Document Type

Opinion

Publication Date

2-24-2017

Department

Education

Abstract

There’s an old story about Winston Churchill that is not true but is worth repeating. When approached about cutting funding for the arts so the money could go to the war effort during World War II, Churchill supposedly replied: “Then what are we fighting for?”

As far as we can tell Churchill never actually said this, but you can be forgiven for being taken by the sentiment. This apocryphal quote still makes the rounds because it suggests that even in times of war art can help us realize what it is, exactly, that’s worth defending. [excerpt]