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Hillsdale College behind the scenes of the filming for the pro­motion of the Churchill doc­u­ments by Dr. Larry P. Arnn on August 8, 2019. Mar­keting Department | Courtesy

After decades of work, the 23rd and final volume of the “Churchill Doc­u­ments” is being pub­lished this fall by Hillsdale College’s Churchill Project. Sir Winston Churchill’s son Ran­dolph began writing the biog­raphy of his father 57 years ago, in 1962. He com­pleted the first two volumes of the biog­raphy. 

When Ran­dolph passed away, he bequeathed the biog­raphy to Sir Martin Gilbert, who was an Oxford his­torian and one of Randolph’s researchers. Gilbert then spent the rest of his life working on the biog­raphy, from 1968 to 2012. Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn studied under and worked with Gilbert, and since 2012, Arnn has been editing the volumes. 

This defin­itive and official biog­raphy of Winston Churchill is the largest biog­raphy, of any single his­torical person, according to the Churchill Book Spe­cialist. It is made up of eight nar­rative volumes, which Ran­dolph Churchill and Gilbert wrote, as well as 23 volumes of doc­u­ments. In total, it is 42,300 pages and 15.1 million words. Volume 22 of the series, “Leader of the Oppo­sition, August 1945 to October 1951,” was released in July 2019 and the 23rd volume, “Never Flinch, Never Weary, November 1951 to Feb­ruary 1965,” will be released this fall. 

The Churchill Project, launched by Hillsdale College, has been a large part of the work on and pub­li­cation of the Churchill biog­raphy and doc­u­ments. 

“Since its inception, the purpose of the Churchill Project has been to promote a right under­standing of Churchill’s words and deeds. The official biog­raphy has been one way – the most important way – in which we have pursued this end,” Colin Brown, asso­ciate director of research for the Churchill Project, said in an email. 

And though this is the final volume of the “Churchill Doc­u­ments” to be pub­lished, the Churchill Project is still ded­i­cated to guarding the legacy of a great man and exploring his history and career. 

“Pro­motion of the official biog­raphy and of the articles on the website are the two primary ways we intend to carry the Project forward. But the future of the Churchill Project is bright and there is always more that can be done,” Brown said. 

The Churchill Project also has several student fellows who have worked on the project and research. Senior Tess Skehan, who became a fellow in August 2017, has done some editing, reading, bio­graphical foot­noting, and tran­scribing for the Project. And, as she has gotten to work closely with Churchill’s doc­u­ments and per­sonal writings, she has enjoyed seeing dif­ferent sides of who he was as a person. 

Skehan noticed that often when looking back on his­torical figures people focus on them in their spe­cific role or career or even try to tear them down. But, she got to see Churchill in many dif­ferent lights besides just as a politician. He was funny. He was a father, a reporter, as well as a politician. 

“He became so much more per­sonal. You get to see so many aspects of him,” Skehan said. 

Senior Zach Palmer, also a Churchill fellow since 2017, has had various roles helping with the project and research. He enjoyed being so close to primary doc­u­ments and being sur­prised by what he may run across in the vast quan­tities of Churchill’s writings. 

“Churchill wrote nearly 10 million words over the course of his lifetime. While that may not seem like an impressive number, it truly is,” Palmer said. “Whether in a myriad of letters, his many books, or his per­sonal notes to other members of the English gov­ernment, Churchill had a word for just about every­thing.”

In order to cel­e­brate the momentous occasion of the pub­li­cation of the 23rd volume, Hillsdale hosted a large cel­e­bration in June in London. Among the guests were Lady Esther Gilbert — Sir Martin Gilbert’s widow — and members of the Churchill family, as well as members of the House of Lords, and many dig­ni­taries that con­tributed to the work. 

Ran­dolph Leonard Spencer-Churchill, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson, was in atten­dance and gave remarks cel­e­brating the life and work of his great grand­father, and those who worked to create his biog­raphy and pre­serve his legacy. 

