Top World History Quotes

Browse top 222 famous quotes and sayings about World History by most favorite authors.

Favorite World History Quotes

1. "Sometimes I hear the world discussed as the realm of men. This is not my experience. I have watched men fall to the ground like leaves. They were swept up as memories, and burned. History owns them. These men were petrified in both senses of the word: paralyzed and turned to stone. Their refusal to express feeling killed them. Anachronistic men. Those poor, poor boys."
Author: Antonella Gambotto Burke
2. "This book is like a supreme car which can drive the world to a new horizon. N.DAS Humans declared themselves masters of their own lives,producers of cities and history,and inventor of heaven.Antonio Negri[EMPIRE]"
Author: Antonio Negri
3. "I'm thrilled, I'm grateful, I'm blessed. I played for the world's greatest professional sports team in history. Once a Dallas Cowboy, always a Dallas Cowboy."
Author: Bob Hayes
4. "We seem to live in a world where forgetting and oblivion are an industry in themselves and very, very few people are remotely interested or aware of their own recent history, much less their neighbors'. I tend to think we are what we remember, what we know. The less we remember, the less we know about ourselves, the less we are. (Interview with Three Monkeys Online, October 2008)"
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
5. "As an economic historian, I appreciate what manufacturing has contributed to the United States. It was the engine of growth that allowed us to win two world wars and provided millions of families with a ticket to the middle class. But public policy needs to go beyond sentiment and history."
Author: Christina Romer
6. "Speaking of the capitulation of Bulgaria, an event decisive to the outcome of the First World War and therefore to the end of a civilisation, Count Karolyi writes that while he was living through it he did not realise its importance, because "at that moment, 'that moment' had not yet become 'that moment'". The same is true in fiction for Fabrizio del Dongo, concerning the battle of Waterloo: while he is fighting it, it does not exist. In the pure present, the only dimension, however, in which we live, there is no history. At no single instant is there such a thing as the Fascist period or the October revolution, because in that fraction of a second there is only the mouth swallowing saliva, the movement of a hand, a glance at the window."
Author: Claudio Magris
7. "I can certainly throw out some observation about the process of creating which may be of use. Firstly, it's the best & the worst of worlds, because the only fuel you have to make the fire blaze on the page / screen is the stuff of your own being. An artist consumes his or herself in the act of making art. I can feel that consumption even now, sitting here at my desk at the end of a working day. In order to generate the ideas that I have set on the page for the last 10 or 11 hours I have burned the fuel of my own history. This is, obviously a double-edged sword. In order to give, the artist must take from himself. That's the deal. And it's very important to me that the work I do is the best I can make it, because I know what is being burned up to create. As the villain of Sacrament says: "living & dying, we feed the fire."
Author: Clive Barker
8. "I dreamed of setting it up out here in front of where I am sitting now, on the tripod that I would have ordered too, and starting, taking my time, to focus on a curling line of water, a piece of the world indifferent to the fact that there is language, that there are names to describe things, and grammar and verbs. My eye, solitary, filled with its own history, is desperate to evade, erase, forget; it is watching now, watching fiercely, like a scientist looking for a cure, deciding for some days to forget about words, to know at last that the words for colours, the blue-grey-green of the sea, the whiteness of the waves, will not work against thefullness of watching the rich chaos they yield and carry."
Author: Colm Tóibín
9. "To a young man, even a student of the most fabulous and powerful school on the Civilized Worlds, the times during which he comes to maturity always seem normal no matter how extraordinary, how turbulent with change they really are. Imminent change and danger act as drugs upon the human brain, or rather, as rich foods that nourish the urge toward more life. And how easily one becomes used to such nourishment. Those who survive the signal events of history – the wars, plagues, alien contacts, vastenings, speciations and religious awakenings – develop a taste for ferment and evolution next to which all the moments of 'normal' existence will seem dull, flat, meaningless. (Indeed, viewed from a godly coign of vantage across more than two million years, nothing about humankind's astonishing journey from the grassy veldts of Afarique to the galaxy's cold, numinous stars can be seen as normal.)"
Author: David Zindell
10. "Germany's crime is the greatest crime the world has ever known, because it is not on the scale of History: it is on the scale of Evolution."
Author: Diane Ackerman
11. "Since ancient times, sacred texts from around the world foretold about a time period in human history when a mighty demi-god would appear on earth. Whether we call this figure Perseus, Krishna, or Messiah, he is epitomized in the figure of Jesus Christ—the modern equivalent of which is Superman!"
