What is a 'Good War'?

What do the lives of two composers tell us about war?

About this time last year, I remember watching the funeral of Baroness Thatcher being celebrated in St Paul’s cathedral at a public cost of £10 million. Although it could not be a state funeral, the addition of a gun carriage and a troop of soldiers mirrored Churchill’s military interment half a century ago. At the front of the congregation sat Tony Blair, then recently resurrected into national political life. Is it fanciful to detect a link between Thatcher’s death and Blair’s resurrection? All that week, the British media was crowded with editorials stressing Blair’s debt to Thatcher – primarily in neo-liberal economic policy, but also in controversial foreign adventures.

As the walls of Christopher Wren’s masterpiece echoed the tramping boots of the Baroness’ cortege, memories of war overcome contemplation. The few distinguished transatlantic guests only reinforced the military theme. America was represented, not by its President or current Secretary of S

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation