Winston Churchill at his desk, 1940 View larger

Winston Churchill: Savior of the West, Part 2 ~ Jul 17, 7PM

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Winston Churchill: Savior of the West, Part 2: In the Wilderness. Churchill fell from power in 1929.  How did he manage to sustain himself and his career during the 1930s and emerge as prime minister in 1940? Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., via live video stream with interactive Q&A. Friday, July 17, 2020, 7:00PM

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Winston Churchill: Savior of the West, Part 2: In the Wilderness. Churchill fell from power in 1929.  How did he manage to sustain himself and his career during the "wilderness years" of the 1930s, and emerge as prime minister at the age of 65 in 1940?  He had an advantage unprecedented in the history of British politics: access to intelligence of the highest secrecy and caliber.  In 1931, at Churchill's request, former Secret Service (SIS) officer Desmond Morton approached Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to ask that Churchill be given access to secret intelligence, although he was no longer in the cabinet.  "Tell him whatever he wants to know, keep him informed," the prime minister replied.  MacDonald put this instruction in writing, and his successors Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain did the same.  The result was that Churchill, on the instructions of three successive prime ministers, was supplied with secret intelligence that he used as the basis of public attacks on their defense policies.  As the foremost critic of the now infamous policy of "appeasement," he became the leading candidate to succeed Neville Chamberlain in the crisis of 1940. 

Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., via live video stream with interactive Q&A. Friday, July 17, 2020, 7:00PM

Bruce Thompson is a lecturer in the Departments of History and Literature and the Associate Director of Jewish Studies at U.C.-Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford; his areas of scholarly research include European intellectual and cultural history, French history, British Isles history, American Jewish intellectual and cultural history, the history of cinema, and the history of espionage.