“He saith among the trumpets, Ha, Ha! and he smelleth the battle afar off,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.”
According to the fashion current in the publishing world today, the title of a book is a bit of catchy fluff, and the subtitle a ponderous, plonking sentence fragment indicating the book’s content. In the present instance, both titles are important, and indeed equally important. The title as it stands is an accurate representation of the author’s thesis. But a reversal of title and subtitle has an equivalent result. “How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World: Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War,” besides being more conventionally catchy, serves equally well to introduce the book. Each title suggests a thesis; and each thesis is complementary to the other and central to Pat Buchanan’s purpose. Nevertheless, both theses need to be read, as it were, separately, and weighed in the same manner.
Admirers of Winston Churchill, and at least one prominent reviewer of this book, insist that World War II indeed was a necessary war waged to defeat a great evil even at the expense of collaboration with an evil of equal magnitude. My dictionary defines the word necessary as something that is “of an inevitable...