November 30 is the anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill‘s birth.
Sir Isaiah Berlin’s remarkable article from 1949, in the Atlantic–-declaring Churchill’s to be ‘the largest life’– endures, remains timeless in the 21st century.
Like a great actor— perhaps the last of his kind—upon the stage of history, he speaks his memorable lines with a large unhurried and stately utterance in a blaze of light as is appropriate to a man who knows that his work and his person will remain the object of scrutiny and judgment to many generations. His narrative is a great public performance and has the attribute of formal magnificence. The words, the splendid phrases, the sustained quality of feeling, are a unique medium which convey his vision of himself and of his world, and will inevitably, like all that he has said and done, reinforce the famous public image, which is no longer distinguishable from the inner essence and the true nature of the author: of a man larger than life, composed of bigger and simpler elements than ordinary men, a gigantic historical figure during his own lifetime, superhumanly bold, strong, and imaginative, one of the two greatest men of action his nation has produced, an orator of prodigious powers, the savior of his country, a legendary hero who belongs to myth as much as to reality, the largest human being of our time.
Churchill Birthday | Sir Isaiah Berlin on ‘the largest life’