November 17, 2014
If there is a theme to this autumn's Ottawa Churchill Society addresses, it is some of the lesser-known sides of Churchill. We began with the Michael McMenamin October address on a hitherto obscure, but important, Churchillian mentor. In November we shall embark on what the urbane, charming New Yorker Barry Singer has characterized as an address on Winston Churchill's "decisive personal style".
The book on which Barry Singer's address draws is aptly entitled Churchill Style but it is the sub-title that tells us what and how its author tackles his subject: "The Art of Being Winston Churchill". Churchill's politics, history, leadership, personal strengths have led to hundreds and hundreds and more hundreds of biographical volumes tackling such elements of his greatness. Barry Singer, though, will recount the saga of Churchill's life away from politics: his pastimes, his friendships, his cars, his cigars, his books (the ones he read, not wrote), his fashion, his homes, his dining, his imbibing, and so on. In all, sides of Churchill that are light, charming, different, (occasionally) extravagant, and largely unknown.
And Singer does know his subject. Among other things, he has, since 1983, been the proprietor of the only non-virtual bookshop in the world devoted to the works of Winston Churchill, CHARTWELL BOOKSELLERS in New York City. Singer has also been a regular contributor to The New Yorker, New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine and, for more than a decade, to The New York Times Arts & Leisure section, writing regularly on theatre, opera and popular music. He recently began blogging about the arts, literature and Winston Churchill for the Huffington Post.
He will speak to the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa on November 17. If you wish to attend, please e-mail the Society. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and inscription by the author.