Not The Churchill We Know

The full truth of Winston Churchill, the greatest Briton of the 20th Century, is more complicated than most want to believe. He was not good at economics and had little grasp of what was happening in the Great Depression. It was this record of haplessness that contributed to his stunning defeat in 1945 when Brits wanted a peacetime leader, not a wartime one. They knew Churchill's astonishing strengths, but also his real weaknesses. Clive Davis notes:

The newsreel comes from that wonderful Great Depression documentary, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” – one of David Puttnam’s early productions. I remember watching it on BBC2 one Sunday night back in the Seventies, when I was about 16. The NY Times reviewer was a little sniffy about director Philippe Mora’s subtext, but I still think it’s a brilliant piece of archaeology, intercutting news footage with scenes from Hollywood films, some famous, others long-forgotten. Feel free to interpret the dance marathon sequence as a metaphor for the Establishment’s response to the Wall Street Crash.

Now watch Winnie flail and meander in New York when trying to explain the impact of the 1929 crash and incipient depression: