Jacques Barzun Quotes

Like Nietzsche, he rails at romanticism, but it is evident that what they both mean by the word is the clichs of second-hand romance. Historic romanticism is in fact the ground-work of their philosophy.

Jacques Barzun

No one has ever used historical examples, near or remote, with the detail, precision, and directness to be found in every page of Shaw.

Jacques Barzun

Shaw's emotional development was one with his intellectual strength. His path led him into the thick of the scrimmage, where more spontaneous natures defend themselves with the usual weapons of malice, humility, bad temper or conceit. But Shaw used the death ray of imperturbability. His feelings were never hurt, his envy never aroused, his conceit was a transparent fiction, he never quarreled.

Jacques Barzun

Strangers who have seen Shaw face to face are wont to report their surprise at his gentleness and consideration, his willingness to listen and his complete lack of pose.

Jacques Barzun

I have always been I think any student of history almost inevitably is a cheerful pessimist.

Jacques Barzun

Bernard Shaw remains the only model we have of what the citizen of a democracy should be: an informed participant in all things we deem important to the society and the individual.

Jacques Barzun

The one thing that unifies men in a given age is not their individual philosophies but the dominant problem that these philosophies are designed to solve.

Jacques Barzun

Among the words that can be all things to all men, the word "race" has a fair claim to being the most common, most ambiguous and most explosive. No one today would deny that it is one of the great catchwords about which ink and blood are spilled in reckless quantities. Yet no agreement seems to exist about what race means.

Jacques Barzun
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