Max Lerner
Quotations


Having a thirteen-year-old in the family is like having a general-admission ticket to the movies, radio and TV. You get to understand that the glittering new arts of our civilization are directed to the teen-agers, and by their suffrage they stand or fall.

The real sadness of fifty is not that you change so much but that you change so little.

The crime of book purging is that it involves a rejection of the word. For the word is never absolute truth, but only manís frail and human effort to approach the truth. To reject the word is to reject the human search.

In our rich consumersí civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions.

There is a hate layer of opinion and emotion in America. There will be other McCarthys to come who will be hailed as its heroes.

Next to the striking of fire and the discovery of the wheel, the greatest triumph of what we call civilization was the domestication of the human male.

I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.

A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride.

There are some who become spies for money, or out of vanity and megalomania, or out of ambition, or out of a desire for thrills. But the malady of our time is of those who become spies out of idealism.

We all run on two clocks. One is the outside clock, which ticks away our decades and brings us ceaselessly to the dry season. The other is the inside clock, where you are your own timekeeper and determine your own chronology, your own internal weather and your own rate of living. Sometimes the inner clock runs itself out long before the outer one, and you see a dead man going through the motions of living.

The tourist who moves about to see and hear and open himself to all the influences of the places which condense centuries of human greatness is only a man in search of excellence.



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