Scroll down to enjoy exceprts, then click here
Winston Churchill as only a trusted few ever
A behind-the-scenes look at how he used his Finest Hour
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
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
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.