Top Oral History Quotes

Browse top 43 famous quotes and sayings about Oral History by most favorite authors.

Favorite Oral History Quotes

1. "To those who fought World War II, it was plain enough that Allied bombs were killing huge numbers of German civilians, that Churchill was fighting to preserve imperialism as well as democracy, and that the bulk of the dying in Europe was being done by the Red Army at the service of Stalin. It is only in retrospect that we begin to simplify experience into myth — because we need stories to live by, because we want to honor our ancestors and our country instead of doubting them. In this way, a necessary but terrible war is simplified into a "good war," and we start to feel shy or guilty at any reminder of the moral compromises and outright betrayals that are inseparable from every combat. The best history writing reverses this process, restoring complexity to our sense of the past."
Author: Adam Kirsch
2. "A poem may be an instance of morality, of social conditions, of psychological history; it may instance all its qualities, but never one of them alone, nor any two or three; never less than all."
Author: Allen Tate
3. "A short story is not a portrayal of life. When life becomes disconsolate and the fear for the unknown seeps through the holes on the walls that we thought could protect us, telling a story could greatly help. The tradition of storytelling was oral, once. It's history. The wisdom in this history was the possibility to abide. Stories were medicines to drive away the ghosts of loneliness, boredom and ignorance."
Author: Anu Lal
4. "The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to "protect the family name"(as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)-the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at carnegie hall (as if the achievement of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)-the parents who search geneological trees in order to evaluate their prospective son-in-law.-the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history -All these are samples of racism."
Author: Ayn Rand
5. "I don't read biographies for moral instruction, or for a history lesson. I want to know what people are saying about me."
Author: Bauvard
6. "The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or…ideologies…all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they posses."
Author: C.S. Lewis
7. "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
Author: Carl Sagan
8. "I have the better right to indulgence herein, because my devotion to letters strengthens my oratorical powers, and these, such as they are, have never failed my friends in their hour of peril. Yet insignificant though these powers may seem to be, I fully realize from what source I draw all that is highest in them. Had I not persuaded myself from my youth up, thanks to the moral lessons derived from a wide reading, that nothing is to be greatly sought after in this life save glory and honour, and that in their quest all bodily pains and all dangers of death or exile should be lightly accounted, I should never have borne for the safety of you all the burnt of many a bitter encounter, or bared my breast to the daily onsets of abandoned persons. All literature, all philosophy, all history, abounds with incentives to noble action, incentives which would be buried in black darkness were the light of the written word not flashed upon them."
Author: Cicero
9. "If an epileptic seizure is focused in a particular sweet spot in the temporal lobe, a person won´t have motor seizures, but instead something more subtle. The effect is something like a cognitive seizure, marked by changes of personality, hyperreligiosity (an obsession with religion and feelings of religious certainity), hypergraphia (extensive writing on a subject, usually about religion), the false sense of an external presence, and, often, the hearing voices that are attributed to a god. Some fraction of history´s prophets, martyrs, and leaders appear to have had temporal lobe epilepsy.When the brain activity is kindled in the right spot, people hear voices. If a physician prescribes an anti-epileptic medication, the seizures go away and the voices disappear. Our reality depends on what our biology is up to."
Author: David Eagleman
10. "The loss of that oral tradition and the breakdown of communication between generations had set my family adrift, floating aimlessly without history and all its accumulated experience to guide us. We need context, we need myths, we need family legends in order to see the invisible legacy that follows us, that tells us who we are."
Author: Diane Wilson
11. "Always, in Lincoln's mature theology, there is paradox. There is starting this, yet there is also tenderness; there is melancholy, yet there is also humor: there is moral law, yet there is also compassion. History is the scene of the working out God's justice, which we can never escape, but it is also the scene of the revelation of the everlasting mercy."
