Today's Washington Post notes that Bush "read three books last year on George Washington, read about the Algerian war of independence and the exploitation of Congo, and lately has been digging into 'Troublesome Young Men,' Lynne Olson's account of Conservative backbenchers who thrust Winston Churchill to power." Remarkably, they don't say anything about yesterday's Washington Post op-ed by Olson:
I've spent a great deal of time thinking about Churchill while working on my book "Troublesome Young Men," a history of the small group of Conservative members of Parliament who defied British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler, forced Chamberlain to resign in May 1940 and helped make Churchill his successor. I thought my audience would be largely limited to World War II buffs, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the president has been reading my book. He hasn't let me know what he thinks about it, but it's a safe bet that he's identifying with the book's portrayal of Churchill, not Chamberlain. But I think Bush's hero would be bemused, to say the least, by the president's wrapping himself in the Churchillian cloak. Indeed, the more you understand the historical record, the more the parallels leap out -- but they're between Bush and Chamberlain, not Bush and Churchill.
Seems relevant. I dunno. It'd also be interesting to know what it is Bush thinks he's learned from reading about the Algerian war of independence. There was a weird moment way back in 2003 that it came out that the Pentagon was screening The Battle of Algiers as some kind of how-to manual. It's always nice to have a reminder that "the lessons of history" are rarely clear or even especially useful.