Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations by Hugh Rawson, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations

Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations

4.0 1
by Hugh Rawson

With nearly 6,000 quotations arranged historically and annotated extensively, you'll know not just who said what, but get the full story behind the quote. Follow any of the more than five hundred topics (from Abolition to Zeal) and you will get a nutshell history of what great (and not-so-great) Americans had to say about each one. Quotations are arranged


With nearly 6,000 quotations arranged historically and annotated extensively, you'll know not just who said what, but get the full story behind the quote. Follow any of the more than five hundred topics (from Abolition to Zeal) and you will get a nutshell history of what great (and not-so-great) Americans had to say about each one. Quotations are arranged chronologically in each topic, allowing the reader to trace patterns of thought over time.

Fully indexed by author (including brief biographical sketches) and keyword, this is an essential reference for anyone interested in the great people and ideas of American history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The careful editing and thoughtful layout of this work ensures its value as both a reference and a browsing resource."—Choice

"Assembled by Margaret Miner and Hugh Rawson...it immediately proved an invaluable resource to the editors here and, when not being consulted in the line of duty, a great pleasure just to read around in. Now the dictionary is back in a revised and enlarged edition...as stimulating and engrossing a reference book as you are likely to find." —American Heritage

"This compilation is one of that special breed of reference books that is both suitable for browsing and satisfactory for ready-reference use."—Booklist

"Most helpfully provides context as well as long-overdue credit."—The Sunday San Diego Union-Tribune

Library Journal
Veteran lexicological writers Rawson and Miner (coeditors, The New International Dictionary of Quotations) add many recent quotes to this edition, originally published as American Heritage Dictionary of American Quotations (Viking, 1997), and retain their work's chief features: topical organization, chronological presentation within categories, and explanatory annotations appended to many quotations. For example, the category "Facts" has two short sentences following the quote "You're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts," as used by Sen. Christopher Dodd in May 2005, and also a long paragraph following the 1889 Mark Twain quote, "Get the facts straight first and then you can distort them as much as you please." The annotations are more prominent than in other traditional quotation dictionaries, e.g., Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Little, Brown, 2002, now in its 17th edition), and the nearly 6000 quotations offer a "first-person view" of American thought over time. Categories for specific cities or states seem effective and straightforward, but more abstract categories, e.g., "Dishonesty and Lies," "Facts," and "Truth," work far less well. Furthermore, the topical arrangement requires the use of the 90-page keyword index, which is strong but not of the concordance type found in Bartlett's. Bottom Line Greenwood's America in Quotations (2002)-in which Howard Langer shows Rawson and Miner's interest in presenting quotes both topically and chronologically-offers a deeper exploration of the subject. Still, this well-executed work is recommended for larger libraries.-Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 2.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Miner and Hugh Rawson are also the editors of The New International Dictionary of Quotations, A Dictionary of Quotations from the Bible, and A Dictionary of Quotations from Shakespeare. Hugh is also the author of Wicked Words, Devious Derivations, and Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk. They live in Roxbury, Connecticut.

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Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations contains nearly 6,000 quotations that are arranged alphabetically from 'Abolition' to 'Zeal.' Quotations are arranged chronologically within each topic, allowing one to compare earlier and later thoughts on the subject. Two comprehensive indices--(Author Index, 61 pages) and Keyword Index (Keyword Index, 84 pages)--facilitate one's finding a desired or suitable citation. The Author Index also includes brief biographical sketches. A felicitous feature of this volume is that, unlike many other books of quotations, it includes annotations concerning the historical occasion of the quote. Some of the annotations are quite extensive. Here are some selected quotations: 'Great Babylon is come up before me. Oh, the wickedness, the idolatry of the place!'--Rachel Jackson (wife of Andrew Jackson), describing New Orleans, in a letter, April 27, 1821. 'All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream.'--Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream, 1848. 'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.'--Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For (1854). 'God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.'--Ralph Waldo Emerson, Worship, in The Conduct of Life, 1860. 'In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free--honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth.'--Abraham Lincoln, second annual message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862. 'What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.'--Crowfoot, last words, 1890. 'The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.'--Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, in Following the Equator, 1897. 'In the end, every philosopher has to walk alone.'--George Santayana, letter to Susan Sturgis de Sastre, Oct. 1, 1913. 'To think is to differ.'--Clarence Darrow, remark during the Scopes 'monkey' trial, Dayton, Tenn., July 13, 1925. 'The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.'--Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929. 'I pledge you. I pledge myself, a new deal for the American people.'--Franklin D. Roosevelt, presidential nomination acceptance speech, Democratic National Convention, Chicago, July 2, 1932. 'The thing about my jokes is they don't hurt anybody. . . . But with Congress--every time they make a joke it's a law. And every time they make a law it's a joke.'--Will Rogers, in P. J. O'Brien, Will Rogers: Ambassador of Good Will, Prince of Wit and Wisdom (1935). 'Metaphysics is almost always an attempt to prove the incredible by an appeal to the unintelligible.'--H. L. Mencken, Minority Report: H. L. Mencken's Notebooks (1956). 'The past is never dead. It is not even past.'--William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, 1959. 'I think this is the most extraordinary collection of human talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House--with the possible exceptions of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.:--John F. Kennedy, speech, dinner honoring 49 Nobel Prize winners, in The New York Times, April 30, 1962. 'Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee / And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.'--Robert Frost, Cluster of Faith, in In the Clearing, 1962. 'I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'--Martin Luther King, Jr., speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to 200,00 civil rights marchers, August 28, 1963. 'What you need for breakfast, they say in East Tennessee, is a jug of good corn liquor,