Just the Best Literature

Just the Best Literature

Just the Best Literature inspires you to not only read printed books, but to read only the best books. Besides books, host Dennis Leap will lead discussions on other current literature such as essays and important articles.


After fighting the bloodthirsty Pathans and getting reassigned to leading a Punjaubi infantry (where no one spoke English), Winston attempted to be attached to the Malakand Field Force permanently, but he was sent back to his home base at Bangalore. He began writing a book on his recent experience in the Mamund Valley, which became a published success. Receiving praise from the prince of Wales, Winston began to remake himself as an author.

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing the Pathan’s attack on the British in Chapter 11. The British adjutant had been shot. Four soldiers were carrying him to safety when, out from the edges of the village houses, rushed a half dozen Pathan swordsmen. The leading tribesman rushed upon the prostrate adjutant, slashing him three or four times. Winston angered by the crime wanted to kill the Pathan with his own sword. But upon seeing a group of Pathans behind their leader, he decided to shoot the tribesman instead.


Host Dennis Leap discusses Winston Churchill’s praise for Sir Bindon Blood’s talents as a military leader while working with the Bunerwal and Pathan tribes of Northern India, but then reveals the flaws in some of Britain’s political officers. Winston calls them Marplots because they failed to act resolutely or decisively, leading to the unnecessary deaths of British soldiers.

At the end of Chapter 9: “Education at Bangalore,” Winston is offered a 3-month leave to return to England, which gives him a break from the sweltering heat of India. While in England, he reads in the newspapers that the north Indian tribe Pathan was revolting against the British. He learns that his friend Sir Bindon Blood is leading a field force of three brigades to quell the revolt. Winston telegraphs Sir Bindon to remind him that he had promised to include Winston in such an event. Winston returns to India to join the fight; however, he learns after his return that he must become a war correspondent to do so.

Host Dennis Leap finishes his discussion of Chapter 9 “Education at Bangalore” with Winston’s treatise on polo’s popularity with the British troops and the Indian populace. Polo games in India were high cultural events with parades of elephants and British royal regalia. Of course, Winston was most excited about his polo team defeating the highest-ranking Indian team. The ultimate takeaway from this chapter is true education involves books, classes, quality social occasions and challenging athletic events.

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing My Early Life Chapter 9, “Education at Bangalore.” Winston comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t have a grasp on religion. He recognized that the British Empire had exposed him to many different religions full of untruths that created much confusion. His final religious belief in God came after a few years of being in constant danger: He continually prayed for protection and he knew that God provided it for him.

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing My Early Life Chapter 9: “Education at Bangalore.” During the winter months of 1896, Winston came to the realization that he needed more education. He wrote, “I began to feel myself wanting in even the vaguest knowledge about many large spheres of thought.” While he had developed a huge vocabulary thanks to being an avid reader, he still lacked knowledge in subjects such as ethics, the Socratic Method and history. With the help of his mother, he built his own school library and studied history such as Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He spent five hours a day studying, essentially attaining a university-level education.

Host Dennis Leap moves into Chapter 9 “Education at Bangalore.” While being trained to utilize British fighting maneuvers to protect the Empire in India, Winston realized he was not truly educated: There was a lot of English vocabulary he did not understand. He could speak the words, but he did not know their meaning. For example, he loved the word ethics, but did not know exactly what it was. “I would have paid some scholar 2 pounds at least to give me a lecture of an hour or an hour and a half about ethics,” he wrote. So young Winston set a goal to give himself a college-level education.

Host Dennis Leap wraps up his discussion of Chapter 8. Winston gives young readers advice on how to take care of their health, specifically warning them not to dislocate their shoulders. He also describes his life as a young soldier in India. His descriptions are a technicolor view of the beauty of British rule in India. In Bangalore, Winston settled into his new life in India. He devoted himself to the serious purpose of life—polo! You won’t want to miss the humor and fascination of India in this podcast.