Author: Elton Trueblood
12. "Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously gave us the ‘God is dead' phrase was interested in the sources of morality. He warned that the emergence of something (whether an organ, a legal institution, or a religious ritual) is never to be confused with its acquired purpose: ‘Anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose.' This is a liberating thought, which teaches us to never hold the history of something against its possible applications. Even if computers started out as calculators, that doesn't prevent us from playing games on them. (47) (quoting Nietzsche, the Genealogy of Morals)"
Author: Frans De Waal
13. "Today we read of Don Quixote with a bitter taste in the mouth, it isalmost an ordeal, which would make us seem very strange and incomprehensibleto the author and his contemporaries, – they read it with a clearconscience as the funniest of books, it made them nearly laugh themselvesto death).To see suffering does you good, to make suffer, better still – thatOn the Genealogy of Morality4248 See below, Supplementary material, pp. 153–4.49 See below, Supplementary material, pp. 137–9, pp. 140–1, pp. 143–4.50 Don Quixote, Book II, chs 31–7.is a hard proposition, but an ancient, powerful, human-all-too-humanproposition to which, by the way, even the apes might subscribe: as peoplesay, in thinking up bizarre cruelties they anticipate and, as it were, act outa ‘demonstration' of what man will do. No cruelty, no feast: that is whatthe oldest and longest period in human history teaches us – and punishment,too, has such very strong festive aspects! –"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
14. "Spontaneous order is self-contradictory. Spontaneity connotes the ebullition of surprises. It is highly entropic and disorderly. It is entrepreneurial and complex. Order connotes predictability and equilibrium. It is what is not spontaneous. It includes moral codes, constitutional restraints, personal disciplines, educational integrity, predictable laws, reliable courts, stable money, trustworthy finance, strong families, dependable defense, and police powers. Order requires political guidance, sovereignty, and leadership. It normally entails religious beliefs. The entire saga of the history of the West conveys the courage and sacrifice necessary to enforce and defend these values against their enemies."
Author: George Gilder
15. "The same president who has insisted that core moralism drives him has brought America to its lowest moral standing in history."
Author: Glenn Greenwald
16. "The moral aspect was merely a concomitant, a coverall for some deeper, almost forgotten purpose. That histoire should be story, lie and history all in one, was of a significance not to be despised. And that a story, given out as the invention of a creative artist, should be regarded as the most effective material for getting at the truth about its author, was also significant. Lies can only be imbedded in truth. They have no separate existence; they have a symbiotic relationship with truth. A good lie reveals more than the truth can ever reveal. To the one, that is, who seeks truth. To such a person there could never be cause for anger or recrimination when confronted with the lie. Not even pain, because all would be patent, naked and revelatory."
Author: Henry Miller
17. "I did this within a philosophical framework, and a moral and legal framework. And I have been turned into a cartoon of the greatest villain in the history of lobbying."
Author: Jack Abramoff
18. "There is an intimate connection between our moral life and our intellectual life. Sometimes I think the history of our times can be described as an argument about whether or not this connection is true."
Author: James V. Schall
19. "A mechanical toothbrush is the greatest oral device in the history of the sex toy industry."
Author: Jarod Kintz
20. "If you spend any amount of time doing media analysis, it's clear that the most frenzied moral panic surrounding young women's sexuality comes from the mainstream media, which loves to report about how promiscuous girls are, whether they're acting up on spring break, getting caught topless on camera, or catching all kinds of STIs. Unsurprisingly, these types of articles and stories generally fail to mention that women are attending college at the highest rates in history, and that we're the majority of undergraduate and master's students. Well-educated and socially engaged women just don't make for good headlines, it seems."
Author: Jessica Valenti
21. "How much evil throughout history could have been avoided had people exercised their moral acuity with convictional courage and said to the powers that be, 'No, I will not. This is wrong, and I don't care if you fire me, shoot me, pass me over for promotion, or call my mother, I will not participate in this unsavory activity.' Wouldn't world history be rewritten if just a few people had actually acted like individual free agents rather than mindless lemmings?"
Author: Joel Salatin
22. "You may trust to the truth of my sympathy; but you must remember that I am engaged in the investigation of enormous religious and moral questions, in the history of nations; and that your feelings, or my own, or anybody else's, at any particular moment, are of very little interest to me,--not from want of sympathy, but from the small proportion the individuality bears to the whole subject of my enquiry."
Author: John Ruskin
23. "Rosa Parks was a woman of strength, conviction, and morality. Her action on December 1, 1955, to defy the law made her a leading figure in our nation's civil rights history."
