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Bons Mots: Famous Quotes of Winston Churchill

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Introduction

Sir Winston Churchill  (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. Since its inception in 1901, Churchill is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite.

As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

Memorable Quotes

  1. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Speech in November 1942

  2. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender We shall fight on the beaches - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.

  4. The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  5. You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. 

  6. It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

  7. True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

  8. Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.  

  9. If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.

  10. A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

  11. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. 

  12. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. 

  13. This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read. 

  14. I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.
  15. Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.
  16. Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old.
  17. It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
  18. However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. 
  19. In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might. 
  20. In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
  21. It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right. 
  22. No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism. 
  23. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
  24. An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
  25. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. 
  26. Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
  27. Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
  28. Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
  29. Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
  30. There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true.
  31. We must beware of needless innovations, especially when guided by logic.
  32. We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
  33. When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.  
  34. When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.  
  35. When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.
  36. Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed.   
  37. Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.   
  38. You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
  39. "Never Give In"

    The speech was made 29 October 1941 to the boys at Churchill's old public [private] school, Harrow--not Oxford or Cambridge:"

    Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.'' See full speech.

  40. "So much owed by so many to so few"

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."-- Speech made in the House of Commons as the Battle Britain peaked on August 20, 1940. The home front was totally involved in the war because of the Germany bombing raids and Britain was "a whole nation fighting and suffering together." But special gratitude was directed towards the airmen whose prowess and devotion were capable of turning the tide of the war. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. He worked out the phrase in his mind as he visited the Fighter Command airfields in Southern England.

  41. "I'd drink it [poison]"

    Lady Astor: "Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."
    Winston: "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."

  42. Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.
     
  43. The Left prefers an "equal distribution of poverty" over an "unequal distribution of wealth."
     
  44. I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

Other interesting quotes

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public. 

When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place. 

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time. 

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.  

Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it. 

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