Ian Buruma

The Churchill Complex
Dec 01, 2020  -  Online Event @ OBA

What would Churchill do?

The Special Relationship between Britain and America has done much to shape the world as we know it, from World War II through to Trump and Brexit. The victors of the war inherited a legacy of leadership and prestige as beacons of freedom and democracy. But what is left of that shining example 75 years down the line? Not much, says Ian Buruma in his new book The Churchill Complex.

The Brits – more than the Americans – have always clung to the myth of this Special Relationship, helped by Churchill’s reputation for brave leadership. His myth was used to justify several foolish and bloody wars, from Vietnam to Iraq. The Anglo-American relationship was marked by the connections between the countries’ leaders: FDR of course had Churchill, JFK had Macmillan, Reagan found his ideological soulmate in Thatcher, George W. Bush found his fellow believer in Tony Blair. And since 2016, Trump and Johnson have been kindred souls in giving rise to populist uprisings in their countries. They created a political landscape that Roosevelt and Churchill would have abhorred.

Join us on December 1st for a conversation with one of the West’s leading thinkers on America’s place in the world, Ian Buruma, on his new book The Churchill Complex, translated by publishing house Atlas Contact into Dutch as Het Churchill Complex: Opkomst en ondergang van de Anglo-Amerikaanse orde. Moderator Roberta Haar, Professor of Foreign Policy Analysis and Transatlantic Relations at University Maastricht will be joined by co-speaker Andrew Gawthorpe, University Lecturer in American History at University Leiden.

(© picture Ian Buruma by Merlijn Doomernik)

Buruma visited the John Adams previously. In 2016 he spoke about his book Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War, an account of a love sustained through the terror and separation of two world wars.

Moderator: Roberta Haar

In collaboration with: Atlas Contact & OBA