Quotations About / On: AMERICA

  • 51.
    There are hardly five critics in America; and several of them are asleep.
    (Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).)
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  • 52.
    America is not civil, whilst Africa is barbarous.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1844," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903). Edward Emerson notes that "Boston Hymn" sings a similar sentiment. Emerson is not commenting on the nature of African civilization, but noting the barbarity of the slave trade on its shores.)
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  • 53.
    We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.
    (Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). The Canterville Ghost, ch. 1, Court and Society Review (London, Feb. 23 and March 2, 1887). The words, or similar ones, have often been attributed to George Bernard Shaw, though they are not to be found in Shaw's published writings. Bertrand Russell made a similar point in Saturday Evening Post, June 3, 1944: "It is a misfortune for Anglo- American friendship that the two countries are supposed to have a common language.")
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  • 54.
    In America the cohesion was a matter of choice and will. But in Europe it was organic.
    (D.H. (David Herbert) Lawrence (1885-1930), British author. Originally published by M. Secker (1925). St. Mawr, p. 94, Vintage Books (1959).)
  • 55.
    ... here I am on board the Pacific, bound for America, having left home and all the world behind.
    (Fanny Kemble (1809-1893), British actress. Journal of a Residence in America, entry for August 1, 1832 (1835).)
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  • 56.
    Of one thing I can assure you with comparative certainty, whoever wins, Europe will be economically ruined. This war is America's great opportunity.
    (John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. J.W. Moorehouse in The Forty-Second Parallel, of the trilogy U.S.A., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc. (1937). Spoken on the eve of the First World War.)
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  • 57.
    Figure a man's only good for one oath at a time. I took mine to the Confederate States of America.
    (Frank S. Nugent (1908-1965), U.S. screenwriter, and John Ford. Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), The Searchers, refusing to take an oath as a Texas Ranger (1956). Based on the novel by Alan Le—ay.)
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  • 58.
    You must not judge people by their country. In South America, it is always wise to judge people by their altitude.
    (Paul Theroux (b. 1941), U.S. novelist, travel writer. Quoting an old lady's advice, in The Old Patagonian Express (1979).)
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  • 59.
    You don't have to be old in America to say of a world you lived in, That world is gone.
    (Peggy Noonan (b. 1950), U.S. author, presidential speechwriter. What I Saw at the Revolution, ch. 1 (1990).)
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  • 60.
    I do not think white America is committed to granting equality to the American Negro ... this is a passionately racist country; it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.
    (Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. repr. In Styles of Radical Will (1969). "What's Happening in America (1966)," Partisan Review (New Brunswick, N.J., Winter 1967).)
    More quotations from: Susan Sontag, future, america
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