“All of you here tonight from Hillsdale have played your part in helping us pre­serve liberty,” Churchill said. “It is truly uplifting that through your ded­i­cation and support for com­pleting the Churchill biog­raphy, it will stand as one of the great works of history, recording the truth faith­fully and without judgement.” 

Churchill thanked Arnn and all those at Hillsdale for fin­ishing the job and acknowl­edged that without many people, like Gilbert and Arnn and everyone at the Churchill Project, the under­taking that his grand­father, Ran­dolph Churchill, took up decades ago, may have never been com­pleted. 

“All of them, from Ran­dolph on, have played a role in pre­serving the history of those extra­or­dinary years in these thirty-one mag­nif­icent volumes,” Churchill said. “Their work will be used forever by those who seek the truth.” 

“Let us honour the brave men and women who saved our freedoms, and par­tic­u­larly those who serve our nation so bravely today,”  I would now like to propose a toast:

“’To Hillsdale College and to the memory of Sir Martin Gilbert!’”

 

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    If Arnn has been doing this job, who has been steering the ship?

    • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

      Muli­tasking. Outside of Pres­ident Arnn’s reli­gious con­vic­tions and passion for Churchill, what do you think he has been doing as Hillsdale College’s leader which has not been effective? In my view, he’s done a com­mendable job during dif­ficult eco­nomic times.

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        Well, since I was actually a student at hillsdale, and remember him dan­ger­ously driving a golf cart looking red-faced and not sober.….

        The man has actually done a lot to reduce the value of the hillsdale degree in the open market. Here is a start:

        1) allowing fools like lim­baugh and the others to become unof­ficial sponsors of hillsdale has made the degree a laugh­ing­stock among those who have middle or left political views, or even those on the right that don’t salivate after the political ele­phant
        2) this ridiculous religion thing that sprang up out of nowhere… totally a CYA so that they can con­tinue to dis­crim­inate
        3) the mass recruitment of home­schoolers to Hillsdale has immea­surably changed the student body, and the con­tinual chase to remove any­thing that would affront them has lead to these hateful anti-gay rules that they have, along with a general soviet-style student control appa­ratus.

        In summary: instead of making hillsdale the repub­lican Harvard, he has made it the Prager Uni­versity. Outside of right wing syco­phants, the value has really impacted all of us who are really out here in the world.

        Pure con­jecture, but if I had to guess:

        1. he has a board of big name donors who actually steer the ship. Lately, this body has been lead by a clown deep in debt to big pockets who are veering dan­ger­ously reli­gious and right
        2. He doesn’t actually write any of these things. He has 2 – 3 recent grads who work for him who actually do all of the “writing”

        The idea that he is reli­gious is laughable. he may love Churchill, but he spends more time reading lim­baugh these days. It shows.

        • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

          Dunno what hap­pened to you over the summer, but you’ve come back more strident, intol­erant and unhappy. As for your points:

          1) I’m not a big fan of Rush Lim­baugh, I lost a lot of respect for him over his pre­scription drug fiasco. But, he has a right to interject his opinion regarding Hillsdale College just like anybody else. You call him a ‘fool’, but your outrage is pretty selective I’ve noticed. I look at Kamela Harris, Liz Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Corey Booker-amongst others-and you’re calling Rush a ‘fool’? In that company any fool would hide pretty well!

          2) We know, you no like religion. You’ve made that abun­dantly clear, ad nauseum, in post after post. Show a little tol­erance in that your views may not be shared by others. To me it doesn’t matter if someone else chooses not to worship on Sundays, that’s their life and their choice. You seem to feel an open expression of Faith is a per­sonal affront to you, from your reaction. Very strange.

          3) My late brother home schooled his kids. They fol­lowed a struc­tured cur­riculum and got top marks on their SAT/ACT. Both grad­uated from college with honors, the boy is now a physician. As for your ‘anti-gay’ com­ments that you broad-brush accuse ‘they’ of having, another assumption of yours. I suppose most folks are like me-they believe in a live and let live approach to life. We don’t stick our nose in their bidness and we expect the same courtesy about ours. They’re the ones that seem to have the most problem with that, not the rest of us.

