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It seems a covert operative of the PC police, or perhaps just a mischievous photoshopper, has infiltrated London’s Britain at War Museum, unceremoniously airbrushing Winston Churchill’s cigar from one of his most famous wartime candids on display there, to the chagrin of the museum’s curators. This doesn’t make Churchill the first figure in history to have his smoke censored, but we might well ask the censors: While you’re at it, why not airbrush Winston to appear taller and thinner as well?

For a more detailed account of the metaphysical issues at stake here, take a look back at Michael P. Foley’s piece, “ Tobacco and the Soul ” in the pages of First Things ’ April 1997 issue.

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