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" I follow the Patriots, but the Steelers were my first and true love. I still have a 'Terrible Towel.' "
" As an author of narrative history, I read a lot of history books. "
" Right whales - so named because they were 'the right whale to kill' - grazed the waters off Nantucket as if they were seagoing cattle, straining the nutrient-rich surface of the ocean through the bushy plates of baleen in their perpetually grinning mouths. "
" I was an English major at Brown. I never enjoyed history classes. "
" For me, 'Moby-Dick' is more than the greatest American novel ever written; it is a metaphysical survival manual - the best guidebook there is for a literate man or woman facing an impenetrable unknown: the future of civilization in this storm-tossed 21st century. "
" I'm a big Stephen King fan. "
" I hated the fact that I had to read 'Moby-Dick' as a senior in high school. "
" I consider myself a writer who happens to write about history, rather than a historian. I was an English major in college. What I've learned about history is in the field, so to speak. Going into the archives and working with it directly. "
" I do work-related stuff on airplanes. Then, when I'm in the hotel room or just vegging out, I read for pleasure. "
" Whatever you read, there's no better place to read than the cockpit or the berth of a boat. It's kind of like being in a womb. "
" As long as I can remember, I've been writing - first poems, then stories, and by my early teenage years I was also in love with sailing. "
" After Brown, I went to Duke, to a Ph.D. program in American literature. My dad's an English professor. After a year there, I was like, 'Jesus. I don't want to do this. I don't want to be in the library.' So I pulled the ripcord, and that was it. "
" 'Johnny Tremain,' Paul Revere's Ride, today's Tea Partiers - you have to tune all that out to get at the real story. "
" I'm not one of these people who want to tear down our heroes and that kind of thing. "
" I don't subscribe to the idea that the founders or anyone else were somehow better than us and that we have to live up to their example. "
" Whaling was the oil business of its day. "
" The irony is that Washington was, in reality, very much like Benedict Arnold. The big difference was that Washington was ultimately able to control his emotions, something Arnold never learned to do. "
" More than 25 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and only 14 miles long, Nantucket is, as Herman Melville wrote in 'Moby-Dick,' 'away off shore.' "
" Reading 'Moby-Dick' helps you discover how to live. "
" History is obviously dependent on the evidence, and it's always amazing to me how much evidence there is. "
" Nantucket's English settlers, who first disembarked on the island in 1659, had been mindful of the sea's dangers. They had hoped to earn their livelihoods not as fishermen but as farmers and shepherds on this grassy isle dotted with ponds, where no wolves preyed. "
" A survival tale peels away the niceties and comforts of civilization. Suddenly, all the technology and education in the world means nothing. I think all of us wonder while reading a survival tale, 'What would I have done in this situation? Would I have made it?' "
" A good leader has to at some point trust those around him; otherwise, nothing constructive is going to get done. "
" The American Revolution as it actually unfolded was so troubling and strange that once the struggle was over, a generation did its best to remove all traces of the truth. "
" The great lesson I get from 'Moby-Dick' is that when the times are bad, when there is great foreboding, there are still ways to go about living. It's through Ishmael that I find a kind of overall cosmic approach to a meaningful life in this meaningless world. "
" I watch a lot of bad TV. I spend my entire day reading and writing, and after dinner my idea of fun is just to watch a lot of bad TV. That's how I relax and stay in touch with modern culture. "
" You cannot underestimate the influence of Shakespeare. "
" Joseph Warren, like a lot of revolutionary leaders, was into Enlightenment literature. "
" Most Americans have no clue that before there were highways, there were only waterways to get through the wilderness. If you weren't on a lake or a river, you were in a jungle. "
" What's been largely forgotten is that Washington was highly passionate and aggressive, and it was only after losing Philadelphia to the British after a string of disastrous battlefield performances that he finally resigned himself to the more conservative approach with which he has since become associated. "
" We think of the revolution ending in Yorktown, Va. The fact of the matter is that the French defeated the British in a naval battle right in the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Because the British fleet was coming to rescue Cornwallis, the British general, Washington was able to surround Cornwallis. "