Author: Eli Of Kittim
12. "You're mine now, Harry thought at the walls of Diagon Alley, and all the shops and items, and all the shopkeepers and customers; and all the lands and people of wizarding Britain, and all the wider wizarding world; and the entire greater universe of which Muggle scientists understood so much less than they believed. I, Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, do now claim this territory in the name of Science.Lightning and thunder completely failed to flash and boom in the cloudless skies."What are you smiling about?" inquired Professor McGonagall, warily and wearily."I'm wondering if there's a spell to make lightning flash in the background whenever I make an ominous resolution," explained Harry. He was carefully memorising the exact words of his ominous resolution so that future history books would get it right."
Author: Eliezer Yudkowsky
13. "As is well known, the priests are the most evil enemies—but why? Because they are the most impotent. It is because of their impotence that in them hatred grows to monstrous and uncanny proportions, to the most spiritual and poisonous kind of hatred. The truly great haters in world history have always been priests; likewise the most ingenious haters: other kinds of spirit hardly come into consideration when compared with the spirit of priestly vengefulness."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
14. "After two world wars, the collapse of fascism, nazism, communism and colonialism and the end of the cold war, humanity has entered a new phase of its history."
Author: Hans Kung
15. "Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding," Joseph exclaimed. "If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?"The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: "There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun."
Author: Hermann Hesse
16. "The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority. It is a country so powerful, so big, so pleasing to so many of its citizens that it can afford to give freedom of dissent to the small number who are not pleased. There is no system of control with more openings, apertures, leeways, flexibilities, rewards for the chosen, winning tickets in lotteries. There is none that disperses its controls more complexly through the voting system, the work situation, the church, the family, the school, the mass media--none more successful in mollifying opposition with reforms, isolating people from one another, creating patriotic loyalty."
Author: Howard Zinn
17. "Greatness has its beauties, but only in retrospect and in the imagination": thus wrote General Bonaparte to General Moreau in 1800. His observation helps to explain why the world, only a few years after sighing with relief at its delivery from the ogre, began to worship him as the greatest man of modern times. Napoleon had barely left the scene when the fifteen years that he had carved out of world history to create his glory seemed scarcely believable. Only the scars of the war veterans and the empty places in the widows' beds seemed to attest to the reality of those years, and time soon eliminated even these silent witnesses. What remained, in retrospect and in the imagination, was legend and symbol."
Author: J. Christopher Herold
18. "In a world of tribulation--and there will always be plenty of it--let's remember our faith. Let's recall the other promises and prophecies that have been given, all the reassuring ones, and let's live life more fully, with more boldness and courage than at any other time in our history."
Author: Jeffrey R. Holland
19. "There is not such a pleasant history for you to read in all the world as the history of your own lives, if you would sit down and record from the beginning hitherto what God has been to you, and done for you; what evidences and outbreakings of his mercy, faithfulness, and love there have been in all the conditions you have passed through."
Author: John Flavel
20. "Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are."
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
21. "Tennyson said that if we could understand a single flower we would know who we are and what the world is. Perhaps he meant that there is no deed, however so humble, which does not implicate universal history and the infinite concatenation of causes and effects. Perhaps he meant that the visible world is implicit, in its entirety, in each manifestation, just as, in the same way, will, according to Schopenhauer, is implicit, in its entirety, in each individual."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
22. "The time is coming when the pressure of population on the means of subsistence will be felt here as it is now felt in Europe and Asia. Then will the world enter upon a new stage of its history - the final competition of races, for which the Anglo-Saxon is being schooled."
Author: Josiah Strong
23. "It was like being born in Germany after World War II, being from Japan after Pearl Harbor, or America after Hiroshima. History was a bitch sometimes. You couldn't change where you were from. But still, you didn't have to stay there."
Author: Kami Garcia
24. "We see the world in terms of history, not money. That's the main difference between us and the rest of the world - we appreciate man's foibles, passions, and beliefs, while the rest of the world appreciates their coins."
Author: Karen Hawkins
25. "The world has held great Heroes,As history-books have showed;But never a name to go down to fameCompared with that of ToadThe clever men at OxfordKnow all that there is to be knowed.But they none of them knew one half as muchAs intelligent Mr Toad!The animals sat in the Ark and cried,Their tears in torrents flowed.Who was it said, "There's land ahead?"Encouraging Mr Toad!The Army all salutedAs they marched along the road.Was it the King? Or Kitchener?No. It was Mr Toad!The Queen and her Ladies-in-waitingSat at the window and sewed.She cried, "Look! who's that handsome man?"They answered, "Mr Toad."
