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Quotes of the day: James A. Michener

Published Monday, February 02, 2015 @ 9:45 PM EST
Feb 02 2015

James Albert Michener (February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an fictional, lengthy family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating solid history. Michener was known for the popularity of his works; he had numerous bestsellers and works selected for Book-of-the-Month club. He was also known for his meticulous research. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.

Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow.

I am a humanist because I think humanity can, with constant moral guidance, create a reasonably decent society.

I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril.

I do not believe that pure reason can solve the perpetual problems unless it is modified by poetry and art and social vision. So I am a humanist. And if you want to charge me with being the most virulent kind— a secular humanist— I accept the accusation.

I think that young people who want to understand the world can profit from the works of Plato and Socrates, the behavior of the three Thomases, Aquinas, More and Jefferson- the austere analyses of Immanuel Kant and the political leadership of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

I was brought up in the great tradition of the late nineteenth century: that a writer never complains, never explains and never disdains.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

It is difficult to be king when the gods are changing.

Look, son, if you calculate on getting me drunk and outsmarting me, quit now, because you simply can't do it.

No man leaves where he is and seeks a distant place unless he is in some respect a failure.

Russia, France, Germany and China. They revere their writers. America is still a frontier country that almost shudders at the idea of creative expression.

The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you.

Things are going to go wrong, and I think we are false to life if we don't portray it. But there is also the hope that some lucky clown is going to come along and stumble into the gold mine. And I think you are also entitled to hold out that hope.

We are never prepared for what we expect.

Youth is truth.


(February 3 is also the birthday of Gertrude Stein and Walter Bagehot.)

Categories: James A. Michener, Quotes of the day


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