Excerpts

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Winston Churchill as only a trusted few ever saw him

A behind-the-scenes look at how he used his Finest Hour speech
to win over a nation—and win a war

The Making of the Finest Hour sets a new historical precedent. It is the first time that both the first and final drafts of Winston Churchill's Finest Hour speech have been reproduced in their original format, with all of his markings, and published together.

Included with them is a CD that reproduces the BBC’s original broadcast of the speech that Churchill delivered on the evening of June 18th, 1940.

Richard Langworth, the founder and co-chairman of Trustees of The Churchill Centre, provides an introduction that draws on his own interviews with members of Churchill's inner circle.

Introduction by Richard Langworth of the Churchill Centre


Facsimile of pages 1, 7, and 9 of the first draft.

Click each page
to see a larger version and the notes Churchill made.


Here is the unguarded, behind-the-scenes work of an orator who chose his words with the utmost care—and had many from which to choose. Among other famous works, Churchill had memorized the entire Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

Reading these pages is a history lesson like no other. Churchill combines precise details on regiments and battles with sweeping statements on the fate of England and America.

Churchill's secretaries typed on Remington Noiseless models as he dictated so that the clatter of keys would not distract him. All the corrections and notes are in his hand. Turn these 24 pages as you listen to the CD of Britain's Prime Minister delivering his speech to the nation. It is a memorable, and moving, experience.
You hear what the people of Britain heard on the evening of June 18, 1940. Churchill, more than most, understood that "rhetorical process is neither wholly bestowed nor wholly acquired, but cultivated" (his words).

He did not stutter, as some thought (that was a pause that he cultivated). But he did, in fact, have a lisp.
The CD replicates Churchill's original BBC radio broadcast to the nation.
Click here to hear an excerpt.   Click here to see the CD label.

Winston Churchill: The Making of the Finest Hour. Presented by Levenger Press, 2006.


Also by Levenger Press