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Quotations about the
United States of America

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I love America more than any other country in this world; and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.  ~James Baldwin

America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true.  ~James T. Farrell

America is a tune.  It must be sung together.  ~Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds

What is the essence of America?  Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from."  ~Marilyn vos Savant, in Parade

If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag; wash it.  ~Norman Thomas

How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.  ~Paul Sweeney

What the people want is very simple.  They want an America as good as its promise.  ~Barbara Jordan

Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Poet," Essays, Second Series, 1844

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.  ~William J. Clinton

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis

America is a passionate idea or it is nothing.  America is a human brotherhood or it is chaos.  ~Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949

America, for me, has been the pursuit and catching of happiness.  ~Aurora Raigne

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.  ~Woodrow Wilson

America is great because it has as much diversity in geographies as it does in peoples.  ~Aurora Raigne

America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.  He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.  ~Israel Zangwill

America is a nation with many flaws, but hopes so vast that only the cowardly would refuse to acknowledge them.  ~James Michener

When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea.  He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.  ~Adlai Stevenson

If you take advantage of everything America has to offer, thereís nothing you canít accomplish.  ~Geraldine Ferraro

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.  ~Hamilton Fish

We cannot reform the world.... Uncle Sugar is as dangerous a role for us to play as Uncle Shylock.  ~John F. Kennedy

To me, being an American means feeling safe.  ~Currielene Armstrong

Only Americans can hurt America.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.  ~John F. Kennedy

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.  ~Bill Vaughan

America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States.  Ask any Indian.  ~Robert Orben

Sometimes people call me an idealist.  Well, that is the way I know I am an American.  America is the only idealistic nation in the world.  ~Woodrow Wilson

Star-spangled happiness
and banner waves of pride.
~Cherishe Archer

My favorite thing about the United States?  Lots of Americans, one America.  ~Val Saintsbury

Of all the supervised conditions for life offered man, those under U S A's constitution have proved the best.  Wherefore, be sure when you start modifying, corrupting or abrogating it.  ~Martin H. Fischer

America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.  ~Bobcat Goldthwaite

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.  ~Robert J. McCracken

When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, "Ours."  ~Vine Deloria, Jr.

Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea.  ~John Gunther

We need an America with the wisdom of experience.  But we must not let America grow old in spirit.  ~Hubert H. Humphrey

Don't forget to stop every once in a while and actually thank God for blessing America - he gets a lot of requests, you know.  ~Carrie Latet

It is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the men whose people have been here many generations.  ~Henry Cabot Lodge

Not merely a nation but a nation of nations.  ~Lyndon B. Johnson

We sleep peacefully at night, cradled by the big strong hands of America.  ~Val Saintsbury

What we need are critical lovers of America - patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.  ~Hubert H. Humphrey

The United States is the only country with a known birthday.  ~James G. Blaine

Oh, it's home again and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea
To the blessed land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.
~Henry Van Dyke

America is not just a country but a way.  ~Carrie Latet

What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.  ~Will Rogers

If you can speak three languages you're trilingual.  If you can speak two languages you're bilingual.  If you can speak only one language you're an American.  ~Author Unknown

Very little is known about the War of 1812 because the Americans lost it.  ~Eric Nicol

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.  ~Georges Clemenceau

The great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness but the absorption of fifty different peoples.  ~Walter Lippman

In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.  ~Peter Alexander Ustinov

America is much more than a geographical fact.  It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.  ~Adlai Stevenson

May I never wake up from the American dream.  ~Carrie Latet

The skies of happiness shine upon these United States of America.  ~Mirakel Reves

I love my freedom.  I love my America.  ~Jessi Lane Adams

You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world.... We are not a nation, so much as a world.  ~Herman Melville

What a pity, when Christopher Columbus discovered America, that he ever mentioned it.  ~Margot Asquith

Rachel:  The pilgrims came here to escape persecution from the British.
Elizabeth:  Yes, so they could go about persecuting the Indians.
~ER, "Great Expectations"

Aborigines, n.:  Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country.  They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

If America ever passes out as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone:  America died from a delusion she had Moral Leadership.  ~Will Rogers

America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.  ~Marshall McLuhan

I will never admit that the beloved flag is to me merely the symbol of a land where I can live in rich content and make money.  ~Henry Cabot Lodge

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.  ~Benjamin Harrison, address to Congress, 1888

The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic - have always blown on free men.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  ~Francis Bellamy, The Youth's Companion, 8 September 1892  (Thank you, Anna.)