Author: John Shimkus
24. "We arrived and we thought, 'This is our time. This is our generation. We have a responsibility.' " @garyjkemp of Spandau Ballet in "Mad World: An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s"
Author: Lori Majewski
25. "In a secular world, which is what most of us in Europe and North America live in, history takes on the role of showing us good and evil, virtues and vices. Religion no longer plays as important a part as it once did in setting moral standards and transmitting values. . . .History with a capital H is being called in to fill the void. It restores a sense not necessarily of a divine being but of something above and beyond human beings. It is our authority: it can vindicate us and judge us, and damn those who oppose us."
Author: Margaret MacMillan
26. "Mention the name George W. Bush in mixed company, and you're likely to spark a lot of debate and emotion - hot and cold, good and bad. Not a lot of neutral reaction. He was elected in the most controversial contest in American electoral history and governed during one of the most tumultuous decades."
Author: Mark McKinnon
27. "..people do need some commandment to rule over them in our century, when god's ten have been virtually forgotten! the whole moral structure of our time rests on the eleventh commandment; and the journalist came to realize that thanks to a mysterious provision of history he is to become its administrator, gaining a power undreamed of by a hemingway or an orwell."
Author: Milan Kundera
28. "We have undoubtedly achieved Pakistan, and that too without bloody war and practically peacefully, by moral and intellectual force, and with the power of the pen, which is no less mighty than that of the sword and so our righteous cause has triumphed. Are we now going to besmear and tarnish this greatest achievement for which there is no parallel in the history of the world? Pakistan is now a fait accompli and it can never be undone, besides, it was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation..."
Author: Muhammad Ali Jinnah
29. "Unix is not so much a product as it is a painstakingly compiled oral history of the hacker subculture. It is our Gilgamesh epic: a living body of narrative that many people know by heart, and tell over and over again—making their own personal embellishments whenever it strikes their fancy. The bad embellishments are shouted down, the good ones picked up by others, polished, improved, and, over time, incorporated into the story. […] Thus Unix has slowly accreted around a simple kernel and acquired a kind of complexity and asymmetry about it that is organic, like the roots of a tree, or the branchings of a coronary artery. Understanding it is more like anatomy than physics."
Author: Neal Stephenson
30. "Oral history is a recipe for complete misrepresentation because almost no one tells the truth, even when they intend to."
Author: Niall Ferguson
31. "Even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charms of others. Modern, no less then Ancient History, supplies us with many most painful examples of what I refer to. If it were not so, indeed, History would be quite unreadable."
Author: Oscar Wilde
32. "I narrowed my eyes at him. "Stuff that. I'll write a doctoral thesis. Then I can go do what most of the other people with doctoral degrees in anthropology do." "What's that?" asked Calvin."You don't need to encourage her," said Adam seriously, but his eyes laughed at me."The same thing that people with degrees in history do," I said. "Fix cars or serve frnech fries and bad hamburgers."
Author: Patricia Briggs
33. "The stakes in this game are not low. Our enterprise is no less than the introduction of an alternative language, and with the language an altered perspective, for a group of phenomena that tradition tended to refer to with such words as 'spirituality', 'piety', 'morality', 'ethics' and 'asceticism'. If the manoeuvre succeeds, the conventional concept of religion, that ill-fated bugbear from the prop studios of modern Europe, will emerge from these investigations as the great loser. Certainly intellectual history has always resembled a refuge for malformed concepts - and after the following journey through the various stations, one will not only see through the concept of 'religion' in its failed design, a concept whose crookedness is second only to the hyper-bugbear that is 'culture'."
Author: Peter Sloterdijk
34. "From Mad World: An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s: Michael [Hutchence] is hands down one of the greatest frontmen in music. The style, the voice—all of it. Any way that I was ever influenced by him really comes down to small, pale imitations compared to the real thing. There is a fearlessness about him. Watching him at Wembley Stadium with 70,000 people, he looks as comfortable as if he were in his own living room."
