GREAT BRITAIN: Man of the Year

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Those who write history with words sometimes forget that history is made with words. The course of the 20th Century has been shaped by three stupendous movements. Each movement has been led by a man of words, who used words as instruments of policy, of persuasion and of power, who epitomized the character of his movement in words of historic simplicity.

> In the autumn of 1917, in Smolny Institute in Petrograd, Nikolai Lenin quietly said: We shall now proceed to construct the Socialist State.

> In the autumn of 1924, in Landsberg Fortress in Bavaria, Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: I, however, resolved now to become a politician.

> On May 13, 1940, in his first statement as Prime Minister to the British House of Commons, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill declared: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

Those eleven burning words summed up the nature of Britain's war, turned Britain's back on the weaknesses of the past, set her face toward the unknown future.

Because of them the rest of that speech has been forgotten. It should not be forgotten, for it is not only a great example of Winston Churchill's eloquence, but the epitome of the movement which he leads.

After a brief report on the formation of his Government, Winston Churchill said: "You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea and air—war with all our might and with all the strength God has given us—and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors.

Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

"Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal."

December 31, 1940, was not only the end of a year; it was the end of a decade —the most terrifying of the 20th Century.

The decade which ended in 1920 had seen a war that was to prove inconclusive. It had seen a revolution that was to lie quiescent after establishing itself in the largest country of the world. The decade which ended in 1930 was one of confusion and wasted energy—the wasted energy of gambling and gin-drinking in the U. S., of civil war in the Far East, of misdirected revolutionary effort from the U. S. S. R., of the attempt in Europe to hold resurgent peoples in check. The decade which ended this week saw the failure of that attempt and the unleashing of ruthless war. It saw the Far East's battle of warlords turn into a war for the supremacy of one people. It saw the U. S. turn to a feverish effort to protect itself and its neighbors. It saw, in the Battle of Britain, the life-&-death struggle of the greatest empire the world has ever known.

The Candidates of 1940. No artist, no athlete, no scientist, only a man whose place was on the stage of world politics, could be Man of 1940—last and stormiest year of a stormy decade.

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