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Roberts' new book describes unique formula for success

In his review of Andrew Roberts' new book, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, Evan Thomas writes in Newsweek,

America and Great Britain shared values and institutions that helped them to at once prosper and foster democracy, freedom and the rule of law. Roberts uses as his basic sermon a 1943 speech by Churchill at Harvard: "Law, language, literature — these are considerable factors. Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice, and above all a love of personal freedom. . .these are the common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-speaking peoples."

Churchill's words may seem like platitudes, but, historically speaking, they're a unique formula for success — not perfect or always honored, but to paraphrase Churchill from another context, better than all the alternatives.

. . .The English-speaking peoples have been seriously threatened by force four times: twice by German aggression, once by Soviet totalitarianism, and most recently by Islamic fanaticism. . ."The English-speaking peoples rarely win the first battle," writes Roberts, "but they equally rarely lose the subsequent war." They have been saved time and again "by the tendency for the right men to come to the fore in times of crisis." This is no accident: liberal democracies breed men and women who, like Churchill and Roosevelt, can possess a powerful, even hubristic sense of self, yet also the humility to know they lead governments of law, not men.

I would add, they have been saved time and again "by the tendency for the right men and women to come to the fore in times of crisis."