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Daniel J. Boorstin Quotes

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Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

— Daniel J. Boorstin



Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.”

Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.”

As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Planning for the future without a sense of history is like planting cut flowers.”

Planning for the future without a sense of history is like planting cut flowers.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Throught human history, illusions of knowledge, not ignorance, have proven to be the principal obstacles to discovery.”

Throught human history, illusions of knowledge, not ignorance, have proven to be the principal obstacles to discovery.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR officers.”

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR officers.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media.”

The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “By reading we discover our world, our history, and ourselves.”

By reading we discover our world, our history, and ourselves.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The fog of information can drive out knowledge.”

The fog of information can drive out knowledge.

— Daniel J. Boorstin



Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Knowledge is not simply another commodity. On the contrary. Knowledge is never used up. It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.”

Knowledge is not simply another commodity. On the contrary. Knowledge is never used up. It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “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 tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.”

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 tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The most promising words ever written on the maps of human knowledge are terra incognita, unknown territory.”

The most promising words ever written on the maps of human knowledge are terra incognita, unknown territory.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Nothing is really real unless it happens on television.”

Nothing is really real unless it happens on television.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Disagreement produces debate but dissent produces dissension.”

Disagreement produces debate but dissent produces dissension.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Our discontent begins by finding false villains whom we can accuse of deceiving us. Next we find false heroes whom we expect to liberate us. The hardest, most discomfiting discovery is that each of us must emancipate himself.”

Our discontent begins by finding false villains whom we can accuse of deceiving us. Next we find false heroes whom we expect to liberate us. The hardest, most discomfiting discovery is that each of us must emancipate himself.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The Republic of Technology where we will be living is a feedback world.”

The Republic of Technology where we will be living is a feedback world.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Books are messengers of freedom. They can be hidden under a mattress or smuggled into slave nations.”

Books are messengers of freedom. They can be hidden under a mattress or smuggled into slave nations.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “While knowledge is orderly and cumulative, information is random and miscellaneous.”

While knowledge is orderly and cumulative, information is random and miscellaneous.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The traveler used to go about the world to encounter the natives. A function of travel agencies now is to prevent this encounter.”

The traveler used to go about the world to encounter the natives. A function of travel agencies now is to prevent this encounter.

— Daniel J. Boorstin



Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name.”

The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing.’”

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing.’

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “A celebrity is a person known for his well-knownness. Celebrities intensify their celebrity images simply by being well known for relations among themselves. By a kind of symbiosis, celebrities live off each other.”

A celebrity is a person known for his well-knownness. Celebrities intensify their celebrity images simply by being well known for relations among themselves. By a kind of symbiosis, celebrities live off each other.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “God is the celebrity author of the world’s best seller. We have made god into the biggest celebrity of all, to contain our own emptiness.”

God is the celebrity author of the world’s best seller. We have made god into the biggest celebrity of all, to contain our own emptiness.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The traditional novel form continues to enlarge our experience in those very areas where the wide-angle lens and the Cinema screen tend to narrow it.”

The traditional novel form continues to enlarge our experience in those very areas where the wide-angle lens and the Cinema screen tend to narrow it.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Dispersed as the Jews are, they still form one nation, foreign to the land they live in.”

Dispersed as the Jews are, they still form one nation, foreign to the land they live in.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never has a people felt more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could offer.”

Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never has a people felt more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could offer.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “There is no disinfectant like success.”

There is no disinfectant like success.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Each living art object, taken out of its native habitat so we can conveniently gaze at it, is like an animal in a zoo. Something about it has died in the removal.”

Each living art object, taken out of its native habitat so we can conveniently gaze at it, is like an animal in a zoo. Something about it has died in the removal.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Climaxing a movement for calendar reform which had been developing for at least a century, in 1582 Pope Gregory ordained that October 4 was to be followed by October 15.”

Climaxing a movement for calendar reform which had been developing for at least a century, in 1582 Pope Gregory ordained that October 4 was to be followed by October 15.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his name or trademark.”

The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his name or trademark.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “When I was living in England I found that the more I lived abroad, the more American I discovered I was.”

When I was living in England I found that the more I lived abroad, the more American I discovered I was.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “In America, communities existed before governments. There were many groups of people with a common sense of purpose and a feeling of duty to one another before there were political institutions.”

