Winston Churchill was a British aristocrat and politician who served as the First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911-1917 and Prime Minister in 1940-45 and 1951-55. Today he is remembered for his performance of the role of "courageous leader of beleaguered Britain" during World War II. That, most argue, deserves praise.
And the not-so-praiseworthy stuff
Churchill remains a controversial figure because of incompetent or brutal decisions made during the two world wars. He played a central role in planning the disastrous military campaign at Gallipoli during WWI. Worse, his decisions during the Second World War led to the fire-bombing of German cities by the Royal Air Force (the bombing of Dresden is one of the rare examples in which the American Army Air Corps joined the RAF in the purposeful incineration of German civilians) - however Churchill later expressed deep regret over this war strategy, likening it to 'mutual annihilation', and lamenting a lost age of chivalry in warfare. Hopefully that will satisfy anyone who thinks that burning hundreds of thousands of non-combatants to death by firebombing cities might constitute a war crime.
The basic co-ordinates of anti-Bolshevism were formulated by Churchill in his memoirs about the First World War, and most Red Scare mythologies in both the US and Western Europe. FDR had written him off as a blowhard, but he obviously pulled Truman under his influence, culminating in the infamous 'Fulton Speech', where he introduced the term 'Iron Curtain' to the lexicon.
He is remembered in India not only for that little famine in Bengal, but also for calling Gandhi a "half naked lunatic fakir." While in power and fighting for democracy, Churchill had every intention of holding onto India as a British colony.
Churchill was a racist and bought into eugenics. His charming response to the creation of the Jewish state of Israel was: "I do not apologize for the takeover of the region by the Jews from the Palestinians in the same way I don't apologize for the takeover of America by the whites from the Red Indians or the takeover of Australia from the blacks. It is natural for a superior race to dominate an inferior one."
His further inability to accept the decline of the British Empire resulted a flurry of near-disastrous political games, most especially conspiring with Eisenhower and the CIA to depose Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, and install in his place the Shah. This lead to the anti-Western blowback that created the Islamic Republic of Iran.
 Mental health
It has been widely suggested that Churchill suffered from bipolar disorder or ADHD, and thus it is not surprising that he was given to hellish bouts of depression. He referred to it as "the Black Dog" and was able to fend it off by painting, drinking copious quantities of alcohol (approved by his doctor), and consuming voracious quantities of his favourite stilton cheese, rich desserts and imported cigars which he developed a taste for as a teenager. Born to great wealth he could afford to indulge. By contast, many working class Britons suffered from poor diets with inadequate nutrition. This is attested to by the differences in height by social class.
Churchill is alleged to have slept only four hours, drunk an entire bottle of Port before retiring and three scotch and sodas before lunch alone. Upon the subject of his alcoholism, Churchill remarked with characteristic dryness "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
Whether he was a depressive or an alcholic, Churchill also presented an unmistakable lack of moral consideration for the consequences of his action on others. He lived in a narcissistic, Winston Churchill-centric universe, perhaps almost alone.
 Anecdotal quotes
- 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, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old. — Speech in the House of Commons, 4 June 1940
- "Are we beasts? Are we going too far?" - After the bombing of Dresden
- "If Hitler were to invade Hell, I would make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons." (in reference to Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union)
- Tell the Lord Privy Seal I am sealed to the Privy and can only deal with one shit at a time." (on the Lord Privy Seal)
- Lady Astor: Winston, if you were my husband I'd put poison in your coffee.
- Churchill: Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it.
- Junior: At Eton they taught us to wash our hands before eating.
- Churchill: At Harrow they taught us not to piss on our hands.
- "I think he looks like a female llama surprised in the bath." (on Charles de Gaulle)
- "So you see Mr. President, I have no secrets from you." (on being walked in on in the nude by Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
 See also
- ↑ cf. Churchill, LENIN: THE GREAT REPUDIATOR.
- ↑ Bustgate John Hickman. Like the Dew August 3, 2012
- ↑ Madhusree Mukerjee. 2010. Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00201-6
- ↑ Bipolar Disorder
- ↑  Depression Guide: Winston Churchill
- ↑ Mary Walker, A.G. Shaper, and Goya Wannamethee. "Height and social class in middle-aged British men." Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (1988) 42: 299-303.
- ↑ Gordon Parker. "In High Spirits: Some Links Between Alcohol Use and Bipolar Disorder." Australia-New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. (2008) 42: 1075-1076.
- ↑ The Productive Narcissist: The Promise and Peril of Visionary Leadership, Michael Macoby and Charlie Conrad