politics Quotes

99 of the best book quotes about politics
  1. #1
    “A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends.”
  2. #2
    “There is no subject of public interest—politics, news, education, religion, science, sports—that does not find its way to television. Which means that all public understanding of these subjects is shaped by the biases of television.”
  3. #3
    “In my teens I saw the world in only black and white. Now I know that most things exist in a certain gray area. Though it took a while to get here, I now call this gray area home. I once believed that participating in a capitalist economy would be the death of me, but now realize that agonizing over the political implications of every move I make isn’t exactly living.”
  4. #4
    “I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago, and done no good either to you or to myself.”
  5. #5
    “Some one may wonder why I go about in private giving advice and busying myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in public and advise the state. I will tell you why. You have heard me speak at sundry times and in divers places of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign, which is a kind of voice, first began to come to me when I was a child; it always forbids but never commands me to do anything which I am going to do. This is what deters me from being a politician.”
  6. #6
    “And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal.”
  7. #7
    “To lay down a man’s right to anything is to divest himself of the liberty of hindering another of the benefit of his own right to the same.”
  8. #8
    “A commonwealth is said to be instituted when a multitude of men do agree, and covenant, every one with every one, that to whatsoever man, or assembly of men, shall be given by the major part the right to present the person of them all, that is to say, to be their representative; every one, as well he that voted for it as he that voted against it, shall authorize all the actions and judgements of that man, or assembly of men, in the same manner as if they were his own, to the end to live peaceably amongst themselves, and be protected against other men.”
  9. #9
    “We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt.”
  10. #10
    “We found that for leaders to make something great, their ambition has to be for the greatness of the work and the company, rather than for themselves.”
  11. #11
    “There are a whole lot of religious people in America, including the majority of Democrats. When we abandon the field of religious discourse—when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations toward one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome—others will fill the vacuum. And those who do are likely to be those with the most insular views of faith, or who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.”
  12. #12
    “We have no authoritative figure, no Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow whom we all listen to and trust to sort out contradictory claims. Instead, the media is splintered into a thousand fragments, each with its own version of reality, each claiming the loyalty of a splintered nation.”
  1. #13
    “Oh, if I had an instant’s strength in this hand of mine I would set fire to the gates and to those houses and courts within, even though I burned in the fire. A thousand curses to the parents that bore the children of Hwang!”
  2. #14
    “The common people had to move, then, and they moved complaining and cursing because a rich man could do as he would and they packed their tattered possessions and went away swelling with anger and muttering that one day they would come back even as the poor do come back when the rich are too rich.”
  3. #15
    “Now how ignorant you are, you who still wear your hair in a long tail! No one can make it rain when it will not, but what has this to do with us? If the rich would share with us what they have, rain or not would matter none, because we would all have money and food.”
  4. #16
    “No, what’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics--the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem.”
  5. #17
    “In few other professions are you required, each and every day, to weigh so many competing claims—between different sets of constituents, between the interests of your state and the interests of the nation, between party loyalty and your own sense of independence, between the value of service and obligations to your family. There is a constant danger, in the cacophony of voices, that a politician loses his moral bearings and finds himself entirely steered by the winds of public opinion.”
  6. #18
    “And it’s safe to assume that those in power would think longer and harder about launching a war if they envisioned their own sons and daughters in harm’s way.”
  7. #19
    “Since no one can read, every candidate is designated by a symbol. Wisely these men choose to represent themselves with useful things - knife, bottle, matches, cooking pot.”
  8. #20
    “I do not mean that you should be a slave to any king, but only that you should assist them and be useful to them.” “The change of the word,” said he, “does not alter the matter.”
  9. #21
    “However, by early 2014 one conclusion had gained considerable traction across partisan lines: The attacks could have been prevented.”
  10. #22
    “It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
  11. #23
    “The soul of our politics is the commitment to ending domination.”
  12. #24
    Sudden shifts and changes are no bad preparation for political life.

