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Winston Churchill quote

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, radio broadcast, Mar. 21, 1943

It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Story of the Malakand Field Force

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 realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Antiquated War Offices, weak, incompetent, or arrogant Commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant Fortune, ugly surprises, awful miscalculations — all take their seats at the Council Board on the morrow of a declaration of war.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, My Early Life: A Roving Commission

We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech to the House of Commons, Oct. 28, 1943

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, lecture in Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1932

When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, Apr. 18, 1947

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile — hoping it will eat him last.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Reader's Digest, Dec. 1954

One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Second World War, Volume I: The Gathering Storm

Broadly speaking, short words are best, and the old words, when short, are best of all.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech on receiving the London Times Literary Award, Nov. 2, 1949

The Government simply cannot make up their mind, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, Nov. 12, 1936

We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech before Joint Session of the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, Dec. 30, 1941

In former days, when wars arose from individual causes, from the policy of a Minister or the passion of a King, when they were fought by small regular armies of professional soldiers, and when their course was retarded by the difficulties of communication and supply, and often suspended by the winter season, it was possible to limit the liabilities of the combatants. But now, when mighty populations are impelled on each other, each individual severally embittered and inflamed—when the resources of science and civilisation sweep away everything that might mitigate their fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal commercial dislocation and exhaustion of the conquerors. Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, May 13, 1901

I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, Jul. 7, 1926

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, "Painting as a Pastime," Strand Magazine, Dec. 1921/Jan. 1922

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Second World War, Volume III: The Grand Alliance

I had a feeling once about Mathematics, that I saw it all—Depth beyond depth was revealed to me—the Byss and the Abyss. I saw, as one might see the transit of Venus—or even the Lord Mayor's Show, a quantity passing through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus. I saw exactly how it happened and why the tergiversation was inevitable: and how the one step involved all the others. It was like politics. But it was after dinner and I let it go!

WINSTON CHURCHILL, My Early Life: A Roving Commission

If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Second World War, Volume I: The Gathering Storm

Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at the Scottish Unionist Conference, Perth, Scotland, May 28, 1948

We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, attributed, Winston Churchill as I Knew Him (Violet Bonham-Carter, 1965)

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

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Winston Churchill's Great Quotation Book: From Alamein to Zest for Life

I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at Lord Mayor's Luncheon, Mansion House, London, Nov. 10, 1942

The Times is speechless, and takes three columns to express its speechlessness.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at Kinnaird Hall, Dundee, Scotland, May 14, 1908

If you're going through hell, keep going.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Winston Churchill's Great Quotation Book: From Alamein to Zest for Life

The forces of progress clash with those of reaction.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Story of the Malakand Field Force

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Winston Churchill's Great Quotation Book: From Alamein to Zest for Life

I am going to tell you something you must not tell to any human being. We have split the atom. The report of the great experiment has just come in. A bomb was let off in some wild spot in New Mexico. It was only a thirteen-pound bomb, but it made a crater half a mile across. People ten miles away lay with their feet towards the bomb; when it went off they rolled over and tried to look at the sky. But even with the darkest glasses it was impossible. It was the middle of the night, but it was as if seven suns had lit the earth; two hundred miles away the light could be seen. The bomb sent up smoke into the stratosphere... It is the Second Coming. The secret has been wrested from nature.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, to his doctor, Lord Moran, Jul. 23, 1945, attributed, Winston Churchill: The Struggle for Survival (Moran, 1968)

Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, My Early Life: A Roving Commission

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.


The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, attributed, In The Highest Degree Odious: Detention Without Trial in Wartime Britain

The price of greatness is responsibility.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at Harvard University, September 6, 1943

Nuclear energy is incomparably greater than the molecular energy which we use today.... What is lacking is the match to set the bonfire alight.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Thoughts and Adventures

Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, letter to Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, November 21, 1943

Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, to Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons after the Munich accords, 1938


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