The Private Thoughts of a Public Man

When Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, the citation hailed him for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

Churchill said and wrote so much during his life that his collected works, including books, speeches and letters, fill some 72 volumes. And now there is a new trove. Last month, the British National Archives released a series of notebooks that included minutes of his wartime cabinet meetings, as recorded by Sir Norman Brook, the deputy cabinet secretary. Candid in public, Sir Winston was even more pointed in private. Some of his musings on specific subjects follow.


Churchill on July 2, 1943, about the creation of a Jewish state.

I’m committed to creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Let us go on with that; and at end of war we shall have plenty of force with which to compel the Arabs to acquiesce in our designs. Don’t shirk our duties because of difficulties…