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Quotations by author » Daniel J. Boorstin
American social historian and educator, 1914
Quotes: 1 - 20 of 50 Pages: 1 2 3 Next Last
A best-seller was a book which somehow sold well because it was selling well.
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A sign of celebrity is often that their name is worth more than their services.
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A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services
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A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.
Reading
America has been a land of dreams. A land where the aspirations of people from countries cluttered with rich, cumbersome, aristocratic, ideological pasts can reach for what once seemed unattainable. Here they have tried to make dreams come true. Yet now... we are threatened by a new and particularly American menace. It is not the menace of class war, of ideology, of poverty, of disease, of illiteracy, or demagoguery, or of tyranny, though these now plague most of the world. It is the menace of unreality.
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An image . . . is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.
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As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism. The beloved Echo of our ancestors, the virgin America, has been abandoned. We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making, which turn out to be images of ourselves.
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As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
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Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.
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Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.
EducationLearning
Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.
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Human models are more vivid and more persuasive than explicit moral commands.
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I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortur
Ignorance
I write to discover what I think. After all, the bars aren't open that early.
Writing
I've learned any fool can write a bad ad, but it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.
Advertising
In fast-moving, progress-conscious America, the consumer expects to be dizzied by progress. If he could completely understand advertising jargon he would be badly disappointed. The half-intelligibility which we expect, or even hope, to find in the latest product language personally reassures each of us that progress is being made: that the pace exceeds our ability to follow.
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In the twentieth century our highest praise is to call the Bible 'The World's Best Seller.' And it has come to be more and more difficult to say whether we think it is a best seller because it is great, or vice versa.
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It is only a short step from exaggerating what we can find in the world to exaggerating our power to remake the world. Expecting more novelty than there is, more greatness than there is, and more strangeness than there is, we imagine ourselves masters of a plastic universe. But a world we can shape to our will is a shapeless world.
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Knowledge is not simply another commodity. On the contrary. Knowledge is never used up. It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.
Knowledge
Not so many years ago there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travel /movement through space /provided the universal metaphor for change. One of the subtle confusions /perhaps one of the secret terrors /of modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did.
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Quotes: 1 - 20 of 50 Pages: 1 2 3 Next Last
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