In America, communities existed before governments. There were many groups of people with a common sense of purpose and a feeling of duty to one another before there were political institutions.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “More appealing than knowledge itself is the feeling of knowledge.”

More appealing than knowledge itself is the feeling of knowledge.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The Christian test was a willingness to believe in the one Jesus Christ and His Message of salvation. What was demanded was not criticism but credulity. The Church Fathers observed that in the realm of thought only heresy had a history.”

The Christian test was a willingness to believe in the one Jesus Christ and His Message of salvation. What was demanded was not criticism but credulity. The Church Fathers observed that in the realm of thought only heresy had a history.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, ‘How dull is the world today!’ Nowadays he says, ‘What a dull newspaper!’”

There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, ‘How dull is the world today!’ Nowadays he says, ‘What a dull newspaper!’

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “The institutional scene in which American man has developed has lacked that accumulation from intervening stages which has been so dominant a feature of the European landscape.”

The institutional scene in which American man has developed has lacked that accumulation from intervening stages which has been so dominant a feature of the European landscape.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “What preoccupies us, then, is not God as a fact of nature, but as a fabrication useful for a God-fearing society. God himself becomes not a power but an image.”

What preoccupies us, then, is not God as a fact of nature, but as a fabrication useful for a God-fearing society. God himself becomes not a power but an image.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Jeffersonian isolationism expressed an essentially cosmopolitan spirit. The Jeffersonian was determined – even at the expense of separating himself from the rest of the globe, and even though he be charged with provincial selfishness – to preserve America as an uncontaminated laboratory.”

Jeffersonian isolationism expressed an essentially cosmopolitan spirit. The Jeffersonian was determined – even at the expense of separating himself from the rest of the globe, and even though he be charged with provincial selfishness – to preserve America as an uncontaminated laboratory.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Water, that wonderful, flowing medium, the luck of the planet – which would serve humankind in so many ways, and which would give our planet a special character.”

Water, that wonderful, flowing medium, the luck of the planet – which would serve humankind in so many ways, and which would give our planet a special character.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Until now when we have started to talk about the uniqueness of America we have almost always ended by comparing ourselves to Europe. Toward her we have felt all the attraction and repulsions of Oedipus.”

Until now when we have started to talk about the uniqueness of America we have almost always ended by comparing ourselves to Europe. Toward her we have felt all the attraction and repulsions of Oedipus.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.”

Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “It is very unlikely that the computer will displace the books, except in areas where we need information speedily.”

It is very unlikely that the computer will displace the books, except in areas where we need information speedily.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “We must abandon the prevalent belief in the superior wisdom of the ignorant.”

We must abandon the prevalent belief in the superior wisdom of the ignorant.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “If our knowledge is, as I believe, only an island in an infinite sea of ignorance, how can we in our short lifetime find satisfaction in exploring our little island? How can we persuade ourselves to be exhilarated by our meager knowledge and yet not be discouraged by the ocean vistas?”

If our knowledge is, as I believe, only an island in an infinite sea of ignorance, how can we in our short lifetime find satisfaction in exploring our little island? How can we persuade ourselves to be exhilarated by our meager knowledge and yet not be discouraged by the ocean vistas?

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “History had been man’s effort to accomodate himself to what he could not do. Amereican history in the 20th century would, more than ever before, test man’s ability to accomodate himself to all the new things he could do.”

History had been man’s effort to accomodate himself to what he could not do. Amereican history in the 20th century would, more than ever before, test man’s ability to accomodate himself to all the new things he could do.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “Since the Creator had made the facts of the after-life inaccessible to man, He must not have required that man understand death in order to live fruitfully.”

Since the Creator had made the facts of the after-life inaccessible to man, He must not have required that man understand death in order to live fruitfully.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “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.”

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.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “It is only a short step from exaggerating what we can find in the world to exaggerating our power to remake the world.”

It is only a short step from exaggerating what we can find in the world to exaggerating our power to remake the world.

— Daniel J. Boorstin


Daniel J. Boorstin Quote: “While the easiest way in metaphysics is to condemn all metaphysics as nonsense, the easiest way in morals is to elevate the common practice of the community into a moral absolute.”

While the easiest way in metaphysics is to condemn all metaphysics as nonsense, the easiest way in morals is to elevate the common practice of the community into a moral absolute.

— Daniel J. Boorstin

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