Michael McMenamin, the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, will speak to the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa on October 16th. The event will begin at 5:30. Members wishing to attend should e-mail the Society.
Churchill's mentor was Bourke Cockran, an Irish-born, French-educated, American politician, who represented various New York Congressional Districts (non-consecutively) between 1887 and 1923. Essentially unknown today, he was then a successful lawyer and had earned a national reputation as a brilliant political orator.
Born (in Ireland) just six weeks after Lady Randolph Churchill (who was born in Brooklyn), Cockran met her in Paris in 1895, where Jennie was travelling with her sisters some months after the death of Lord Randolph in late January. Michael will elaborate on the relationship that developed between them. Then, with Lady Randolph's introduction, on young Winston's first trip to New York City in November that year, he met Cockran, from whom he learned much about powerful oratory and policy principles. Cockran became a mentor for Churchill and was frequently consulted by Winston, up to the American's untimely death in 1923 (less than two years after Jennie's death).
The fascinating story, which is not broadly known, will be told by American author and Churchill expert Michael McMenamin. Michael is also a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work has appeared in two Reason anthologies and The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies. He is also, with his son Patrick, the author of three Winston Churchill thrillers, The Parsifal Pursuit, The DeValera Deception and The Gemini Agenda.