America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.  ~Gloria Steinem

The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth.  ~Charles Luckman

America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas.  ~John Burton Brimer

The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading.  A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.  ~Carl N. Degler

America did not invent human rights.  In a very real sense... human rights invented America.  ~Jimmy Carter

What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public.  ~From the movie Tommy Boy

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals.  The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.  ~Alexis de Tocqueville

Here we write well when we expose frauds and hypocrites.  We are great at counting warts and blemishes and weighting feet of clay.  In expressing love, we belong among the underdeveloped countries.  ~Saul Bellow, about America

America is a country that doesn't know where it is going but is determined to set a speed record getting there.  ~Laurence J. Peter

Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America - that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.  ~Thomas Wolfe

I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him "father."  ~Will Rogers

No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.  ~H.L. Mencken

Americans like fat books and thin women.  ~Russell Baker

We need a type of patriotism that recognizes the virtues of those who are opposed to us.  We must get away from the idea that America is to be the leader of the world in everything.  She can lead in some things.  The old "manifest destiny" idea ought to be modified so that each nation has the manifest destiny to do the best it can - and that without cant, without the assumption of self-righteousness and with a desire to learn to the uttermost from other nations.  ~Francis John McConnell

America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.  ~Hunter S. Thompson

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.  ~Gore Vidal

I just don't know why they're shooting at us.  All we want to do is bring them democracy and white bread.  Transplant the American dream.  Freedom.  Achievement.  Hyperacidity.  Affluence.  Flatulence.  Technology.  Tension.  The inalienable right to an early coronary sitting at your desk while plotting to stab your boss in the back.  ~Hawkeye, M*A*S*H, "O.R."

I pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora, fauna and human life that it supports, one planet indivisible, with safe air, water & soil, economic justice, equal rights and peace for all.  ~Author unknown, proposed new Pledge of Allegiance, as seen on a button at evolvefish.com

America is a large friendly dog in a small room.  Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.  ~Arnold Toynbee

We have the Bill of Rights.  What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.  ~Bill Maher

It is a pity that instead of the Pilgrim Fathers landing on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock had not landed on the Pilgrim Fathers.  ~Chauncey Depew, at an 1881 New England Society meeting in New York

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.  ~Hansell B. Duckett

Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate.  Being here in America doesn't make you an American.  Being born here in America doesn't make you an American.  ~Malcolm X

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~George Carlin

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.  ~John Updike

States!... Go put your creed into your deed.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered.  I myself would say that it had merely been detected.  ~Oscar Wilde

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them.  There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.  ~John Wayne

...a "land of the free" that struggles under the incredible burden of limitless taxes and laws; the home of the "brave" who stay silent to keep their jobs and avoid scrutiny by the IRS or the police.  ~Fred Woodworth, The Match!, No. 74

The fact is that Americans are not a thoughtful people; they are too busy to stop and question their values.  ~William Ralph

They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.  ~Red Cloud

I hate American simplicity.  I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort.  If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it. ~Henry James

America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied:  America is always on the move.  She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still.  ~e.e. cummings

America is a great big heart attack.  ~Carrie Latet

The American experiment is the most tremendous and far reaching engine of social change which has ever either blessed or cursed mankind.  ~Charles Francis Adams

There is a malaise that exists in your land - what appears to many as the sudden and tragic disappearance of the American dream which, in some ways, has turned to nightmare.  ~J.J. Greene

Being an American is a spectator sport.  ~Brock Fiant

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.  ~Thomas Jefferson

It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it.... There are some things in every country that you must be born to endure; and another hundred years of general satisfaction with Americans and America could not reconcile this expatriate to cranberry sauce, peanut butter, and drum majorettes.  ~Alistair Cooke

America is a mistake, a giant mistake.  ~Sigmund Freud

America! half-brother of the world!
With something good and bad of every land.
~Philip James Bailey

You have to be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.  ~Charles De Gaulle, Time, 8 December 1967

If you surveyed a hundred typical middle-aged Americans, I bet you'd find that only two of them could tell you their blood types, but every last one of them would know the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies.  ~Dave Barry

[T]he American is a gentle guy; but don't pressure him; if you do he turns toad and squirts poison.  ~Martin H. Fischer

America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind.  There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.  ~Peter Kroptkin, speech, 1891

He only salutes the flag with one finger.  ~The Simpsons

I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare.  ~Eldridge Cleaver

America is the best half-educated country in the world.  ~Nicholas Murray Butler

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.  ~Alexis de Tocqueville

Every time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American Eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.  ~H.G. Wells

In America, with all its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun.  But we do not know yet whether the sun is rising or setting for our country.  ~Dick Gregory, 1964

Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.  ~Winston Churchill

America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.  ~Sigmund Freud

We're Americans - with a capital A!  And do you know what that means?  Do you?  It means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world.  ~From the movie Stripes

I love America.  It's Americans I can't stand.  ~Attributed to both Charles Shultz and Bill Maher

We are quite rich enough to defend ourselves, whatever the cost.  We must now learn that we are quite rich enough to educate ourselves as we need to be educated.  ~Walter Lippmann

One characteristic of Americans is that they have no tolerance at all of anybody putting up with anything.  We believe that whatever is going wrong ought to be fixed.  ~Margaret Mead

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 American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.  ~Woodrow Wilson

Let America realize that self-scrutiny is not treason.  Self-examination is not disloyalty.  ~Richard Cardinal Cushing

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.  ~Sinclair Lewis

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Last modified 2008 Jan 30 Wed 18:59 PST

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