Author: Rob Thomas Matchbox Twenty From Mad World
35. "Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral reasons, authority and responsibility must be equal - else a balancing takes place as surely as current flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy. The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority... other than through the tragic logic of history... No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority. If he voted the impossible, the disastrous possible happened instead - and responsibility was then forced on him willy-nilly and destroyed both him and his foundationless temple."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
36. "As persons, so Mournier maintained, we possess both a spiritual and temporal dimension; we exist in history, in relationship with others, but open to transcendence and ultimately to God. This concept of the person, he believed, was denied as much by an atheistic totalitarianism of the Left as by the bourgeois materialism of capitalist society. To the extent that Christianity had become infected by the bourgeois spirit, it had become a prop in what he called, 'the established disorder."
Author: Robert Ellsberg
37. "The death of Robert G. Ingersoll, on July 21, 1899, was one of the most widely -- noted events of that year in the civilized world. It was also one of the most widely and profoundly regretted, -- the most deeply deplored. Everywhere, the wisest knew (and the noblest felt) that the cause of humanity had met its greatest loss. To many thousands who realized the intellectual amplitude, the moral heroism and grandeur, the boundless generosity and sympathy, the tenderness and affection, of this incomparable man, his passing was as an intimate and bitter bereavement.Ingersoll was doubtless known, personally and otherwise, to more people than any other American who had not sat in the presidential chair; and, notwithstanding either the number or the wishes of his critics, his death probably brought genuine grief to more hearts than has that of any other individual in our history. Twice before, 'a Nation bowed and wept'; this time, a people."
Author: Robert G. Ingersoll
38. "Like some homeopathic cure, our very sense of imprisonment can be a step toward liberation. We need not rebel against our temporally determined roles. Merely to recognize them is to limit their power over us. The liberation implied by such awareness is threefold. To understand one's own temporal determinism is to establish, above and beyond what one says and does, an analytic posture toward the present as history; it is to achieve, amid the earnest vanities of contemporary society, an easing humility; it is to mark off, as territory precious and imperiled, the moments and pursuits that are left to our choice."
Author: Robert Grudin
39. "I think we fool ourselves and really negate a great deal of history if we think that the oral history of poetry is shorter than the written history of poetry. It's not true. Poetry has a longer oral tradition than it does written."
Author: Saul Williams
40. "From the Renaissance until today, Christianity, and also to some extent Judaism, in the West have had to carry out a constant battle against ideologies, philosophies, institutions and practices which are secular in nature and which challenge the authority of religion and in fact its very validity and legitimacy. These challenges to religion have varied from political ideas which are based on secularism to the denial of the religious foundation of morality and the philosophical denial of the reality of God and of the after life or of revelation and sacred scripture. The history of the West has been marked during the last few centuries by a constant battle between the forces of religion and secularism and in fact the gaining of the upper hand by secularism and consequently the denial of the reality of religion and its pertinence to various domains of life."
Author: Seyyed Hossein Nasr
41. "There are matters in that book, said to be done by the express command of God, that are as shocking to humanity, and to every idea we have of moral justice, as any thing done by Robespierre, by Carrier, by Joseph le Bon, in France, by the English government in the East Indies, or by any other assassin in modern times. When we read in the books ascribed to Moses, Joshua, etc., that they (the Israelites) came by stealth upon whole nations of people, who, as the history itself shews, had given them no offence; that they put all those nations to the sword; that they spared neither age nor infancy; that they utterly destroyed men, women and children; that they left not a soul to breathe; expressions that are repeated over and over again in those books, and that too with exulting ferocity; are we sure these things are facts? are we sure that the Creator of man commissioned those things to be done? Are we sure that the books that tell us so were written by his authority?"
Author: Thomas Paine
42. "It is less appealing, but morally more urgent, to understand the actions of the perpetrators. The moral danger, after all, is never that one might become a victim but that one might be a perpetrator or a bystander. It is tempting to say that a Nazi murderer is beyond the pale of understanding. ...Yet to deny a human being his human character is to render ethics impossible.To yield to this temptation, to find other people inhuman, is to take a step toward, not away from, the Nazi position. To find other people incomprehensible is to abandon the search for understanding, and thus to abandon history."
Author: Timothy Snyder
43. "His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad"
Author: William Montgomery Watt

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É impossível não ser felicíssimo quem em tudo depende apenas de si e em si mesmo tudo apóia."
Author: Cicero

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