There is no shortcut to life. To the end of our days, life is a lesson imperfectly learned.Harrison Salisbury
- On a very rough-and-ready basis we might define an eccentric as a man who is a law unto himself, and a crank as one who, having determined what the law is, insists on laying it down to others. An eccentric puts ice cream on steak simply because he likes it; should a crank do so, he would endow the act with moral grandeur and straightaway denounce as sinners (or reactionaries) all who failed to follow suit […] Cranks, at their most familiar, are a sort of peevish prophets, and it's not enough that they should be in the right; others must also be in the wrong.
- "The One and the Many", Company Manners: A Cultural Inquiry into American Life (1955)
- For tens of millions of people television has become habit-forming, brain-softening, taste-degrading.
- Highly educated bores are by far the worst; they know so much, in such fiendish detail, to be boring about.
- Individualism is rather like innocence; there must be something unconscious about it.
- It is the gossip columnist's business to write about what is none of his business.
- Many people today don't want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing, They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety.
- Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of greater vanity in others; it make us vain, in fact, of our modesty.
- Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week.
- One of the misfortunes of our time is that in getting rid of false shame we have killed off so much real shame as well.
- Privacy was in sufficient danger before TV appeared, and TV has given it its death blow.
- The closer and more confidential our relationship with someone, the less we are entitled to ask about what we are not voluntarily told.
- The Englishman wants to be recognized as a gentleman, or as some other suitable species of human being, the American wants to be considered a good guy.
- The trouble with our age is all signposts and no destination.
- The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.
- There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave.
- Conformity may not always reign in the prosperous bourgeois suburb, but it ultimately always governs.