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Top 280 David McCullough Quotes (2023 Update)
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David McCullough Quote: “To shut yourself from history is to shut yourself off from say music or painting or the theatre, literature for the rest of your life. It would be to cheat yourself of the pleasures of life.”
David McCullough Quote: “With the Truman book, I wrote the entire account of his experiences in World War I before going over to Europe to follow his tracks in the war. When I got there, there was a certain satisfaction in finding I had it right – it does look like that.”
David McCullough Quote: “Morality only is eternal. All the rest is balloon and bubble from the cradle to the grave.”
David McCullough Quote: “Washington was a man of exceptional, almost excessive self-command, rarely permitting himself any show of discouragement or despair.”
David McCullough Quote: “My strong feeling is that we must learn more about how we learn. I’m convinced that we learn by struggling to find the solution to a problem on our own with some guidance, but getting in and getting our hands dirty and working it.”
David McCullough Quote: “My next book is also set in the eighteenth century. Its about the Revolution, with the focus on the year 1776. Its about Washington and the army and the war. Its the nadir, the low point of the United States of America.”
David McCullough Quote: “The first of all qualities of a general is courage.”
David McCullough Quote: “To hold the reader’s attention, you have to bring the person who’s reading the book inside the experience of the time: What was it like to have been alive then? What were these people like as human beings?”
David McCullough Quote: “I think it’s important to remember that these men are not perfect. If they were marble gods, what they did wouldn’t be so admirable. The more we see the founders as humans the more we can understand them.”
David McCullough Quote: “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”
David McCullough Quote: “It was an utterly phenomenal achievement.”
David McCullough Quote: “First of all, you can make the argument that there’s no such thing as the past. Nobody lived in the past.”
David McCullough Quote: “It was a day and age that saw no reason why one could not learn whatever was required – learn vitally anything – by the close study of books.”
David McCullough Quote: “Nobody ever lived in the past.”
David McCullough Quote: “If we think back through our own lives, the subjects that you liked best in school almost certainly were taught by the teachers you liked best. And the teacher you liked best was the teacher who cared about the subject she taught.”
David McCullough Quote: “The title always comes last. What I really work hard on is the beginning. Where do you begin? In what tone do you begin? I almost have to have a scene in my mind.”
David McCullough Quote: “No harm’s done to history by making it something someone would want to read.”
David McCullough Quote: “Nothing ever invented provides such sustenance, such infinite reward for time spent, as a good book.”
David McCullough Quote: “Little children can learn anything, just as they can learn a foreign language. The mind is so absorbent then. There ought to be a real program to educate teachers who want to teach grade school children about history.”
David McCullough Quote: “I just thank my father and mother, my lucky stars, that I had the advantage of an education in the humanities.”
David McCullough Quote: “There is a human longing to go back to other times. We all know how when we were children we asked our parents, “What was it like when you were a kid?” I think it probably has something to do with our survival as a species.”
David McCullough Quote: “In fact, it was the largest expeditionary force of the 18th century. The largest, most powerful force ever set forth from Britain or any nation.”
David McCullough Quote: “There is only one person who can measure your success. That person is you.”
David McCullough Quote: “My wife, the star I steer by.”
David McCullough Quote: “Why limit yourself to the experience of your own relatively brief time on earth, according to your biological clock, when the whole realm of the human experience reaching back infinitely far is available to you?”
David McCullough Quote: “I’m absolutely positive it’s in our human nature to want to know about the past. The two most popular movies of all time, while not historically accurate, are about core historic events: Gone With the Wind and Titanic.”
David McCullough Quote: “My love is to tell a story but I like stories that evolve from character, from the nature of the individuals involved.”
David McCullough Quote: “Read somewhat in the English poets every day. You will find them elegant, entertaining and constructive companions through your whole life.”
David McCullough Quote: “People are so helpful. People will stop what they’re doing to show you something, to walk with you through a section of the town, or explain how a suspension bridge really works.”
David McCullough Quote: “Since September 11, it seems to me that never in our lifetime, except possibly in the early stages of World War II, has it been clearer that we have as a source of strength, a source of direction, a source of inspiration – our story.”
David McCullough Quote: “He had kept his head, kept his health and his strength, bearing up under a weight of work and worry that only a few could have carried.”
David McCullough Quote: “Once I discovered the endless fascination of doing the research and of doing the writing, I knew I had found what I wanted to do in my life. Every book is a new journey. I never felt I was an expert on a subject as I embarked on a project.”
David McCullough Quote: “To me history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility. To me it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is.”
David McCullough Quote: “There are people who are trying to write history for the general reader who can be quite tedious. That said, I do feel in my heart of hearts that if history isn’t well written, it isn’t going to be read, and if it isn’t read it’s going to die.”
David McCullough Quote: “I love all sides of the work but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.”
David McCullough Quote: “The talent, including the talent for history – and I do think there are people who just have a talent for it, the way you have a talent for public speaking or music or whatever – it shouldn’t be allowed to lie dormant. It should be brought alive.”
David McCullough Quote: “If you get down about the state of American culture, just remember there are still more public libraries in this country than there are McDonalds.”
David McCullough Quote: “The most interesting people are never perfect.”
David McCullough Quote: “When you start to write, things begin to come into focus in a way they don’t when you’re not writing. It’s a very good way to find out how much you don’t know because you learn specifically what you need to know that you don’t know at the moment by writing.”
David McCullough Quote: “Read. Read every chance you get. Read to keep growing. Read history. Read poetry. Read for pure enjoyment. Read a book called Life on a Little Known Planet. It’s about insects. It will make you feel better.”
David McCullough Quote: “When I’m reading for my own pleasure, I read things other than history or archival material. I read a lot of fiction. I’m very fond of mysteries.”
David McCullough Quote: “I love to go to the places where things happen. I like to walk the walk and see how the light falls and what winter feels like.”
David McCullough Quote: “I’m drawn particularly to stories that evolve out of the character of the protagonist.”
David McCullough Quote: “To this noble end the delegates had pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.”
David McCullough Quote: “The past after all is only another name for someone else’s present.”
David McCullough Quote: “Find something to do that you love because then the work itself is always the reward not the recompense. And if you love what you’re doing you probably do better at it than doing something you don’t love and therefore you’ll be compensated appropriately.”
David McCullough Quote: “I often think of that when I hear people say that they haven’t time to read.”
David McCullough Quote: “I think that a good education ought to be in part the idea that ease and joy are not synonymous. Some of the most fulfilling pleasures of life are to be found in work – found in work you love to do, work you want to do, work that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.”
David McCullough Quote: “I could not do what I do without the kindness, consideration, resourcefulness and work of librarians, particularly in public libraries. What started me writing history happened because of some curiosity that I had about some photographs I’d seen in the Library of Congress.”
David McCullough Quote: “In time I began to understand that it’s when you start writing that you really find out what you don’t know and need to know.”
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