All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.
A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.
Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord's Prayer the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.
Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is swelling or growing.
If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.
If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.
If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.
I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.
I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow.
It is not men that interest or disturb me primarily; it is ideas. Ideas live; men die.
I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance.
No man can sit down and withhold his hands from the warfare against wrong and get peace from his acquiescence.
No student knows his subject: the most he knows is where and how to find out the things he does not know.
One of our American wits said that it took only half as long to train an American army as any other because you only had to train them to go one way.
The Americans who went to Europe to die are a unique breed. Never before have men crossed the seas to a foreign land to fight for a cause which they did not pretend was peculiarly their own, which they knew was the cause of humanity and mankind. These Americans gave the greatest of all gifts, the gift of life and the gift of spirit.
The literary gift is a very dangerous gift to possess if you are not telling the truth, and I would a great deal rather, for my part, have a man stumble in his speech than to feel he was so exceedingly smooth that he had better be watched both day and night.
The State exists for the sake of society, not Society for the sake of the State.
The way to stop financial joy-riding is to arrest the chauffeur, not the automobile.
The wisest thing to do with a fool is to encourage him to hire a hall and discourse to his fellow citizens. Nothing chills nonsense like exposure to air.