Daniel J. Boorstin quotes

  • The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Inspiring #Education #Wisdom

  • Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Mean #Opportunity #Would Be

  • Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR officers.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Greatness #Achieve #Born

  • The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing.'
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Travel #Memorable #Adventure

  • The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Life #Courage #Color

  • The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Ocean #Ignorance #Knowledge

  • I write to discover what I think
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Writing #Thinking

  • Knowledge is not simply another commodity. On the contrary. Knowledge is never used up. It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Knowledge #Commodity #Increase

  • Human models are more vivid and more persuasive than explicit moral commands.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Vivid #Moral #Persuasive

  • 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Ignorance #Humility #Progress

  • A best-seller was a book which somehow sold well because it was selling well.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Book #Selling #Wells

  • There is no disinfectant like success.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Success

  • We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions. We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Reality #Suffering #Weakness

  • In our world of big names, curiously, 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-knownness 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Mother #Lonely #Teacher

  • A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Names #Dignity #Fame

  • Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Fun #Knowledge #Science

  • An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Design #Personality #Corporations

  • I write to discover what I think. After all, the bars aren't open that early.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Writing #Thinking #Bars

  • A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Reading #Book #Library

  • While the focus in the landscape of Old World cities was commonly government structures, churches, or the residences of rulers, the landscape and the skyline of American cities have boasted their hotels, department stores, office buildings, apartments, and skyscrapers. In this grandeur, Americans have expressed their Booster Pride, their hopes for visitors and new settlers, and customers, for thriving commerce and industry.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Pride #Cities #Government

  • Jefferson refused to pin his hopes on the occasional success of honest and unambitious men; on the contrary, the great danger was that philosophers would be lulled into complacence by the accidental rise of a Franklin or a Washington. Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Character #Men #Would Be

  • We need not be theologians to see that we have shifted responsibility for making the world interesting from God to the newspaperman.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #God #Responsibility #Interesting

  • The force of the advertising word and image dwarfs the power of other literature in the 20th century.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Literature #Advertising #Century

  • The world of crime is a last refuge of the authentic, uncorrupted, spontaneous event.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Events #World #Lasts

  • 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Country #Dream #War

  • 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Nature #Facts

  • 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 - and himself.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Dream #Photography #Real

  • When I was living in England I found that the more I lived abroad, the more American I discovered I was.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #England #Found

  • Climaxing a movement for calendar reform which had been developing for at least a century, in 1582 Pope Gregory ordained that October 4 was to be followed by October 15.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Reform #Calendars #Movement

  • The history of Western science confirms the aphorism that the great menace to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Ignorance #Progress #Illusion

  • 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
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Community #Vision #Citizens

  • There's something beautifully soothing about a fact — even (or perhaps especially) if we're not sure what it means.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Mean #Reality #Facts

  • The computer can help us find what we know is there. But the book remains our symbol and our resource for the unimagined question and the unwelcome answer.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Book #Answers #Helping

  • 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Ocean #Ice Cream #Sea

  • Reading is like the sex act - done privately, and often in bed
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Sex #Reading #Bed

  • More appealing than knowledge itself is the feeling of knowledge.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Feelings

  • The most promising words ever written on the maps of human knowledge are terra incognita, unknown territory.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Maps #Territory #Humans

  • When the necessary eleven days were added, George Washington’s birthday, which fell on February 11, 1731, Old Style, became February 22, 1732, New Style.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Style #February #Eleven

  • 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.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Moving #America #Progress

  • Not so many years ago there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travel -movement through space -provided the universal metaphor for change. One of the subtle confusions -perhaps one of the secret terrors -of modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Life #Moving #Journey

  • While knowledge is orderly and cumulative, information is random and miscellaneous.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Knowledge #Information #Miscellaneous

  • We read advertisements ... to discover and enlarge our desires.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Business #Desire #Advertisements

  • No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.
    -- Daniel J. Boorstin

    #Agnostic #Pagan #Stakes