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All Quotes by author - Tom Reiss
" Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie - father of the future Alex Dumas - was born on February 26, 1714, in the Norman province of Caux, a region of rolling dairy farms that hung above great chalk cliffs on the northwest coast of France. "
" Alex Dumas was a consummate warrior and a man of great conviction and moral courage. He was renowned for his strength, his swordsmanship, his bravery, and his knack for pulling victory out of the toughest situations. But he was known, too, for his profane back talk and his problems with authority. "
" All anyone agreed on was that Kurban Said was the pen name of a writer who had probably come from Baku, an oil city in the Caucasus, and that he was either a nationalist poet who was killed in the Gulags or the dilettante son of an oil millionaire or a Viennese cafe-society writer who died after stabbing himself in the foot. "
" Anthropology seems so bland and friendly now, but in the early 20th century, Jews could only be dissected badly by these fields. The Jews were extremely assimilated; it's a different world than now. "
" As a writer, I can't be a heroic sword fighter like General Dumas, but I can rescue someone who's been taken out of history by using my writing to bring them back. "
" By comparison, 'The Secret Agent' is not especially prescient about terrorism, certainly not technically. The Professor was a stock figure of Edwardian fiction, and his dreams of mass destruction were nothing ahead of their time. Many novels in the late 19th and early 20th centuries involved plots far more deadly. "
" Conservatism as a formal political doctrine didn't exist in America in 1940. The word 'conservative' was associated primarily with fringe groups - anti-industrial Southern agrarians and the anti-New Deal tycoons who led the Liberty League. "
" Eighteenth-century doctors prescribed sugar pills for nearly everything: heart problems, headache, consumption, labor pains, insanity, old age, and blindness. Hence, the French expression 'like an apothecary without sugar' meant someone in an utterly hopeless situation. "
" Even arch-isolationists, such as former President Herbert Hoover and Senator Robert Taft of Ohio - two of the most right-wing figures in the Republican Party - insisted on being called liberal. "
" For fifty years, debates about French anti-Semitism mainly revolved around France's record during the Second World War, when the Vichy government collaborated with the Germans. "
" For me, history is always personal. And it's how your personal history interacts with the history of your time. I'm very attracted to characters who were cursed, as the Chinese say, to live in interesting times. "
" I am definitely of the method-acting school. Everything to me is about sound. I don't dress up in period costumes or anything like that. I'm very aural. When I'm working, I try to soak up the sounds of an era. "
" I feel like history is about going and discovering the great human stories that just are every bit as relevant as anything that's going on today. "
" In 1817, Czar Alexander I personally founded the Society of Israelite Christians but had less luck defeating Judaism than he'd had defeating Napoleon; gentile serfs and merchants in areas bordering the Pale even showed disturbing new signs of 'Judaizing.' "
" In early 1798, the Directory, the oligarchy that was ruling revolutionary France, ordered its top general, Napoleon Bonaparte, to plan the invasion of England. Instead, Napoleon organized and carried out the invasion of Egypt, which became the first modern incursion by the West into the Middle East. "
" In the winter of 1940, 'The Atlantic Monthly' invited Peter Viereck, a twenty-three-year-old Harvard graduate who had won the college's top essay and poetry prizes, to write about 'the meaning of young liberalism for the present age.' "
" In 'The World Set Free,' the world's major superpowers attack each other simultaneously. "
" I once started a small business when I got out of college and enjoyed the stress of making it work. High-stress situations clear my head, and I love the challenge of getting along with many different kinds of people. I'm scared of routine. "
" I soon abandoned the question of who Kurban Said or Essad Bey was for the more problematic one - who was Lev Nussimbaum? "
" It was nearly midnight on the night of February 26, 1806, and Alexandre Dumas, the future author of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' and 'The Three Musketeers,' was asleep at his uncle's house. He was not yet four years old. He was staying there because his father was gravely ill, and his mother thought it best for him not to be at home. "
" I've considered myself a writer since I was 7 years old, but I've done a lot of jobs along the way. I enjoyed waiting tables and tending bar during college, especially when it got busy, so I might like managing a big restaurant. In fact, I might like managing many kinds of businesses or organizations. "
" Lev Nussimbaum was born in October 1905, the moment when the tolerant, haute capitaliste culture of Baku began to fall apart. "
" My particular pain is that the world of Jewishness that I identify with - the extremely assimilated, educated European and Russian Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries - is lost, and is not mourned enough. "
" Napoleon's plan was for his army to arrive in Egypt not as conquerors but liberators. Landing in Aboukir Bay on July 1, 1798, the French captured Alexandria the next day, overcoming the surprised Mamelukes - the despotic local rulers - with a combination of modern artillery and infantry tactics. "
" Napoleon - the people who were becoming Napoleon's generals realized that for him, it was not about spreading freedom and revolution; it was about creating a new empire with Napoleon the dictator or the emperor. "
" One of my most persistent, long-term fantasy wishes is not that I could fly or become invisible, but that I could make sound recording be invented decades or even centuries earlier than it was, so I could hear what people in the 1830s or 1750s actually sounded like. "
" Prisoners around the world have said that reading 'The Count of Monte Cristo' helped them get through their ordeal. That's something to aspire to. "
" Remembering people is the most fundamental gesture of love and respect. For me, there are people in my life who are no longer with me, who have died, who are with me as much as any living person because I remember everything about them. My great-uncle, who I got a lot of guidance in life from, meant so much to me. "
" Since 2002, there has been a wave of attacks against Jewish 'persons or property' in France, a great many of them committed by young men living outside Paris, in the vast ghettos called les banlieues. "
" Sugar planting was the oil business of the eighteenth century, and Saint-Domingue was the Ancien Regime's Wild West frontier, where sons of impoverished noble families could strike it rich. "
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