          As for your spec­u­lation 1. and 2., I’m not going to comment and accent your sus­pi­cions with my thoughts. You really seem to have a lot of anger in you this fall and you shows it in nearly every post to this forum. Very dis­ap­pointing, you seem to have regressed from last year. You sound just like fric and frac, who I blocked when it became obvious they had nothing pos­itive to add to the dis­cussion.

          • Jerry Tabac

            Block Jen­nifer Melfi as well, Mr. Ypsi­lantis. She posts comment after comment to this forum filed with nothing but neg­a­tivity and bile, never any­thing com­pli­mentary, pos­itive or con­trib­utory. Her per­sonal attack on you in the other thread over your pre­sumed age was typical.

            Some people light candles, others just curse the darkness. She falls into the latter camp.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            Ohjerry I post plenty of pos­itive things… light is the wrong metaphor here. You drink hillsdale koolaid and I dont. When did you go to hillsdale? Have you been there and really talked with stu­dents lately?

          • Jerry Tabac

            I’ve never seen you post any­thing pos­itive, always neg­ative. You must be a real joy to be around, if your posts on this site are any indi­cation. Does the name Debby Downer ring any bells?

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            what would dating have to do with my belief that Hillsdale College needs to be more open and honest — espe­cially with regard to the work of Larry Arnn and the board? They are cur­rently attempting to scam everyone with this bogus claim of being a Christian College (since 2015) while trying to maintain the idea that they only stand for tra­di­tional things. I am an alumnus of the college and I am an owner in what they do going forward. For the sake of all of the alumni who have to live in the real world I want Hillsdale to live up to its mission, and not simply function as a Fox News view­ership incu­bator.

            also — I post pos­itive com­ments all of the time. You must not read those com­ments: http://hillsdalecollegian.com/2019/09/charger-athletics-introduces-new-loyalty-program/

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            Yup. I noted in another thread that you plan on being at the Home­coming Game next weekend. If you’re inter­ested in meeting me I’ll be there as well and at the Concord game on October 5th. I sent a message to your Facebook account, you can let me know that way. Hope we can meet up!

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            I’m speaking on behalf of the hillsdale alums that have to exist in the real world and compete against all of the other people in a world where resume matters. When people see hillsdale on the page and their first comment is “isnt that the right wing, anti gay school?” Then yes, it hurts us. And they did very pub­licly make rules sticking their nose in the business of homo­sexuals in campus. So read up before you go down that road.

            Your com­ments are the big brush here. Of course I dont care for Kamala Harris and the like… and for a litany of reasons, but that doesnt mean that I have to uncrit­i­cally accept a char­latan like rush lim­baugh as a thought leader.

            The reli­gious piece is simple… many believe… but the chances that someone else will accept your faith proof is very very low. A wise man would avoid using these weak and spe­cious argu­ments. now hillsdale seems to try to interject them into every argument. We are better than that. No need to weaken our position with hocus pocus if we have the right argu­ments.

            Some home­schoolers are probably fine, but the mass of people in the USA are either stupid or crazy… which are the majority of home­schoolers?

            #1 is informed con­jecture but #2 is a fact. The main thing hillsdale needs right now is some truth, and my original comment was meant to elicit some.

  • Camus53

    Hey Arnn…know you read this since you have such a big ego…

    Just received my 2019 Hillsdale College President’s Report.
    Must of cost a pretty penny or two…worthless vanity pub­li­cation for sure.

    But flipping thru its pages makes my blood boil! Not a single person of color. Not one. One person pos­sibly of Asian her­itage, though not clear she really is a student.
    Oth­erwise every single other person in YOUR PRESIDENT’S REPORT is lilly white!

    What a shameful con­dem­nation of a school that claims to be open minded, open arm, wel­coming. To who? To what?

    Alumni like myself have now grown past dis­ap­pointment in what you and your cronies have done to what once was truly a beacon of free thinking, free speech, freedom.

    I am now simply dis­gusted.

    Shame on you. Shame on those who pub­lished this paean of what can only be and should be called lily white identity racisism.

