“We shall fight on the beaches” – Michael Gerson: ‘Darkest Hour’ proves that history can hinge on a single leader

But the central conceit of the film — that a deflated, defeated Churchill required bucking up by average Brits — is a fiction. Very nearly the opposite was true. The policy of appeasement was broadly popular in Britain during the early to mid-1930s. In 1938, a majority supported Neville Chamberlain’s deal at Munich (which ceded much of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany in return for … nothing). It is more accurate to say that Churchill summoned British courage and defiance by his intense idealization of British character. He saw heroic traits in his countrymen that even they, for a time, could not see. click here to read the story 09:13

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