The Last Lion. Volume 2: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940

Manchester, William

Dell, 1988

pp. 17-18, 34

Churchill expected his women dinner guests to be escorted, to smile when he made a clever remark, to nod vigorously when he expressed an opinion, and to express no opinion of their own. “This is not sexist, however, because it also applies to gentleman guests as well. Winston means to dominate them and cheerfully acknowledged that his own idea of a fine meal was to dine well and then discuss a serious topic–‘with myself as chief conversationalist.’” It wasn’t even conversation; unlike Lloyd George he was a poor listener, had little interest in what others had to say, and, if he was not the speaker, he withdrew into silent communion with himself while his interior monologue, the flow of private rhetoric, flowed on.” ‘Megalomania,’ he claimed, ‘is the only form of sanity.’” “He believed he was a superior being. And he was. And even the most abused of his employees agreed. Those who are shocked by Churchill’s treatment of his employees all have this in common; they never worked for him.”

pp. 258-259, 324

“Churchill disliked sightseeing, and he loathed being part of a tour group which would pause, in this gallery or that museum, while a guide explained what the tourists should appreciate and why. If so trapped, Churchill would stand on the outer fringe of the party, seething with frustration because he wasn’t talking, couldn’t interrupt, and therefore wasn’t the center of attention.” Churchill was guilty of megalomania. An acquaintance remarked that ‘Thou shall have no other gods before me’ has always been his first and greatest commandments.”