Top 100

Top 150 James A. Michener Quotes (2024 Update)

James A. Michener Quote: “Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”
James A. Michener Quote: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”
James A. Michener Quote: “We are never prepared for what we expect.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
James A. Michener Quote: “A nation becomes what its young people read in their youth. Its ideals are fashioned then, its goals strongly determined.”
James A. Michener Quote: “An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.”
James A. Michener Quote: “If your book doesn’t keep you up nights when you are writing it, it won’t keep anyone up nights reading it.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I do believe that everyone growing up faces differential opportunities. With me, it was books and travel and some good teachers.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Never forget, son, when you represent Texas, always go first class.”
James A. Michener Quote: “If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The really great writers are people like Emily Bronte who sit in a room and write out of their limited experience and unlimited imagination.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The dead are dead but they rely on us to fulfill their hopes.”
James A. Michener Quote: “For this is the journey that men and women make, to find themselves. If they fail in this, it doesn’t matter much else what they find.”
James A. Michener Quote: “America is a nation with many flaws, but hopes so vast that only the cowardly would refuse to acknowledge them.”
James A. Michener Quote: “There are no insoluble problems. Only time-consuming ones.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I was once asked if I’d like to meet the president of a certain country. I said, “No, but I’d love to meet some sheepherders.” The sheepherders, farmers and taxi drivers are often the most interesting people.”
James A. Michener Quote: “When I was a child in the Navy during World War II, I was perennially grateful to the armed services libraries for having on hand a good supply of those pocket books, which were so common in that period. I must have read a couple hundred of them, and they did a lot to save my sanity.”
James A. Michener Quote: “All I can do is play the game the way the cards fall.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The job of a storyteller is to tell stories, and I have concentrated on that obligation.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Rampaging horsemen can conquer; only the city can civilize.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.”
James A. Michener Quote: “No invader has ever conquered the heart of Poland, that spirit which is the inheritance of sons and daughters, the private passion of families and the ancient, unbreakable tie to all those who came before.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Other things being roughly equal, that man lives most keenly who lives in closest harmony with nature. To be wholly alive a man must know storms, he must feel the ocean as his home or the air as his habitation. He must smell the things of earth, hear the sounds of living things and taste the rich abundance of the soil and sea.”
James A. Michener Quote: “A man is never old if he can still be moved emotionally by a woman of his own age.”
James A. Michener Quote: “On 24 October 1944 Planet Earth was following its orbit about the sun as it has obediently done for nearly five billion years.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I’ve spent my life trying to be better than I was, and I am a brother to all who share the same aspiration.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The sense of belonging is one of the great gifts men get in battle.”
James A. Michener Quote: “In peace sons bury their fathers; in war fathers bury their sons.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I think the bottom line is that if you get through a childhood like mine, it’s not at all bad. Obviously, you come out a pretty tough turkey, and you have had all the inoculations you need to keep you on a level keel for the rest of your life. The sad part is, most of us don’t come out.”
James A. Michener Quote: “As a younger man I wrote for eight years without ever earning a nickel which is a long apprenticeship, but in that time I learned a lot about my trade.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I think young people ought to seek that differential experience that is going to knock them off dead center. I was a typical American school boy. I happened to get straight A’s and be pretty good in sports. But I had no great vision of what I could be. And I never had any yearning.”
James A. Michener Quote: “It heartens me to think of Verdi who composed thundering operas in his eighties; Michelangelo who did fine work in his ninetieth year, and Titian, who painted better than ever in his one hundredth.”
James A. Michener Quote: “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.”
James A. Michener Quote: “When this is over, I’m not going to be the same guy. I’m going to live as if I were a great man.”
James A. Michener Quote: “It takes courage to know when you ought to be afraid.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I had been educated with free scholarships. I went to nine different universities, always at public expense, and when you have that experience, you are almost obligated to give it back. It’s as simple as that.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Writers turn dreams into print.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Animals form an inalienable fragment of nature, and if we hasten the disappearance of even one species, we diminish our world and our place in it.”
James A. Michener Quote: “First buy a cowboy hat and boots. Then you’re on your way to being a Texan.”
James A. Michener Quote: “The South Pacific is not a paradise, in the sense that Eden wasn’t either. There are always apples and snakes. But it is a wonderful place to live. The green vales of Tahiti, the hills of Guadalcanal, the towering peaks about Wau, and the noonday brilliance of Rabaul have enchanted many white travelers who have stayed on for many years and built happy lives. Often on a cool night when the beer was plentiful and the stories alluring, we have envied the men and women of the South Pacific.”
James A. Michener Quote: “Alaska did not produce supermen, but in its formative periods it was served by men of character and determination, and it is a fortunate land which knows such public servants.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I live for the few minutes I can talk with a sensible human being, but every time I do, I feel worse than before.”
James A. Michener Quote: “A lot of nonsense is spoken about work. Some of the finest men I’ve known were the laziest. Never work because it’s expected of you. Find out how much work you must do to live and be happy. Don’t do any more.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I wondered how a man ever got an English girl into bed. What did they do with her hockey stick?”
James A. Michener Quote: “It was the silent time before dawn, along the shores of what had been one of the most beautiful lakes in southern Africa.”
James A. Michener Quote: “I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s great rewriters.”
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