- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 17,297 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America argument author beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history humanity integrity leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics poverty power religion science society success truth tyranny virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (6,623)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,801)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,687)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,869)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,810)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,908)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,809)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,662)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (3,057)
- “Hallowed Ground” (1825) (3,056)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 6-Jul-20 - (Attributed) | WIST on Quoted in Plutarch, Parallel Lives, “The Life of Solon,” sec. 18.5 [tr. Perrin (1914)].
- 6-Jul-20 - Agamemnon, l. 928 | WIST on Oedipus Rex, l. 1529 (concluding words).
- 20-May-20 - Introduction to the Art of Thinking, ch. 1, "Friendship" (1761) | WIST on John 15:13 (KJV).
- 18-May-20 - Chamblee54 on Clouds, ll. 998-999 (423 BC) [tr. Athenian Soc. (1912)].
- 18-May-20 - Chamblee54 on Mills E. Godwin, Governor of Virginia (Dec 1966).
- 11-May-20 - Chamblee54 on “Indian Summer,” Enough Rope (1926).
Quotations by Zinn, Howard
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
“The Optimism of Uncertainty,” The Nation (2 Sep 2004)
Adopted from Zinn's essay of the same name in Paul Loeb (ed.), The Impossible Will Take a Little While (2004). See also Zinn, "A Marvelous Victory" (23 Feb 2004).
Added on 28-Nov-16 | Last updated 11-Dec-16
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History can suggest to us alternatives that we would never otherwise consider. It can both warn and inspire. It can warn us that it is possible for a whole nation to be brainwashed, for “enlightened” and “educated” people to commit genocide, for a “democratic” country to maintain slavery, for oppressed to turn into oppressors, for “socialism” to be tyrannical and “liberalism” to be imperialist, for whole peoples to be led to war like sheep. It can also show us that apparently powerless underlings can defeat their rulers, that men (for at least moments of time) can live like brothers, that man can make incredible sacrifices on behalf of a cause.
Added on 9-Aug-11 | Last updated 9-Aug-11
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