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Quotations From HENRY BROOKS ADAMS

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  • 1.
    To my fancy, one looks back on life, it has only two responsibilities, which include all the others: one is the bringing of new life into existence; the other, educating it after it is brought in. All betrayals of trust result from these original sins.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Letter, July 1, 1892, to Charles Franklin Thwing. Henry B. Adams and His Friends, p. 269, ed. Harold Dean Cater.

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  • 2.
    In the history of the United States, there is no continuity at all. You can cut through it anywhere and nothing on this side of the cut has anything to do with anything on the other side.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Henry B. Adams and His Friends, p. xcvi, ed. Harold Dean Cater. Stated in a conversation with Dr. Waldo G. Leland, in Paris in 1911.

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  • 3.
    "If our minds could get hold of one abstract truth, they would be immortal so far as that truth is concerned. My trouble is to find out how we can get hold of the truth at all."
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. George Strong in Esther, p. 320, Library of America (1983).

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  • 4.
    Every man who has at last succeeded, after long effort, in calling up the divinity which lies hidden in a woman's heart, is startled to find that he must obey the God he summoned.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Esther, p. 270, Library of America (1983).

    Read more quotations about / on: heart, woman, god
  • 5.
    As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms. Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. letter, Dec. 17, 1908.

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  • 6.
    American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. letter, Sept. 20, 1911.

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  • 7.
    There are two things that seem to be at the bottom of our constitutions; one is a continual tendency towards politics; the other is family pride; and it is strange how these two feelings run through all of us.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Letter, November 3, 1858, to Charles Francis Adams Jr.. Letters, Vol. 1, p. 5, ed. Worthington Chauncy Ford, Houghton Mifflin (1930).

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  • 8.
    The American man is a very simple and cheap mechanism. The American woman I find a complicated and expensive one. Contrasts of feminine types are possible. I am not absolutely sure that there is more than one American man.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Letter, April 27, 1903 to George Cabot Lodge. Henry B. Adams His and Friends, p. 544, ed. Harold Dean Cater.

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  • 9.
    Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Quoted in The So-Called Human Race, p. 154, Bert Leston Taylor (1922). Definition of philosophy.
  • 10.
    Silence alone is respectable and respected. I believe God to be silence.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. Letter, January 27, 1905, to Margaret Chanler. Letters, Vol. 2, p. 445, ed. Worthington Chauncy Ford, Houghton Mifflin (1938).

    Read more quotations about / on: silence, alone, believe, god
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