Churchill's birthday

Slated on Backbone Radio, December 2 Listen every Sunday, 5-8pm on 710 KNUS, Denver.. 1460 KZNT, Colorado Springs... and streaming live at

Friday, Nov. 30, marked the 133rd anniversary Winston S. Churchill's birth in 1874. "I confess I am quite disheartened about you," his mother later wrote to the young cavalry officer in India. "You seem to have no real purpose in life and won't realize at the age of 22 that for a man life means work, and hard work if you mean to succeed." Little did she know what his future held: by age 30 he would already be world-famous, a combat veteran several times over, a successful author and lecturer, and a rising member of Parliament. Reading Churchill's book about those years, "My Early Life," helped prompt my newest Denver Post column on modern mediocrity, entitled "Where are the great?"

Greatness, its sources and its lack, the difference it makes and the occasions of history that call it forth, will be one of our themes on the next edition of Backbone Radio. I hope you'll be listening.

** We'll hear how Reagan's faith anchored his politics from Nicholas Wapshott, formerly of the London Times and now at the New York Sun, author of a new book about the Gipper and his transatlantic partner, Lady Thatcher.

** We'll talk about America's war with radical Islam as I welcome former state Rep. Rob Fairbank, just back from a government trip to Iraq, and terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

** Who has greatness (or the potential for it) in the Dem and GOP presidential contenders, will be my question to Stephen Keating of and Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News.

"A man's life must be nailed to a cross either of thought or of action," Churchill says he believed during those years in India when his mother was so impatient with him. In time, however, and greatly to the world's benefit, he lived a life filled with both. We who love liberty should aspire to do the same, to which end Backbone Radio is dedicated. Please join us Sunday.

Yours for self-government, JOHN ANDREWS