.

The hero-worship detracts from the rest of the chapter. Why attempt ascribing motivations, when the given facts are interesting enough? We get excerpts from cabinet meetings, and a few views on how the opposition had to square the imminent threat to Britain with their domestic political views. All these are well sourced.

Bungay appears to make good on his promise to create a narrative. Unfortunately, it gets off on the wrong foot with this jarring start.

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