(p. C2) It is easy to see why so many historians and historiographers have taken the Tolstoyan line, that the story of humanity isn’t the story of great people and shining deeds. It has been fashionable to say that those so-called great men and women are just epiphenomena, meretricious bubbles on the vast tides of social history. The real story, on this view, is about deep economic forces, technological advances, changes in the price of sorghum, the overwhelming weight of an infinite number of mundane human actions.
The story of Winston Churchill is a pretty withering retort to all that malarkey.
For the full essay, see:
BORIS JOHNSON. “He Still Stands Alone.” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., Nov. 8, 2014): C1-C2.
(Note: the online version of the essay has the date Nov. 7, 2014, and has the title “Churchill Still Stands Alone.”)
The passage quoted above is related to Johnson’s book:
Johnson, Boris. The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History. New York: Riverhead, 2014.