Churchill was undoubtedly one of the greatest public figures of the 20th cent. Extraordinary vitality, imagination, and boldness characterized his whole career. His weaknesses, such as his opposition (except in the case of Ireland) to the expansion of colonial self-government, and his strengths, evidenced by his brilliant war leadership, sprang from the same source—the will to maintain Britain as a great power and a great democracy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.