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Now Seldes's splendid and important work has been revised and updated to include the great thoughts that have changed our world in the decade since the book's first appearance. Quotations from leaders as varied as Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Yitzak Rabin, Newt Gingrich, and Jesse Jackson reflect the radical shifts in the world political scene. Toni Morrison and Cornel West speak out on the enduring vitality of African-American culture. Alvin Toffler and Arthur C. Clarke give us a glimpse into the future. Gloria Steinem and Monique Wittig define the motives and the goals of late twentieth-century feminism. Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Wallace Stegner ponder the meaning of wilderness in an increasingly populated and industrialized world. These and scores of other thinkers in all major disciplines have added their voices to this new edition of The Great Thoughts.
USA Today praised the first edition of The Great Thoughts as "a browser's delight." The work of a lifetime, brought up-to-date to reflect the global upheaval of the past decade, The Great Thoughts stands alone as an enduring achievement and an invaluable resource.
"Our society forces boys, insofar as it can, to grow up, to endure the pains of growth, to educate themselves to work, to move on. Why aren't girls forced to grow up--to achieve somehow the core of self that will end the unnecessary dilemma, the mistaken choice between femaleness and humanness that is implied in the feminine mystique?"
--Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
"We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives."
"Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?"
--Henry James, The Ambassadors
"Sex had everything to do with violence, that was true, and marriage was at once a container for the madness between men and women and a fragile hedge against it, as religion was to death, and the laws of physics to the immense quantity of utter emptiness of which the universe was made. But there was nothing at all safe about marriage. It was a doubtful enterprise, a voyage in an untested craft, across a hostile ocean, with a map that was a forgery and with no particular destination but the grave."
--Michael Chabon, "House Hunting"
Posted February 22, 2012
When I first found an earlier edition of this book about 15 years ago at a local secondhand bookstore, I realized that I had found a valuable resource. George Selddes has compiled quotes from as far back as pre-biblical times. I can only hope that further updated editions will continue to be avaiilable even though Seldes himself is no longer alive to see it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 18, 2000
This book could be equally used as a reference source,as an excellent book to browse, or a book to read cover to cover. It is edited down and includes almost every great thinker worth quoting. The two exceptions to people not covered in this book are Shakespeare and Jesus. There are dozens of sources to find out what Shakespeare said and there is much controversy over what Jesus actually did or did not say. I reccommend this book to anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 1999