David McCullough

(David Gaub McCullough)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… a job of infinite stress Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
America’s secular saint. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Every administration is theater because this is the nature of public life in America. Public Relations & Image
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History
History isn’t just what happened before we came on the scene. We are a part of history.. History
I have never known a great deal about any of the historical figures I have written about until I actually started researching the book. If I knew a great deal about the person, I would not have been interested in writing the book. History
In the drive to improve reading and mathematics, the schools have not just put history on the back burner. They have taken it off the stove. History
Liberty is what we Americans wanted most of all. Freedom & Liberty
Respect for education—the idea that education will buy improvement in our lives—is one of the oldest and fundamental American ideas. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Titles were symbols, just as impressive buildings were symbols, except that titles, unlike buildings, cost nothing. Miscellaneous
We are all the beneficiaries of those who have gone before us. History
We are raising students in America who are, by and large, historically illiterate. History
We should never look down on those of the past and say they should have known better. What do you think they will be saving about us in the future? They’re going to be saying we should have known better. History
What history is about is human beings. History
Writing history takes a great deal of imagination. I don’t mean making things up, but you have to be able to transport yourself to another time. History
You can tell an awful lot about a civilization by how it spends its money. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia.
Every book is a new journey. I never felt I was an expert on a subject as I embarked on a project.
First of all, you can make the argument that there's no such thing as the past. Nobody lived in the past.
Had they taken a poll in Philadelphia in 1776, [the founders] would have scrapped the whole idea of independence. A third of the country was for it, a third of the country was against it, and the remaining third, in the old human way, was waiting to see who came out on top.
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are. History
History is an antidote to the hubris of the present.
I can fairly be called an amateur because I do what I do, in the original sense of the word - for love, because I love it. On the other hand, I think that those of us who make our living writing history can also be called true professionals. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;History
I had been writing for about twelve years. I knew pretty well how you could find things out, but I had never been trained in an academic way how to go about the research.
I just thank my father and mother, my lucky stars, that I had the advantage of an education in the humanities. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I love all sides of the work but that doesn't mean it isn't hard. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I love Dickens. I love the way he sets a scene. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I work very hard on the writing, writing and rewriting and trying to weed out the lumber. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I would pay to do what I do if I had to.
I'm drawn particularly to stories that evolve out of the character of the protagonist.
I'm very aware how many distractions the reader has in life today, how many good reasons there are to put the book down. Life
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. Time
May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.
My next book is also set in the eighteenth century. It's about the Revolution, with the focus on the year 1776. It's about Washington and the army and the war. It's the nadir, the low point of the United States of America. War & Peace
My shorthand answer is that I try to write the kind of book that I would like to read. If I can make it clear and interesting and compelling to me, then I hope maybe it will be for the reader. Hope
No harm's done to history by making it something someone would want to read. History
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.
Real success is finding you lifework in the work that you love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Success ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The pull, the attraction of history, is in our human nature. What makes us tick? Why do we do what we do? How much is luck the deciding factor? Nature ;History
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. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There's an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing.
To go back and read Swift and Defoe and Samuel Johnson and Smollett and Pope - all those people we had to read in college English courses - to read them now is to have one of the infinite pleasures in life. Life
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. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
When I began, I thought that the way one should work was to do all the research and then write the book. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
When I read that the British army had landed thirty-two thousand troops - and I had realized, not very long before, that Philadelphia only had thirty thousand people in it - it practically lifted me out of my chair.
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. War & Peace
You can't be a full participant in our democracy if you don't know our history. History