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Who Said That Pt.2

Updated on December 18, 2009

These are a consolidation of quotes from throughout history. I thought it would be great to get all of my favorites into a single series. Enjoy!

James Baldwin

2 August 1924 – 30 November 1987

An American novelist, writer and equal rights and civil rights activist, Baldwin’s works deal with racial and sexual identity as critical but smaller pieces of the larger issue of self and self-identity.

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”

“Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.”

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

“Be careful what you set your heart upon - for it will surely be yours.”

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

“Education is indoctrination if you're white - subjugation if you're black.”

“Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it.”

“Fires can't be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.”

“Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.”

“I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

“I want to be an honest man and a good writer.”

“I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.”

“If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.”

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

“It is very nearly impossible... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.”

“It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

Saul Bellow

10 June 1915 – 5 April 2005

A famed Canadian-born American author, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature and the National Medal of Arts. 

“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.”

“A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out. “

“A good novel is worth more then the best scientific study. “

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

“A man is only as good as what he loves.”

“Any artist should be grateful for a naive grace which puts him beyond the need to reason elaborately.”

“Conquered people tend to be witty.

“Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining. “

“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”

“Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.”

“Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.”

“I'm glad I haven't lived in vain.”

“I've never turned over a fig leaf yet that didn't have a price tag on the other side.”

“In expressing love we belong among the undeveloped countries.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821


Napoleon was a military and political leader of France following its brutal revolution and his military successes shaped European politics directly in the early 19th century and indirectly in the early 20th century as the French ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity migrated across European and Russian populations after exposure from his troops.

“Forethought we may have, undoubtedly, but not foresight.”

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.”

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

“Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.”

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

“He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.”

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

“I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

“I have only one counsel for you - be master.”

“I made all my generals out of mud.”

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”

“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”

“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”

“A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view.”

“A leader is a dealer in hope.”

“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

“A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.”

“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”

“A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.”

“A true man hates no one.”

“Ability is nothing without opportunity.”

“All religions have been made by men.”

“Ambition never is in a greater hurry that I; it merely keeps pace with circumstances and with my general way of thinking.”

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.”

“An army marches on its stomach.”

“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.”

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

“Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.”

“Fear not those who disagree with you but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.”

“The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind.”

“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny.”

“The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.”

“Impossible is not in my dictionary.”

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.”

“Only two forces unite men - fear and interest.”

“There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed.”

“There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.”

“There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.”

“To do all that one is able to do, is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do, is to be a god.”

“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”

“War is the business of barbarians.”

“Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.”

“We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him.”

“When soldiers have been baptized in the fire of a battle-field, they have all one rank in my eyes.”

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