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Advertising
Engrave this Quote We read advertisements to discover and enlarge our desires. We are always ready -- even eager -- to discover, from the announcement of a new product, what we have all along wanted without really knowing it.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
America
Engrave this Quote Of all the nations in the world, the United States was built in nobody's image. It was the land of the unexpected, of unbounded hope, of ideals, of quest for an unknown perfection. It is all the more unfitting that we should offer ourselves in images. And all the more fitting that the images which we make wittingly or unwittingly to sell America to the world should come back to haunt and curse us.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Engrave this Quote The most important American addition to the World Experience was the simple surprising fact of America. We have helped prepare mankind for all its later surprises.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Argument & Debate
Engrave this Quote Disagreement produces debate but dissent produces dissension. Dissent (which come from the Latin, dis and sentire) means originally to feel apart from others. People who disagree have an argument, but people who dissent have a quarrel. People may disagree and both may count themselves in the majority. But a person who dissents is by definition in a minority. A liberal society thrives on disagreement but is killed by dissension. Disagreement is the life blood of democracy, dissension is its cancer.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Authors & Writing
Engrave this Quote The traditional novel form continues to enlarge our experience in those very areas where the wide-angle lens and the Cinema screen tend to narrow it.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Automobiles
Engrave this Quote The improved American highway system isolated the American-in-transit. On his speedway he had no contact with the towns which he by-passed. If he stopped for food or gas, he was served no local fare or local fuel, but had one of Howard Johnson's nationally branded ice cream flavors, and so many gallons of Exxon. This vast ocean of superhighways was nearly as free of culture as the sea traversed by the Mayflower Pilgrims.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Celebrity
Engrave this Quote The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Engrave this Quote A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Charisma
Engrave this Quote Beware of charisma . . . Representative Men; was Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1850 phrase for the great men in a democracy . . . Is there some common quality among these Representative Men who have been most successful as our leaders? I call it the need to be authentic
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
City Life, Cities
Engrave this Quote In the small town each citizen had done something in his own way to build the community. The town booster had a vision of the future which he tried to fulfill. The suburb dweller by contrast started with the future
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-Daniel J. Boorstin, The Democratic Experience, ch. 33, Random House (1973)
Crime
Engrave this Quote The world of crime is a last refuge of the authentic, uncorrupted, spontaneous event.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Culture
Engrave this Quote Our attitude toward our own culture has recently been characterized by two qualities, braggadocio and petulance. Braggadocio -- empty boasting of American power, American virtue, American know-how -- has dominated our foreign relations now for some decades. Here at home -- within the family, so to speak -- our attitude to our culture expresses a superficially different spirit, the spirit of petulance. Never before, perhaps, has a culture been so fragmented into groups, each full of its own virtue, each annoyed and irritated at the others.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Dreams
Engrave this Quote America has been a land of dreams. A land where the aspirations of people from countries cluttered with rich, cumbersome, aristocratic, ideological pasts can reach for what once seemed unattainable. Here they have tried to make dreams come true. Yet now... we are threatened by a new and particularly American menace. It is not the menace of class war, of ideology, of poverty, of disease, of illiteracy, or demagoguery, or of tyranny, though these now plague most of the world. It is the menace of unreality.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Exaggeration
Engrave this Quote It is only a short step from exaggerating what we can find in the world to exaggerating our power to remake the world. Expecting more novelty than there is, more greatness than there is, and more strangeness than there is, we imagine ourselves masters of a plastic universe. But a world we can shape to our will is a shapeless world.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
God
Engrave this Quote What preoccupies us, then, is not God as a fact of nature, but as a fabrication useful for a God-fearing society. God himself becomes not a power but an image.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Heroes/Heroism
Engrave this Quote Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image, ch. 2, From Hero to Celebrity: The Human Pseudo-event, 1961
Engrave this Quote In our world of big names, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knowness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Journalism
Engrave this Quote We need not be theologians to see that we have shifted responsibility for making the world interesting from God to the newspaperman.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Journeys
Engrave this Quote The American experience stirred mankind from discovery to exploration. From the cautious quest for what they knew (or thought they knew) was out there, into an enthusiastic reaching to the unknown. These are two substantially different kinds of human enterprise.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Knowledge
Engrave this Quote I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Engrave this Quote The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Media
Engrave this Quote There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, 'How dull is the world today!' Nowadays he says, 'What a dull newspaper!'
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-Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image, 1962
Photography
Engrave this Quote The most refined skills of color printing, the intricate techniques of wide-angle photography, provide us pictures of trivia bigger and more real than life. We forget that we see trivia and notice only that the reproduction is so good. Man fulfils his dream and by photographic magic produces a precise image of the Grand Canyon. The result is not that he adores nature or beauty the more. Instead he adores his camera
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-Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image, ch. 4 (1961)
Shopping
Engrave this Quote In fast-moving, progress-conscious America, the consumer expects to be dizzied by progress. If he could completely understand advertising jargon he would be badly disappointed. The half-intelligibility which we expect, or even hope, to find in the latest product language personally reassures each of us that progress is being made: that the pace exceeds our ability to follow.
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-Daniel J. Boorstin
Technology
Engrave this Quote Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of Information can drive our Knowledge.
on computarization of libraries
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-Daniel J. Boorstin, "New York Times", July 8, 1983

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