QUOTES about AMERICANS

The making of an American begins at that point where he himself rejects all other ties, and other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land. James Baldwin. 

In America everybody is of opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors. Bertrand Russell

The youth of America is their oldest tradition. Charles Baldwin.

There is not a single human characteristic that can be safely labeled as American. Mark Twain.

The organization of American society is an interlocking system of semi-monopolies notoriously venal, an electorate notoriously unenlightened, misled by mass media notoriously phony.  Paul Goodman.

The aspect of American society is animated, because men and things are always changing; but it is monotonous, because all the changes are alike. Alexis De Tocqueville.

New York is the place where all the aspirations of the western world meet to form one vast master aspiration, as powerful as the suction of a steam dredge. It is the icing on the pie called Christian civilization.  H. L Mencken.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that god is just. Thomas Jefferson.

Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on twenty-four hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt. Eldridge Cleaver

The typical American believes that no necessity of the soul is free and that there are precious few, if any, which cannot be bought. Joseph Wood Krutch

With the supermarket as our temple and the singing commercial as our litany, are we likely to fire the world with an irresistible vision of America’s exalted purpose and inspiring way of life. Aldai Stevenson

America shudders at anything alien, and when it wants to shut its mind against any man’s ideas it calls him a foreigner. Max Lerner

The problem of freedom in America is that of maintaining a competition of ideas, and you do not achieve that by silencing one brand of idea. Max Lerner

If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and publisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide. Abraham Lincoln

From the very beginning our people have markedly combined practical capacity for affairs with power of devotion to an ideal. The lack of either quality would have rendered the other of small value. Theodore Roosevelt

The American character looks always as if it had just had a rather bad haircut, which gives it, in our eyes at any rate, a greater humanity than the European, which even among its beggars has all too much a professional air. Mary McCarthy 

The overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities; a sense of humor and a sense of proportion. Franklin D. Roosevelt 

An American who can make money, invoke God, and be no better than his neighbor, has nothing to fear but truth itself. Myra Mannes

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. Louis Kronenberger

It isn’t the oceans which cut us off from the world; it’s the American way of looking at things. Henry Miller

Americans seem sometimes to believe that if you are a thinker you must be a frowning bore, because thinking is so dam serious. Jacques Maritain

Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm. John F. Kennedy

American politics is a struggle, not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central power houses. Henry Adams (Amended)

I have never been able to look upon America as young and vital but rather as prematurely old, as a fruit which rotted before it had a chance to ripen. Henry Miller

It’s easy to become a satellite today without even being aware of it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power; the power of the dollar. Malcolm X 
 
The real democratic America idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance. Henry Ward Beecher

Americans can eat garbage, provided you sprinkle it liberally with ketchup, mustard, chili, tabasco, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish. Henry Miller

Except for the woman, nothing interests the eye of the American man more than the automobile, or seems so important to him as an object of esthetic appreciation. A. H. Barr, JR 

In America there must be only citizens, not divided by grade, first and second, but citizens, east, west, north, and south. John F. Kennedy

Sin in America is calculated rather than impulsive. Walter Chase 

In the American Metaphysical, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant. Lionel Trilling

Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in its heart. Dwight D. Eisenhower

DEFINITION and MEANING
A zest for adventure is perhaps the strongest component in the American ethos. Doubtless this springs, to some degree, to the means and reasons underlying the founding of what, over centuries, evolved into the 50 United States of America.

A good number of America’s early colonists sailed from various parts of Europe. As is well-known, their motives were mixed. Some of them left their homelands in quest of greater religious freedom, while others sought glory by expanding their sovereign’s powers through expanding their monarchical claims to land in what was then designated the New World. This explains the roots of such state names as Maryland, Georgia and even Virginia, named by Sir Walter Raleigh in order to commemorate Elizabeth the First, the self-styled virgin queen.

All of these explorers and settlers, whether or not they were known to each other, shared that trait which we now regard as pro-activity. A further group of settlers were forced from their countries in order to free taxpayers from funding their keep in prisons. Offenses ranged from participation in criminal activities to the proliferation of views and ideas perceived as subversive.
 
In any event, the palms of the hands of such exiles were branded in such a permanent way as to indicate imprisonment, thereby scarring, in a potential sense, the remainders of their lives. Fortunately, once freed to pursue a trade in a fresh location, these former prisoners added their skills to the polyglot of emerging societies. When every hand was needed to strive for the most basic survival, branding became irrelevant.
Later generations were formed by a mixture of the original settlers, and those fleeing their homes, often via despair and the most painful reluctance, due to absolute penury.
 
Having reached America, these newcomers were forced to take on the menial jobs, often plagued by discrimination and prejudice in various forms. In time, they urged their offspring to seek jobs in the civil service sector. Later, these children, having become adults, did all they could to encourage their own children to earn their way into universities. Today, many fourth generation Americans, professionals themselves, have parents both of whom earned college degrees and continue to enjoy productive careers at an age when, not all that far back in time, they would have retired.
 
Americans are frequently at the cutting edge of developments in various fields. What is true of major American cities tends to become part of the country, and then, if deemed worthwhile and enjoyable, interweave themselves into similar cultures, such as that of Canada. In addition, they can become intertwined into societies which have been traditionally more restrictive. Ultimately, the spirit of exploration continues to form the core of American consciousness. Arguably, the view that endeavor, whether or not it leads to financial success, is rewarding in terms of purpose, comprises a global compass point.