Quotations by:
    Jacobs, Jane


I was brought up to believe that there is no virtue in conforming meekly to the dominant opinion of the moment. I was encouraged to believe that simple conformity results in stagnation for a society, and that American progress has been largely owing to the opportunity for experimentation, the leeway given initiative, and to a gusto and a freedom for chewing over odd ideas. I was taught that the American’s right to be a free individual, not at the mercy of the state, was hard-won and that its price was eternal vigilance, and that I too would have to be vigilant. I was made to feel that it would be a disgrace to me, as an individual, if I should not value or should give up rights that were dearly bought.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
“No Virtue in Meek Conformity” (1952)
    (Source)

Foreword to her response to a State Department Loyalty Security Board interrogatory (1952-03-25). Reprinted in Vital Little Plans (2016).
 
Added on 8-Jan-24 | Last updated 8-Jan-24
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I do not think military readiness, in itself, will defeat Communism. I do not think we can consider the job finished with that. I think it buys us time to do the bigger job. We must demonstrate that it is possible to overcome poverty, misery and decay by democratic means, and that we must ourselves believe, and must show others, that our American tradition of the dignity and liberty of the individual is not a luxury for easy times but is the basic source of strength and security of a successful society.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
“No Virtue in Meek Conformity” (1952)
    (Source)

Foreword to her response to a State Department Loyalty Security Board interrogatory (1952-03-25). Reprinted in Vital Little Plans (2016).
 
Added on 15-Jan-24 | Last updated 15-Jan-24
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The other threat to the security of our tradition, I believe, lies at home. It is the current fear of radical ideas and of people who propound them. I do not agree with extremists of either the left or the right, but I think they should be allowed to speak and to publish, both because they themselves have, and ought to have, rights, and once their rights are gone, the rights of the rest of us are hardly safe.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
“No Virtue in Meek Conformity” (1952)
    (Source)

Foreword to her response to a State Department Loyalty Security Board interrogatory (1952-03-25). Reprinted in Vital Little Plans (2016).
 
Added on 22-Jan-24 | Last updated 22-Jan-24
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Perhaps people with my point of view are in a minority today. But the fact of being in a minority does not, in itself, trouble me, nor do I see anything un-American about being in a minority position. Quite the contrary. The minority views of one day are frequently the majority views of another, and in the possibility of this being so rests all our potentiality for progress.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
“No Virtue in Meek Conformity” (1952)
    (Source)

Foreword to her response to a State Department Loyalty Security Board interrogatory (1952-03-25). Reprinted in Vital Little Plans (2016).
 
Added on 29-Jan-24 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
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Writing, printing, and the Internet give a false sense of security about the permanence of culture. Most of the million details of a complex, living culture are transmitted neither in writing nor pictorially. Instead, cultures live through word of mouth and example. That is why we have cooking classes and cooking demonstrations, as well as cookbooks. That is why we have apprenticeships, internships, student tours, and on-the-job training as well as manuals and textbooks. Every culture takes pains to educate its young so that they, in their turn, can practice and transmit it completely. Educators and mentors, whether they are parents, elders, or schoolmasters, use books and videos if they have them, but they also speak, and when they are most effective, as teachers, parents, or mentors, they also serve as examples.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
Dark Age Ahead, ch. 1 “The Hazard” (2004)
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Added on 19-Feb-24 | Last updated 19-Feb-24
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It may be that we have become so feckless as a people that we no longer care how things do work, but only what kind of quick, easy outer impression they give. If so, there is little hope for our cities or probably for much else in our society. But I do not think this is so.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Introduction (1961)
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Added on 12-Feb-24 | Last updated 12-Feb-24
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Great cities are not like towns, only larger. They are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of them is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Part 1, ch. 2 (1961)
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Added on 5-Feb-24 | Last updated 5-Feb-24
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