Darkest Hour, Winston Churchill, and Statesmanship

Winston Churchill was the greatest statesman of the 20th century, and one of the greatest in all of history. Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Churchill was faced with one of the most turbulent and defining trials of his entire career: exploring a peace treaty with Nazi Germany or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces rolled across Western Europe and the threat of invasion was imminent – with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him – Churchill had to withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

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A Letter from Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College

I hope you have had a chance to see Darkest Hour, the fine new film about Winston Churchill. It captures Churchill’s spark and his dedication to freedom like no other film.

Actor Gary Oldman, a friend of mine, plays Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which I highly recommend. I have put together a short video review of this film that I thought you might enjoy.

Churchill is one of the greatest statesmen in history, and this film is one of the best portrayals of him I have seen. Unlike most Churchill films, it’s exciting, and it truly captures the essence of the man. It’s a wonderful thing to see.

You can see my review and learn more about the film and about Churchill here: https://lp.hillsdale.edu/darkest-hour.

Warm regards,

Larry P. Arnn

President, Hillsdale College

P.S. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take the time to watch Darkest Hour at a theater near you. It will be well worth your effort. [Or pre-order the DVD. This title will be released on February 27, 2018.]

If you’ve seen the film, maybe it left you wanting to know more. In “Winston Churchill and Statesmanship,” a free online course produced by Hillsdale College, I give six lectures on topics such as “The Problem of Modern War” and “Churchill’s Plan for Freedom.”

I have put together a short video trailer for this course that I thought you might enjoy. You can watch it here: https://lp.hillsdale.edu/winston-churchill-trailer.

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Winston Churchill and Statesmanship

The study of Winston Churchill is central to the teaching mission of Hillsdale College. A close review of Churchill’s words and deeds offers timeless lessons about the principles and virtues required for great statesmanship. Though best known for his leadership during WWII, Churchill was also a great defender of constitutionalism. In particular, there are three important lessons to be learned from Churchill’s life and leadership that can help us to live our own lives, cope with our own problems, and serve the cause of our own country today. The free, six-week online course, Winston Churchill and Statesmanship, is a great survey of world history and leadership. Use it as part of your homeschool curriculum or as an elective. Activate your free course now!

Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government

To accompany the course lectures, we also suggest reading this book by Larry P. Arnn. “Churchill’s Trial, a masterpiece of political philosophy and practical statesmanship, is the one book on Winston Churchill that every undergraduate, every graduate student, every professional historian, and every member of the literate general public should read on this greatest statesman of the twentieth century. The book is beautifully written, divided into three parts–war, empire, peace–and thus covers the extraordinary life of Winston Churchill and the topics which define the era of his statesmanship.” —Lewis E. Lehrman, historian

The movie, book, and lectures together comprise a great unit study on a great man, covering in depth a subject not covered in most high school textbooks. Recommended for biography lovers, history majors, aspiring leaders, and civics classes.

What types of activities and courses have you used as electives? Leave a comment and we may include yours in a future column!

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