Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Quote of the day, April 15

April 15, 2017

Bill Bryson, on history

“All the things that are part of your heritage make you British—that makes this country what it is. It’s part of your history. And here, unlike America, it’s still living history.”

Quote of the day, April 9

April 9, 2017

Thomas Jefferson, on the press

“During this course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science, are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness, and to sap its safety; they might, indeed, have been corrected by the wholesome punishments reserved and provided by the laws of the several States against falsehood and defamation; but public duties more urgent press on the time of public servants, and the offenders have therefore been left to find their punishment in the public indignation.”

Quote of the day, March 28

March 28, 2017

Winston S. Churchill, from A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain (1956)

“Unlike the remainder of Western Europe, which still retains the imprint and tradition of Roman law and the Roman system of government, the English-speaking peoples had at the close of the period covered by this volume [699-1485] achieved a body of legal and what might also be called democratic principles which survived the upheavals and onslaught of the French and Spanish Empires. Parliament, trial by jury, local government run by local citizens, and even the beginnings of a free Press, may be discerned, at any rate in primitive form, by the time Christopher Columbus set sail for the American continent.”

Quote of the day, March 21

March 21, 2017

Winston S. Churchill, on writing

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

Quote of the day, March 9

March 9, 2017

Roger Cohen, on the democracies (2016)

“Western democracies are in the midst of an upheaval they only dimly grasp. Virtual direct democracy through social media has outflanked representative democracy. The impact of the smartphone on the human psyche is as yet scarcely understood; its addictiveness is treacherous and it can be the enemy of thought.”

Quote of the day, March 4

March 4, 2017

William Manchester, on research

“Research, of course, is no substitute for wisdom. The sum of a million facts is not the truth.”

Quote of the day, Feb. 28

February 28, 2017

Winston S. Churchill, on war

“Ah, horrible war, amazing medley of the glorious and the squalid, the pitiful and the sublime, if modern men of light and leading saw your face closer, simple folk would see it hardly ever.”

Quote of the day, Feb. 25

February 25, 2017

John Maynard Keynes, on ideas

“Ideas shape the course of history.”

Quote of the day, Feb. 15

February 15, 2017

Winston S. Churchill, on fanaticism

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

Quote of the day, Feb. 12

February 12, 2017

Abraham Lincoln, speech to the 164th Ohio Regiment (1864)

“I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realised by every one. There is involved in this struggle the question whether you children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this in order to impress upon you, if you are already so impressed, that no small matter should divert yours from our great purpose.”