History Quotes

History is a myth that men agree to believe.

Napoleon

A man rising in the world is not concerned with history; he is too busy making it. But a citizen with a fixed place in the community wants to acquire a glorious past just as he acquires antique furniture.

Malcolm Cowley

History must be written of, by and for the survivors.

Anonymous

What else can history teach us? Only the vanity of believing we can impose our theories on history. Any philosophy which asserts that human experience repeats itself is ineffectual.

Jacques Ellul

Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times

Gustave Flaubert

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Robert F. Kennedy

A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind

John Maynard Keynes

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.

HonorČ de Balzac

To believe that what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in the dignity of man.

Mahatma Gandhi 1869

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events ... it is from numberless acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.

Robert F Kennedy 1925

Life is meaningless without the considerations of faith, love and inherited history in our nation.

Saddam Hussein

History is not a work of philosophy, it is a painting; it is necessary to combine narration with the representation of the subject, that is, it is necessary simultaneously to design and to paint; it is necessary to give to men the language and the sentiments of their times, not to regard the past in the light of our own opinion.

Chateaubriand

To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.

Edward Abbey

Patriotism in the female sex is the most disinterested of all virtues. Excluded from honors and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Government from having held a place of eminence. Even in the freest countries our property is subject to the control and disposal of our partners, to whom the laws have given a sovereign authority. Deprived of a voice in legislation, obliged to submit to those laws which are imposed upon us, is it not sufficient to make us indifferent to the public welfare? Yet all history and every age exhibit instances of patriotic virtue in the female sex; which considering our situation equals the most heroic of yours.

Abigail Adams

Throughout the Near East lay rare tinder for anti-Western propaganda: a Moslem culture and history, bitter Arab nationalism galled by Jewish immigration under British protection and with massive American financial support, the remnants of a colonial status, and a sense of grievance that a vast natural resource was being extracted by foreigners under arrangements thought unfair to those living on the surface. This tinder could be, and was, lighted everywhere...

Dean Acheson

I believe in scientific inquiry for its own sake. I think the history of science gives ample examples that pure investigation has enormous benefit. ... I can't tell you what this might be good for, but learning about nature is important. And lovely things turn up.

James Van Allen

For the first time in history, hits and niches are on equal economic footing, both just entries in a database called up on demand, both equally worthy of being carried. Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability.

Chris Anderson

It was the advent of the second plane, sharking in low over the Statue of Liberty: that was the defining moment. Until then, America thought she was witnessing nothing more serious than the worst aviation disaster in history; now she had a sense of the fantastic vehemence ranged against her.

Martin Amis

Both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Although increasingly interdependent, our world continues to be divided not only by economic differences, but also by religion and culture. That is not in itself a problem. Throughout history, human life has been enriched by diversity, and different communities have learnt from each other. But, if our different communities are to live together in peace we must stress also what unites us: our common humanity, and our shared belief that human dignity and rights should be protected by law.

Kofi Atta Annan

More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.

Kofi Atta Annan

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Maya Angelou

I would not hesitate to say that nine out of ten of the critics of the peace movement get the argument turned upside down. "You cannot change human nature" has become a sort of incantation with those critics. Perhaps you cannot "change human nature" I don't indeed know what the phrase means. But you can certainly change human behavior, which is what matters, as the whole panorama of history shows.

Sir Norman Angell

For every struggle that Joe survived, For every dispute he endured, to rise, Joe will go down in history as a model for champions to come. While Frazier was a man of few words, Ali was a world of mouth, but he found his place in history. Now his heart can express him well. Joe Frazier was a silent warrior, whom Ali silently admired. One could not rise without the other.

Muhammad Ali

Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.

John David Ashcroft
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