Books about courage

View All
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Board book
Add to list
Chapter book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
  1. #25
    “The persistent refusal of the Adamses to sacrifice the integrity of their own intellectual and moral standards and values for the sake of winning public office or popular favor is another of the measuring rods by which we may measure the divergence of American life from its starting point.”
  2. #26
    “If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”
  3. #27
    “There are no gods here, no ghosts and spirits in America, there are no angels in America, no spiritual past, no racial past, there’s only the political, and the decoys and the ploys to maneuver around the inescapable battle of politics”
  4. #28
    And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
  5. #29
    “To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.”
  6. #30
    “What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.”
  7. #31
    “Mastery of language affords remarkable power.”
  8. #32
    You have clearly proved that ignorance, idleness, and vice, are the proper ingredients for qualifying a legislator.
  9. #33
    “The elections were faked and they believe the results.”
  10. #34
    “The regime got scared because if these opponents had reached Tehran, they would have freed those who represented a real threat to the government…”
  11. #35
    Laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied by those whose interest and abilities lie in perverting, confounding, and eluding them.
  12. #36
    When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office.
  1. #37
    “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.”
  2. #38
    “They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.”
  3. #39
    “In politics, like religion, power lay in certainty - and that one man’s certainty always threatened another’s.”
  4. #40
    “The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance.”
  5. #41
    “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.”
  6. #42
    “On December 14, a high-level delegation from Silicon Valley came to Trump Tower to meet the president-elect, though Trump had repeatedly criticized the tech industry throughout the campaign. Later that afternoon, Trump called Rupert Murdoch, who asked him how the meeting had gone. “Oh, great, just great,” said Trump. “Really, really good. These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.” “Donald,” said Murdoch, “for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.”
  7. #43
    “On December 14, a high-level delegation from Silicon Valley came to Trump Tower to meet the president-elect, though Trump had repeatedly criticized the tech industry throughout the campaign. Later that afternoon, Trump called Rupert Murdoch, who asked him how the meeting had gone. “Oh, great, just great,” said Trump. “Really, really good. These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.” “Donald,” said Murdoch, “for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.”
  8. #44
    “But that’s politics for you: a bunch of game-players sitting around congratulating each other in safety while real lives are getting screwed up.”
  9. #45
    “For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”
  10. #46
    “The only thing I’m afraid of about this country is that its government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn’t be worth living in.”
  11. #47
    “If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.”
  12. #48
    “Politics isn’t won by commanding the facts, but by connecting with people’s experiences.”