    I invite all my fellow alumns who grad­uated in years past side by side with persons of color, dif­fering nation­al­ities, reli­gions, social and political beliefs to not simply turn away in disgust and dis­ap­proval, as so many have, but to get angry, get involved, let the trustees know we want our school back.

    The bell of freedom rings…sometimes it rings in anger and alarm…let’s all start ringing the Tower Bell…enough is enough!

    • Jerry Tabac

      Have you ever con­sidered that maybe, just maybe the con­ser­v­ative ide­ology that Hillsdale College endorses is unat­tractive to ‘person(s) of color’ that you feel are so unjus­ti­fiably ignored in Pres­ident Arnn’s Report? 92% of African Amer­icans reliably vote Democrat every election, they’re not likely to be attracted to Hillsdale College’s pro­grams or it’s phi­losophy.

      If the Report properly reflected the current student body com­po­sition than it is what is is. Why beat around the bush? Harvard Uni­versity places diversity, for diversity’s sake, as a key goal of their Admis­sions Office. Hillsdale College does not, they focus strictly on aca­d­emics. Harvard Uni­versity is also cur­rently being sued by Asian Amer­icans, largely for ignoring their aca­demic cre­den­tials in an effort to increase the number of lower qual­ified African Amer­icans and His­panics. When you do down that prickly path, you open yourself up to that kind of lit­i­gation.

      You see the absence of many minority faces in the President’s report as evi­dence of racism on the part of HC’s Admis­sions policies. I see it as a reflection on the state of the con­ser­v­ative movement today, which has not grown in pop­u­larity with the major minority groups in this country. Therein is the chal­lenge.

      • Camus53

        “I see it as a reflection on the state of the con­ser­v­ative movement today, which has not grown in pop­u­larity with the major minority groups in this country”
        One might ask why that is?

        But I rather focus on the fact that Hillsdale, my alma mater, has become an exclu­sionary, lily white school, wrapping itself around so called christian ideals while pur­suing the mammon gods.

        • Jerry Tabac

          ‘Mammon gods’. Inter­esting comment, much like Jen­nifer Melfi would use.

          Ver­rrrrrrrrrrrrry inter­esting!

          • Camus53

            Homage and copy­right use, spiff to be paid to you of course LOL.

            I tried reaching you on the Shytown site, but my post got yanked. Sigh.

          • Camus53

            I thought it would catch your attention!

            We are not one in the same. JM is much much younger than I. I do however like the term.

          • Jerry Tabac

            ‘JM is much much younger than I.’

            She acts pre-ado­lescent.

          • Camus53

            Stop trolling. You only reveal yourself, and not for the better.

          • Jerry Tabac

            For someone who, like Melfi, has posted almost nothing but neg­ative com­ments in this forum you have a lot of brass accusing others of trolling. I don’t have a lot of regard or patience for per­petual cynics. Cyn­icism is a one way path and, once taken, the way back is lost forever. Read, heed and sin no more.

          • Camus53

            Then you know nothing about my muse Camus, nor more sig­nif­i­cantly about me.
            Carry on, be well, and I will try to do the same.

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        Everyone reading this — please ignore this comment — Jerry Tabac is not an alumnus of Hillsdale College. He is an angry person who believes in a myth about Hillsdale College as some sort of unholy cross between Rush Lim­baugh Repub­li­canism and a Christian-Inspired South African Apartheid. Unfor­tu­nately, the college has been mar­keting their donation machine to these types of donors lately. It does not reflect the views of the college.

        • Jerry Tabac

          You no longer post any­thing of value in this forum, you just post per­sonal attacks, bile, mean-spirited com­ments and hatred. It’s appalling that you assume the role of Hillsdale College’s image defender, when you yourself are the biggest tarnish on that image in this forum.

          Casual readers, please don’t assume that Jen­nifer Melfi rep­re­sents any­thing other than her own views-or that she has any official con­nection with Hillsdale College. That couldn’t be more from the truth. I seri­ously doubt she has any con­nection with Hillsdale College at all, in fact she has pro­fessed to having an asso­ci­ation with Uni­versity of Nebraska in the past. Monitus es.