WINSTON 'HANGING HAIRY FROM A BRANCH'?: THE CREATION, DISSEMINATION AND VALIDITY OF A DUAL PORTRAIT OF WINSTON CHURCHILL AS BOTH RATIONAL AND PRESCIENT CONCERNING WORLD WAR TWO AND AN IRRATIONAL REACTIONARY TO INDIAN NATIONALISM
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A dual portrait of Winston Churchill exists in contemporaneous and historical commentary. Churchill is viewed as irrational and fossilized in his attitudes towards India during the interwar and wartime periods yet as a great and prescient war leader. Current interpretations of Churchill's India policies do not provide and accurate picture of Churchill's strategic worldview. Churchill's goals and tactics concerning imperial control over India were more in line with an earlier exploitative Victorian era view of Empire. Yet Churchill's public defence of Britain's Empire emphasized the virtuous justification of Empire. Churchill's disingenuous rhetoric combined with negative aspects of Churchill's personality to create an inaccurate contemporary negative portrait of Churchill that has been insufficiently challenged in historical scholarship. The dual portraits concerning Indian indendendance and the 'Gathering Storm' of World War Two are vitally linked to Churchill's historical pessimism, strategic realism, and British-centric worldview and are not so divergent.