Author: Kenneth Grahame
26. "By creating a society in which all people, of all colors, were granted freedom and citizenship, the Haitian Revolution forever transformed the world. It was a central part of the destruction of slavery in the Americas, and therefore a crucial moment in the history of democracy, one that laid the foundation for the continuing struggles for human rights everywhere. In this sense we are all descendents of the Haitain Revolution, and responsible to these ancestors."
Author: Laurent Dubois
27. "Let's all do it," said Mr. Watts. "Close your eyes and silently recite your name."The sound of my name took me to a place deep inside my head. I already knew that words could take you into a new world, but I didn't know that on the strength of one word spoken for my ears only I would find myself in a room that no one else knew about. "Another thing," Mr. Watts said. "No one in the history of your short lives has used the same voice as you with which to say your name. This is yours. Your special gift that no one can ever take from you."
Author: Lloyd Jones
28. "Welcome to Barrayar, son. Here you go: have a world of wealth and poverty, wrenching change and rooted history. Have a birth; have two. Have a name. Miles means "soldier," but don't let the power of suggestion overwhelm you. Have a twisted form in a society that loathes and fears the mutations that have been its deepest agony. Have a title, wealth, power, and all the hatred and envy they will draw. Have your body ripped apart and re-arranged. Inherit an array of friends and enemies you never made. Have a grandfather from hell. Endure pain, find joy, and make your own meaning, because the universe certainly isn't going to supply it. Always be a moving target. Live. Live. Live."
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
29. "But we must come to realise that every word is perfect, including those we scratch out. As my pen moves across this page the whole world writes. All of human history combines at this mere moment now to produce in the flow of this hand a single dot: Who are you and I, dear friends, to contradict the whole past of the universe? Let us then in our wisdom say yes to the flow of the pen."
Author: Luke Rhinehart
30. "To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all."
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
31. "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
32. "It turns out that justices are also God's children; and being of this world, their makeup consists of actual flesh and blood. They are no more noble or virtuous than the rest of us, and in some cases less so, as they suffer from the usual human imperfections and frailties. And the Court's history proves it."
Author: Mark R. Levin
33. "Satan laughed his unkind laugh to a finish; then he said: "It is a remarkable progress. In five or six thousand years five or six high civilizations have risen, flourished, commanded the wonder of the world, then faded out and disappeared; and not one of them except the latest ever invented any sweeping and adequate way to kill people. They all did their best--to kill being the chiefest ambition of the human race and the earliest incident in its history--but only the Christian civilization has scored a triumph to be proud of. Two or three centuries from now it will be recognized that all the competent killers are Christians; then the pagan world will go to school to the Christian--not to acquire his religion, but his guns. The Turk and the Chinaman will buy those to kill missionaries and converts with."
Author: Mark Twain
34. "It is my fault, and the fault of everyone of my generation. I wonder what the future generations will say about us. My grandparents suffered through the Depression, World War II, then came home to build the greatest middle class in human history. Lord knows they weren't perfect, but they sure came closest to the American dream. Then my parents' generation came along and f***ed it all up - the baby boomers, the "me" generation. And then you got us. Yeah, we stopped the Zombie menace, but we're the ones who let it become a menace in the first place. At least we're cleaning up our own mess, and maybe that's the best epitaph to hope for. 'Generation Z, they cleaned up their own mess."
Author: Max Brooks
35. "The actions of a single person can change the course of the world and create history."
Author: Michael Scott
36. "Active people don't change the world profoundly; ideas do. Napoleon is less important in world history than Jean-Jacques Rousseau."
Author: Michel Houellebecq
37. "When Don Quixote went out into the world, that world turned into a mystery before his eyes. That is the legacy of the first European novel to the entire subsequent history of the novel. The novel teaches us to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude."
Author: Milan Kundera
38. "... "England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions."~ nothing about its people and their steel will or courage, nothing about their history and legacy we share, nothing about the timbre of their values and virtues, just ".."
Author: Mitt Romney
39. "Almost all genius up to now was one-sided—the result of a sickly constitution. One type had too much sense of the external, the other too much inner sense. Seldom could nature achieve a balance between the two—a complete constitution of genius. Often a perfect proportion arose by chance, but this could never endure because it was not comprehended and fixed by the spirit—they remained fortunate moments. The first genius that penetrated itself found here the exemplary germ of an immeasurable world. It made a discovery which must have been the most remarkable in the history of the world—for with it there begins a whole new epoch for humanity—and true history of all kinds becomes possible for the first time at this stage—for the way that had been traversed hitherto now makes up a proper whole that can be entirely elucidated. That point outside the world is given, and now Archimedes can fulfill his promise."
