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Quotations: America

Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.
J. Bartlett Brebner

For Americans war is almost all of the time a nuisance, and military skill is a luxury like Mah-Jongg. But when the issue is brought home to them, war becomes as important, for the necessary period, as business or sport. And it is hard to decide which is likely to be the more ominous for the Axis -- an American decision that this is sport, or that it is business.
D. W. Brogan

The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions. . . . Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. . . . An [immigrant] when he first arrives . . . no sooner breathes our air than he forms new schemes, and embarks in designs he never would have thought of in his own country. . . . He begins to feel the effects of a sort of resurrection; hitherto he had not lived, but simply vegetated; he now feels himself a man . . . Judge what an alteration there must arise in the mind and thoughts of this man; . . . his heart involuntarily swells and glows; this first swell inspires him with those new thoughts which constitute an American.
Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

The standardized American is largely a myth created not least by Americans themselves.
Irwin Edman

The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.
King Edward VIII

Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.
Albert Einstein

I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
Dwight D Eisenhower

America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
Sigmund Freud

When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow. In math and science, our fourth graders are among the top students in the world. By eighth grade, they're in the middle of the pack. By 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring near the bottom of all industrialized nations. . . . The percentage of a population with a college degree is important, but so are sheer numbers. In 2001, India graduated almost a million more students from college than the United States did. China graduates twice as many students with bachelor's degrees as the U.S., and they have six times as many graduates majoring in engineering. In the international competition to have the biggest and best supply of knowledge workers, America is falling behind.
Thomas L. Friedman

when I went to see Raging Bull I couldn't wait. I went to this duplex cinema ... and there was a drunk, smell of urine, someone snoring and scratches all over the film. I thought, so much for the art. It's all bullshit. You do it because it's the instant thing--a rush.
Sir Anthony Hopkins

Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it's in Hamburger Technology.
Clive James

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The Army has carried the American ... ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability.
Tom Lehrer

It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U. S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the senate.
George McGovern

You see for me, America is an idea. It is a stage for transformation. I felt when I came to Iowa City from Calcutta that suddenly I could be a new person . . . What America offers me is romanticism and hope . . . Suddenly, I found myself in a country where–theoretically, anyway–merit counts, where I could choose to discard that part of my history that I want, and invent a whole new history for myself. It's that capacity to dream and then try to pull it off, if you can.
Bharati Mukeriee

Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew's Passion' on a ukulele.
Bagdikian's Observation

The American Dream is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human achievement . . . It thrives today in an age when its core components of freedom and opportunity are open to more Americans than ever before. It holds a real, identifiable place in the American heart and mind, and it informs the aspirations of everyone from farmers to software developers, from detectives to bankers, from soldiers to social workers . . . It defines us as a people, even as we add to its meaning with each new chapter in our national experience and our individual actions.
Dan Rather

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
Ronald Reagan

America is not only big and rich, it is mysterious; and its capacity for the humorous or ironical concealment of its interests matches that of the legendary inscrutable Chinese.
David Riesman

Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose.
Andy Rooney

Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected.
George Bernard Shaw

England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
George Bernard Shaw

In America any boy may become President and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes.
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them.
Lily Tomlin

America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
Arnold Toynbee

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
Bill Vaughan

The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.
Gore Vidal

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
Gore Vidal

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde

Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America -- that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.
Thomas Wolfe

The three great American vices seem to be efficiency, punctuality, and the desire for achievement and success. They are the things that make the Americans so unhappy and so nervous.
Lin Yutang

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