The Heat: Churchill – A mixed legacy

The Heat

Winston Churchill is back in the news more than 50 years after his death.

The former British prime minister is best known for rallying his country and helping defeat Nazi Germany during the Second World War. That theme was the recent focus of a major film, “Darkest Hour.”

In it, actor Gary Oldman won the Oscar as Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his portrayal of Churchill during those critical times.

When things looked grave for the United Kingdom, particularly in the early part of World War II, it was Churchill who inspired the British to fight on.

Early in his career, Churchill served as an army officer, during the days of the British empire, then as First Lord of the Admiralty during part of the First World War.

Some controversies from that era, and later, are part of his legacy. For instance, he has been criticized for his role during a famine in Bengal, India, that led to millions of deaths in 1943 and 1944.

To discuss:

  • Richard Toye is a professor of history at Exeter University and author of three books on Winston Churchill.
  • Vijay Prashad is the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.
  • Louise Raw is a historian, journalist and commentator.
  • Michael Bishop is the director of the National Churchill Library and Center at The George Washington University.


For more: