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.


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.

Host Dennis Leap finishes discussing key highlights from Chapter 7, “Hounslow.” Winston discusses the beauty of the Deepdene House and Gardens, where he mingled with the wealthy and elite members of the Army and Parliament. It was at Deepdene that he learned the importance of punctuality—after showing up late for a dinner with the Prince of Wales. In Chapter 8, Winston heads to India. As he disembarks from the ship, he falls and dislocates his shoulder—which later in life proved to be a blessing. “One must never forget,” he wrote, “when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or when you make some great mistake, it may easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.”

Host Dennis Leap discusses key highlights from Chapter 7, “Hounslow,” from Winston Churchill’s memoir My Early Years 1874–1904. As this chapter opens, 21-year-old Winston has completed his calvary training and has 6 months leave before moving on to India where his regiment is scheduled to remain for 12 to 14 years. Churchill reminisces about this time period in Hounslow, a choice district in London, writing, “I gave myself over to the amusements of the London season. In those days, English society still existed in its old form.” This podcast unveils the beauty and power of the early British Empire.

On Nov. 30, 1895, after joining the Spanish Army’s fight against the Cuban rebels, 21-year-old Winston Churchill finally got his wish. He was in the jungle gnawing on a skinny chicken leg for breakfast when a volley of gunfire rang out from the edge of the forest. A bullet passed by his head, killing a soldier’s horse. Watching the horse slowly bleed led him to write, “I began to take a more thoughtful view of our enterprise.” Host Dennis Leap finishes his discussion of Chapter 6 with more anecdotes from young Winston.

Host Dennis Leap discusses key highlights from Chapter 6 “Cuba” in Winston Churchill’s memoir My Early Years 1874–1904. Winston is 21 years old: Having now been trained as a soldier, he believes he needs a dress rehearsal of a real war. He turns his eyes to Cuba where the Spanish are at war with native rebels seeking to overthrow the government. He writes: “Here was a place of vital action.”