Throughout history, chaos has often been a crucible of great leadership. Yet with Britain in the throes of its biggest political crisis since World War II, it will be surprising if that turns out to be the case this time.
Boris Johnson prepared to become prime minister on Tuesday after the Conservative Party chose him as its leader.
A rumpled master of political theater and the quotable quip, he is idolized by rank-and-file Tories determined to quit the European Union no matter what the consequences. Yet his record as journalist, legislator, London mayor and foreign secretary displays far more bluster than achievement, and a consistent disdain for hard work, probity or the truth.