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" The bestseller list is the tip of the iceberg. "
Tip Of The Iceberg
" It used to be that the highest ambition of American novelists was to write 'the Great American Novel,' that great white whale of American fiction that would encompass all the American experience in one great book. "
" I do not start with a full knowledge of the facts; the whole attraction of writing history is to educate myself: it is an exploration into the unknown - 'a journey without maps,' to borrow Graham Greene's phrase. "
" Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully and imaginatively for its hidden assets. "
" I came into book publishing without any particular impulse to be in book publishing. "
" It strikes me that people want to be engaged, and that those who go into a bookstore in a time of crisis are much more likely to be looking for explanation than for escapism. "
" In 1918, Germany suffered the ghastly consequences of defeat; France suffered those of victory, the price of which was to divide and embitter French politics and culture and lead to its defeat in 1940. "
" In my experience, with very few exceptions - I am, as it happens, one of the exceptions - the one thing that most editors don't want to do is edit. It's not nearly as conducive to a successful career as having lunch out with important agents or going to meetings where you get noticed. "
" One of the first rules of playing the power game is that all bad news must be accepted calmly, as if one already knew and didn't care. "
" When my elders mentioned 'The War,' they invariably meant that of 1914-1918, even after 1939, for the Second World War was merely the continuation of the first, 'an armistice of 20 years,' as Marshal Foch had accurately predicted at the Versailles Peace Conference, with some changes of side. "
" An ounce of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition. "
" Success has always been easy to measure. It is the distance between one's origins and one's final achievement. "
" I attended first a military academy, then a public school in Beverly Hills, where we lived, and many of my classmates were the children of movie stars and studio executives. "
" Never reveal all of yourself to other people; hold back something in reserve so that people are never quite sure if they really know you. "
" Prime ministers come and go, but so long as he or she lives, the sovereign remains, receiving and reading all state papers and meeting once a week with the prime minister to advise, enquire, and comment - sometimes sharply, as was the case with Queen Elizabeth II and Mrs. Thatcher - on affairs of state. "
" Numbers of sales do not correspond to numbers of readers. "
" Most biographers are apt to be discouraged by the sheer volume of papers left behind by their subject. "
" The novelist wants to know how things will turn out; the historian already knows how things turned out, but wants to know why they turned out the way they did. "
" The big bestsellers aren't being created by Barnes & Noble. "
" 'Il faut vivre' might almost be the French national motto from 1940 to June 1944, but who is to say ours would have been any different if the Germans had paraded victoriously through London and Generalfeldmarschall Von Runstedt made his headquarters at Claridge's? "
" From time to time, one imagined Bill Clinton had charisma, but it never really was more than an occasional false glare. "
" Ronald Reagan had a kind of shallow movie-star charisma - a combination of makeup and the skill of a good actor - but it wasn't the real thing, and was something that he could turn off when the cameras weren't running. "
" It's often said that everybody has a story to tell, and I suppose that's true, but the problem is that most of them aren't worth telling. "
" In Eastern Europe, the past is not only always hovering over the present, it is not even passed. It waits, like some malevolent caged beast, ready at any moment to escape and bring back all the horrors. "
" Frost was no match for Nixon - far from being an intrepid and challenging interviewer, he was a pushover for the great and the famous, always deeply impressed with the fact that here he was, David Frost, putting questions to - Richard Nixon! "
" To have a childhood surrounded by people like Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh sounds glitzy, but for years I wanted to repress it. I couldn't take that kind of power and success. "
" The purely agitation attitude is not good enough for a detailed consideration of a subject. "
Not Good Enough
" There used to be a strong belief that if you wanted to know what was really going on in a country, the best thing to do was to go there and ask a taxi driver. "
" While politicians may be forgiven for failing to predict the future - who can, alas? - it is amazing that they defiantly ignore the past. "
" I never met Peter O'Toole, but he one was of those rare actors whose success was defined by a single role. His incandescent performance in David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia' is one that nobody who saw it will ever forget. "
" It is not necessary to agree with the Arab point of view about their own history, but it is foolish to ignore it. "