" This question—which he put in 1932—fascinated Churchill throughout his life.In one form or another, he asked it of every great event of his lifetime—and not of his lifetime alone.The underlying theme of nearly all Churchill's writing between the two world wars was just this: the scale of life in the modern world is too large for human virtue to control.
Marlborough was representative of the great commanders of the past.
The World Crisis narrates the failure of a world in which great commanders no longer command.
Had this happened, Churchill believed, the changes brought in the name of Progress—of Science, of Democracy, and of Equality—might have been less revolutionary, less bloody, and more salutary than any we have in fact known.
"Is the march of events ordered and guided by eminent men; or do our leaders merely fall into their places at the heads of the moving columns?
Do we owe the ideals and wisdom that make our world to the glorious few, or to the patient anonymous many?
The question has only to be posed to be answered." The question which was so rhetorical to Churchill was, he knew, answered very differently by others.
The orders they issued dominated a reality whose own highest purpose was to be dominated by them.
Two of Churchill's multi-volumed masterpieces—The World Crisis and Marlborough: His Life and Times—are devoted to demonstrating the obverse and the reverse of this theme.
n the night of the tenth of May, 1940, on the eve of the ill-fated Battle of France, Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain.
As he went to bed, he tells us, at about 3 a.m., he was "conscious of a profound sense of relief.