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Quotes of the day: Stephen Ambrose

Published Saturday, January 10, 2015 @ 6:41 AM EST
Jan 10 2015

Stephen Edward Ambrose (January 10, 1936 – October 13, 2002) was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. He was a longtime professor of history at the University of New Orleans and the author of many best selling volumes of American popular history. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


American corporations hate to give away money.

At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful.

Friendships are different from all other relationships. Unlike acquaintanceship, friendship is based on love. Unlike lovers and married couples, it is free of jealousy. Unlike children and parents, it knows neither criticism nor resentment. Friendship has no status in law. Business partnerships are based on a contract. So is marriage. Parents are bound by the law. But friendships are freely entered into, freely given, freely exercised.

History is everything that has ever happened.

It does you no good to see the number two or number three man in the corporation- you have to get through to number one.

Nothing in the world beats universal education.

The American Constitution is the greatest governing document, and at some 7,000 words, just about the shortest.

The Enlightenment taught that observation unrecorded was knowledge lost.

The great wars of the 20th century made it into the worst century ever.

The more sophisticated we get, the more advanced our buildings and vehicles become, the more vulnerable we are.

The number one secret of being a successful writer is this: marry an English major.

The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future.

Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.

Trial by jury. Live wherever you can make a living. How could a government based on such principles fail?

We know how to win wars. We must learn now to win peace.

When Hitler declared war on the United States, he was betting that German soldiers, raised up in the Hitler Youth, would always out fight American soldiers, brought up in the Boy Scouts. He lost that bet. The Boy Scouts had been taught how to figure their way out of their own problems.

You don't hate history, you hate the way it was taught to you in high school.


(January 10 is also the birthday of John Dalberg-Acton.)

Today is also the birthday of Peter Barnes, author of the 1972 black comedy The Ruling Class. Hey, it's Saturday, it's cold, and you have nothing better to do... give it a look:

Categories: Quotes of the day, Stephen Ambrose


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