Author: Novalis
40. "Historians concluded that in the twentieth century about sixty genocides had occurred in the world, but not all of them entered historical memory. Historians said that historical memory was not part of history and memory was shifted from the historical to the psychological sphere, and this instituted a new mode of memory whereby it was no longer a question of memory of events but memory of memory."
Author: Patrik Ouředník
41. "[T]he more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into a dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side."
Author: Paulo Freire
42. "If only Myrtle would pay attention to the Boy's Own Journal, Blackwood's Magazine, etc., she would know that these creatures were Threls, who come from a worldlet called Threlfall on the far side of the asteroid belt. This Threlfall is a cheerless, chilly spot, and the whole history and religion of the Threls has been concerened with their quest to knit a nice woolly coverlet for it."
Author: Philip Reeve
43. "Is that "great cloud of witnesses" watching my way so as to judge or is it informing my way so that I may walk it? Do they hide the light so that I cannot see it or do they filter it so that its blaze will not blind me? Can a man see God face to face and live? Can I not see an eclipse better through a pinhole in a paper than without it?We can't so much see light as we can see things because of it. So I do not meet God in a vacuum -- I meet Him in the world He has provided for me to meet Him in -- in a world of events and of places, of history (time and space), in a world of lives of people and their records of their encounters. I meet God in this world -- in the world of these things......and this is the world as best as I can remember it."
Author: Rich Mullins
44. "The deepwood is vanished in these islands -- much, indeed, had vanished before history began -- but we are still haunted by the idea of it. The deepwood flourishes in our architecture, art and above all in our literature. Unnumbered quests and voyages have taken place through and over the deepwood, and fairy tales and dream-plays have been staged in its glades and copses. Woods have been a place of inbetweenness, somewhere one might slip from one world to another, or one time to a former: in Kipling's story 'Puck of Pook's Hill,' it is by right of 'Oak and Ash and Thorn' that the children are granted their ability to voyage back into English history."
Author: Robert Macfarlane
45. "What genuine painters do is to reveal the underlying psychological and spiritual conditions of their relationship to their world; thus in the works of a great painter we have a reflection of the emotional and spiritual condition of human beings in that period of history. If you wish to understand the psychological and spiritual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols. This is not because artists are didactic or set out to teach or to make propaganda; to the extend that they do, their power of expression is broken; their direct relations to the inarticulate, or, if you will, 'unconscious' levels of the culture is destroyed. They have the power to reveal the underlying meaning of any period precisely because the essence of art is the powerful and alive encounter between the artist and his or her world." (pg 52)"
Author: Rollo May
46. "I meant it," he says."You meant what?""What I said in your apartment.""You did?"He nods.We drop our cloths on the ground and hug each other. The path and the mountains and the entire world seem to slip away beneath us until only he and I remain. Then the sun rises over the peaks and warms my naked back. Of all the birthday gifts ever given in the history of the world, I can't imagine one better than an embrace like this from your best friend."
Author: Ryan Winfield
47. "Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream. For I am by no means confining you to fiction. If you would please me - and there are thousands like me - you would write books of travel and adventure, and research and scholarship, and history and biography, and criticism and philosophy and science. By so doing you will certainly profit the art of fiction. For books have a way of influencing each other. Fiction will be much the better for standing cheek by jowl with poetry and philosophy."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "She would not say of any one in the world that they were this or were that. She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to the sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary. How she had got through life on the few twigs of knowledge Fraulein Daniels gave them she could not think. She knew nothing; no language, no history; she scarcely read a book now, except memoirs in bed; and yet to her it was absolutely absorbing; all this; the cabs passing; and she would not say of Peter, she would not say of herself, I am this, I am that."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro... two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self."
Author: W.E.B. Du Bois
50. "What matters for the dialectician is having the wind of world history in his sails. Thinking for him means: to set the sails. It is the way they are set that matters. Words are his sails. The way they are set turns them into concepts."
Author: Walter Benjamin

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A friend suggested that I get a job at a children's book store so I could meet kids and read books, and that turned out to be the single best bit of advice I've ever gotten."
Author: Brian Selznick

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