Quotes by Henry Brooks Adams

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Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 March 27, 1918) was an American historian, journalist and novelist. more

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One friend in a lifetime is much, two are many, three are hardly possible. Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim.

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
They know enough who know how to learn.
A friend in power is a friend lost.
The woman who is known only through a man is known wrong.
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Politics, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.
It is impossible to underrate human intelligence -- beginning with one's own.
No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself.
The proper study of mankind is woman.
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
Morality is a private and costly luxury.
Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.
Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.
Power is poison. It's effect on Presidents had always been tragic.
American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.
Everyone carries his own inch rule of taste, and amuse himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.
As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms. Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.

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