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There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
The office of the president is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
Part of the American dream is to live long and die young.
America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true.
American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's license age than at voting age.
If ever there was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yaptown-on-the-Hudson called New York.
If you don't want to use the army, I should like to borrow it for a while. Yours respectfully,
Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains.
Ours is the country where, in order to sell your product, you don't so much point out its merits as you first work like hell to sell yourself.
People who leave Washington D.C. do so by way of the box - ballot or coffin.
Poor Mexico, so far from God and so near to the United States.
That strange blend of the commercial traveller, the missionary and the barbarian conqueror, which was the American abroad.
The faces in New York remind me of people who played a game ! and lost.
The President spends most of his time kissing people on the cheek in order to get them to do what they ought to do without getting kissed.
The real America that Whitman proclaimed and Thoreau decoded.
Thou, oh my country, hast thy foolish ways, Too apt to purr at every stranger's praise.
You can always get the truth from an American statesman after he has turned 70, or given up all hope of the Presidency.
America is a willingness of the heart.
(A country where) the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
We are now at the point where we must decide whether we are to honour the concept of a plural society which gains strength through diversity, or whether we are to have bitter fragmentation that will result in perpetual tension and strife.
Nothing ever gets settled in this town (Washington). It's not like running a company or even a university. It's a seething debating society, in which the debate never stops; in which people never give up, including me, and that's the atmosphere in which you administer.
The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.
Whoever wants to know the hearts and minds of America had better learn baseball.
Americans are like a rich father who wishes he knew how to give his son the hardships that made him rich.
America... an economic system prouder of the distribution of its products than of the products themselves.
The United States was born in the country and moved to the city in the nineteenth century.
Delaware: a state that has three counties when the tide is out, and two when it is in.
Washington is an endless series of mock palaces clearly built for clerks.
The Americans believe they answered all first questions in 1776: since then they've just been hammering out the practical details.
Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
Americans have a special horror of letting things happen their own way, without interference. They would like to jump down their stomachs, digest the food, and shovel the shit out.
When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply 'Ours.'
In the United States 'First' and 'Second' class can't be painted on railroad cars, for all passengers, being Americans, are equal and it would be 'unAmerican.' But paint 'Pullman' on a car and everyone is satisfied.
The true America is the Middle West, and Columbus discovered nothing at all except another Europe.
America once had the clarity of a pioneer axe.
In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes America what it is.
You say to your soldier, 'Do this' and he does it. But I am obliged to say to the American, 'This is why you ought to do this' and then he does it.
The greatest American superstition is belief in facts.
America should care more for its poor and reform itself in other ways; but even if it won't do those things, it remains the least constrained society on earth.
Florida: God's waiting room.
The Englishman is under no constitutional obligation to believe that all men are created equal. The American agony is therefore scarcely intelligible, like a saint's self-flagellation viewed by an atheist.
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.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.
The sorrows and disasters of Europe always brought fortune to America.
The American's conversation is much like his courtship ... He gives an inkling and watches for a reaction; if the weather looks fair, he inkles a little more. Wishing neither to intrude nor be intruded upon, he advances by stages of acceptance, by levels of agreement, by steps of concurrence.
The central fact of North American history is that there were fifteen British Colonies before 1776. Thirteen rebelled and two did not.
A natural New Yorker is a native of the present tense.
New York is notoriously inhospitable to the past, disowning it whenever it can.
Why, if you're not in New York you are camping out.
That enfabled rock, that ship of life, that swarming, million-footed, tower-masted, sky-soaring citadel that bears the magic name of the Island of Manhattan.
I don't like the life here in New York. There is no greenery. It would make a stone sick.
New York, the nation's thyroid gland.
You will find the Americans much as the Greeks found the Romans: great, big, vulgar, bustling people more vigorous than we are and also more idle, with more unspoiled virtues but also more corrupt.
As for what you're calling hard luck - well, we made New England out of it. That and codfish.
The lusts of the flesh can be gratified anywhere; it is not this sort of licence that distinguishes New York. It is, rather, a lust of the total ego for recognition, even for eminence. More than elsewhere, everybody here wants to be Somebody.
After twenty annual visits, I am still surprised each time I return to see this giant asparagus bed of alabaster and rose and green skyscrapers.
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker.
A town that has no ceiling price, A town of double-talk; A town so big men name her twice, Like so: 'N'Yawk, N'Yawk.'
And this is good old Boston The home of the bean and the cod - Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots, And the Cabots talk only to God.
New England is a finished place. Its destiny is that of Florence or Venice, not Milan, while the American empire careens onward toward its predicted end ... it is the first American section to be finished, to achieve stability in the conditions of its life. It is the first old civilization, the first permanent civilization in America.
A Bostonian - an American, broadly speaking.
The swaggering underemphasis of New England.
A well-established village in New England or the northern Middle-West could afford a town drunkard, a town atheist, and a few Democrats.
I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachussets; she needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves.
The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.
Boston is a moral and intellectual nursery always busy applying first principles to trifles.
America - the best poor man's country in the world.
Chicago - a facade of skyscrapers facing a lake and behind the facade every type of dubiousness.
I'm from Indiana, the home of more first-rate second-class men than any other state in the union.
Pennsylvania, the state that has produced two great men: Benjamin Franklin of Massachusetts, and Albert Gallatin of Switzerland.
Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders.
I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.
Washington is a place where men praise courage and act on elaborate personal cost-benefit calculations.
I think that New York is not the cultural centre of America, but the business and administrative centre of American culture.
Washington is a city of people doing badly what shouldn't be done at all.
America and its demons, Europe and its ghosts.

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