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" Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, Robert Lincoln bought a nice ski lodge. "
" I didn't come from any kind of academic background, but I lived in a college town and I knew people who weren't without pretense. There was this idea in the town that if something was European it would be good. "
" The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Civil War - when I really think about them, they all seem about as likely as the parting of the Red Sea. "
" Part of the success of This American Life, I think, is due to the fact that none of us sound like we should be on the radio. We don't sound professional; we sound like people you would know. "
" I hated the lost colony; in second grade, we were doing American History, and they said, We don't know what happened to them. That drove me nuts. That lost colony drove me crazy. "
" While I gave up God a long time ago, I never shook the habit of wanting to believe in something. So I replaced my creed of everlasting life with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "
" The one time I was an actor, it happened to be in a globally dominant juggernaut. That was lucky. "
" My audience is going to die before I do. "
" Not that I want the current president killed. I will, for the record and for the FBI agent assigned to read this and make sure I mean no harm, clearly state that while I am obsessed with death, I am against it. "
" I get younger people who watch Conan or The Daily Show, but before that it was mostly people who knew me from public radio. Those people are kind of old. "
" Relics are treasured as something close to the divine. "
" I discovered that Robert Todd Lincoln was there for each of the first three assassinations. I wanted to write about the Lincoln Memorial, so when I found out he had attended its dedication, that helped focus it further. "
" The whole point of Louis Armstrong is that no one can really figure him out. There was a while where I thought you could try. "
" I'm a big fan of editing and keeping only the interesting bits in. "
" Most people don't like to talk about violent historical death. "
" I loved that these two guys argued with each other as if movies actually mattered. Nobody I knew talked about movies that way, but Siskel and Ebert took each movie as it came and talked about whether it was a success on its own terms. "
" I seem to have no problem revealing my crush on the man who murdered Lincoln. "
" One night last summer, all the killers in my head assembled on a stage in Massachusetts to sing show tunes. "
" I was a big Nancy Drew reader. Nancy figures it out. Case closed. "
" Assassins and presidents invite the same basic question: Just who do you think you are? "
" What are you hiding? No one ever asks that. "
" Jesus and Lincoln, Moses and Jefferson can seem so long gone, so unbelievable, so dead. "
" In death, you get upgraded into a saint no matter how much people hated you in life. "
" Like Lincoln, I would like to believe the ballot is stronger than the bullet. Then again, he said that before he got shot. "
" History is full of really good stories. That's the main reason I got into this racket: I want to make the argument that history is interesting. "