Walter Lippmann, 1889 - 1974
Time cover (30 March 1931)
Born: 23 September 1889, New York City
Died: 14 December 1974, New York City
Benefiting from a private education and annual trips to Europe with his family, Lippmann went on to Harvard University. He studied philosophy and language, completing his BA (1909) in three years and staying another year to assist George Santayana. In 1913 he was one of the founding editors of The New Republic, served as assistant to the Secretary of War in 1917, and in 1918 was an advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, working on Wilson's Fourteen Points. He became suspicious of the accuracy of journalism and researched and wrote at length on the subject. Through the '20s he was a writer, and later the editor, of the New York World. When that paper failed he moved to the Herald Tribune where he wrote his syndicated column, "Today and Tomorrow", for thirty years, moving to the Washington Post from 1961 to 1967 when he retired. He opposed the Korean War, the McCarthy inquisition, and the Vietnam war. He developed close personal relationship with Charles de Gaulle and Nikita Khrushchev, while alienating Lyndon Johnson. He published nineteen books, including The Cold War, the source of that phrase.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Walter Lippmann quotes:
Click here to find books by Walter Lippmann at Amazon.com
- A free press is not a privilege but an organic necessity in a great society. Without criticism and reliable and intelligent reporting, the government cannot govern. For there is no adequate way in which it can keep itself informed about what the people of the country are thinking and doing and wanting. permalink
- A long life in journalism convinced me many presidents ago that there should be a large air space between a journalist and the head of a state. permalink
- A man has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so. permalink
- A man who has humility will have acquired in the last reaches of his beliefs the saving doubt of his own certainty. permalink
- Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach. permalink
- An alliance is like a chain. It is not made stronger by adding weak links to it. A great power like the United States gains no advantage and it loses prestige by offering, indeed peddling, its alliances to all and sundry. An alliance should be hard diplomatic currency, valuable and hard to get, and not inflationary paper from the mimeograph machine in the State Department. permalink
- At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply. permalink
- Between ourselves and our real natures we interpose that wax figure of idealizations and selections we call our character. permalink
- Brains, you know, are suspect in the Republican Party. permalink
- Every fairly intelligent person is aware that the price of respectability is a muffled soul bent on the trivial and the mediocre. permalink
- For the principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. permalink
- Free institutions are not the property of any majority. They do not confer upon majorities unlimited powers. The rights of the majority are limited rights. They are limited not only by the constitutional guarantees but by the moral principle implied in those guarantees. That principle is that men may not use the facilities of liberty to impair them. No man may invoke a right in order to destroy it. permalink
- Here lay the political genius of Franklin Roosevelt: that in his own time he knew what were the questions that had to be answered, even though he himself did not always find the full answer. permalink
- Ideals are an imaginative understanding of that which is desirable in that which is possible. permalink
- If all power is in the people, if there is no higher law than their will, and if by counting their votes, their will may be ascertained - then the people may entrust all their power to anyone, and the power of the pretender and the usurper is then legitimate. It is not to be challenged since it came originally from the sovereign people. permalink
Please report any problems on this page! If you see any typos, incorrect attributions, deformed characters, or any other problem with this page, we want to fix it as soon
as possible. Please click here to report errors.
Note: Do not use titles in author searches, we don't use them, including president, senator, prime minister, king, queen, saint, or doctor, or abbreviations thereof. See explanation here.