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Not content with grinding his anti-Indian-selfgovernment axe in the national press, Churchill accepted a proposal for another voluminous history in December 1932. 120 Its subject matter, the growth and superiority of democratic parliamentary systems, left little to the imagination as to its author’s preference (he was steeped in the Whig tradition), but it also reiterated how such similarities between democracies in Britain and America led to ties closer than a mere common language. Already Churchill’s imperial rhetoric was showing signs of, if not weakening, then definitely shifting focus.

40 In fact the correspondence with Smuts, it can be argued, was used to show how Churchill was not afraid to solicit the most senior advice despite knowing he might be disagreed with. Churchill’s careful selection of Smuts’s replies gave the impression that at least one of Churchill’s influential allies believed in the wartime strength and unity of the empire. All this bolstered Churchill’s post-war image as a man who could parley with anyone on equal terms – an image Churchill had begun to emphasise at Fulton in 1946.

Pownall even concluded that he had seen plenty of previous instances in which I thought he was being unfair and I had to wade in. 90 Historians are subject to an ever-increasing amount of scrutiny, especially those who are in the public eye. 91 One result of historians becoming more visible, and perhaps influential, is that they have an ever-increasing responsibility; not only towards their own research but also towards the public, as wielding history in such a responsibility-laden way reinforces the old adage that history is From Memoir to History 21 always about power.

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