An “Anglosphere” that includes India would represent a change from the Churchillian construct. Yet it needs to be remembered that this champion of a union of English-speaking peoples himself took a dismissive view of those who made a fetish of precedent. Churchill, who had backed the White Russian forces in 1918–20 and remained a foe of Communism his whole life, became an ally of Stalin’s Soviet Union by 1941, just as he had earlier embraced as soulmates the very Boers against whom he had once taken up arms in South Africa. Churchill’s constant was neither fealty to a political party nor to any single policy, but to his concept of the welfare of the two nations that blended within his own bloodstream—the United States and the United Kingdom.

During Churchill’s youth and beyond, the concept of “blood ties” as a civilizational—indeed as a civilizing—link was commonplace. It ...