Books about politics

View All
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Board book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
Picture book
Add to list
  1. #49
    “In politics, victory goes to those with cunning, mettle and deviousness, not those who have facts and principles on their side.”
  2. #50
    “To understand Russia, to understand Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Boston, identity politics, Sri Lanka, and Life Savers, you have to be on top of this hill.”
  3. #51
    “Ethical studies may fairly be called political; and for this reason rhetoric masquerades as political science, and the professors of it as political experts-sometimes from want of education, sometimes from ostentation, sometimes owing to other human failings.”
  4. #52
    “The main matters on which all men deliberate and on which political speakers make speeches are some five in number: ways and means, war and peace, national defence, imports and exports, and legislation.”
  5. #53
    “Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.”
  6. #54
    “In fact, its extreme case against government, often including intense personal attacks on government officials and political leaders, is designed not just to restrain government but to advance narrow religious, political, and economic agendas.”
  7. #55
    “How one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation.”
  8. #56
    “It is necessary for a prince to have the people friendly.”
  9. #57
    “In the body politic as in the body personal, nonresistance to the milder indulgences paves the way for nonresistance to the deadlier.”
  10. #58
    “My dear father, only people who look dull ever get into the House of Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.”
  11. #59
    “I delight in talking politics. I talk them all day long. But I can’t bear listening to them.”
  12. #60
    “To say that my German friends were nonpolitical, and to say no more, is to libel them. As in nearly all European countries, a very much larger proportion of Germans than Americans turns out for political meetings, political discussions, and local and general elections. Where the German was (in contrast with the American) nonpolitical was at a deeper level. He was habitually deficient in the sense of political power that the American possesses (and the Englishman, the Frenchman, the Scandinavian, and the Swiss). He saw the State in such majesty and magnificence, and himself in such insignificance, that he could not relate himself to the actual operation of the State.”
  1. #61
    “I never get involved in politics.”
  2. #62
    “Those who have no understanding of the political world around them have no right to criticize or complain.”
  3. #63
    “Sooner will a camel pass through the eye of a needle, than a great man be found by an election.”
  4. #64
    “The first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him.”
  5. #65
    “One who becomes a prince through the favour of the people ought to keep them friendly, and this he can easily do seeing they only ask not to be oppressed by him.”
  6. #66
    “Sooner or later in political life one has to compromise. Every one does.”
  7. #67
    “Worse, certainly, than Communism; for it is not the performance of political systems which justifies or condemns them, but their principles. Communism, in principle, supposes itself to represent the wretched of the earth and bars no man by nature from Communist redemption; the Nazis, in categorical contrast, took themselves to be the elite of the earth and consigned whole categories of men to perdition by their nature. The distinctions between these two totalitarianisms may not command much interest in the present temper of the Western Christian; they are still distinctions.”
  8. #68
    “Politics are my only pleasure.”
  9. #69
    “National Socialism was a revulsion by my friends against parliamentary politics, parliamentary debate, parliamentary government—against all the higgling and the haggling of the parties and the splinter parties, their coalitions, their confusions, and their conniving. It was the final fruit of the common man’s repudiation of ‘the rascals’. Its motif was, ‘Throw them all out.‘”
  10. #70
    “The sovereign, having no force other than the legislative power, acts only by means of the laws.”
  11. #71
    “In the purely civil profession of faith...the Sovereign should fix the social sentiments.”
  12. #72
    “As soon as ay man says of the affairs of he State “What does it matter to me?” the State may be given up for lost.”
  1. #73
    “The President of the United States is not subject to quite the same test of political courage as a Senator.”
  2. #74
    “When the whole people decrees for the whole people, it is considering only itself.
  3. #75
    “When citizens would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall.”
  4. #76
    “Each of us puts his person...under the supreme direction of the general will.”
  5. #77
    “Courage, the universal virtue, is comprehended by us all—but these portraits of courage do not dispel the mysteries of politics.”
  6. #78
    “Today the challenge of political courage looms larger than ever before.”
  7. #79
    “It is precisely because they did love themselves-- because each one’s need to maintain his own respect for himself was more important to him than his popularity with others-- because his desire to win or maintain a reputation for integrity and courage was stronger than his desire to maintain his office.”
  8. #80
    “And one of the first and most startling things you find out is, that every individual you encounter in the City of Washington ... from the highest bureau chief, clear down to the maid who scrubs Department halls, the night watchmen of the public buildings... represents Political Influence.”
  9. #81
    “Unless you can get the ear of a Senator, or a Congressman, or a Chief of a Bureau or Department, and persuade him to use his ‘influence’ in your behalf, you cannot get an employment of the most trivial nature in Washington.”
  10. #82
    “The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that’s why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap.”
  11. #83
    “The skills required to run a great political campaign have little to do with the skills required to govern.”
  12. #84
    “If anarchy, therefore, were the inevitable consequence of rejecting the new Constitution, it would be infinitely better to incur it, for even then there would be at least the chance of a good government rising out of licentiousness. ”
  1. #85
    “Politics is for people who have a passion for changing life but lack a passion for living it.”
  2. #86
    ″ But to rush at once into despotism because there is a bare possibility of anarchy ensuing from the rejection, or from what is yet more visionary, the small delay that would be occasioned by a revision and correction of the proposed system of government is so superlatively weak, so fatally blind, that it is astonishing any person of common understanding should suffer such an imposition to have the least influence on his judgment.”
  3. #87
    “Politics is an art of maneuvering, and to move them you must change home base.”
  4. #88
    “That is the aim of the Liberal Party, and if we work together we will do something for its definite accomplishment.”
  5. #89
    “It is evident, then, that it is better for property to be private, but to make it common in use.”
  6. #90
    “The political good is justice, and this is the common advantage.”
  7. #91
    “For as man is the best of all animals when he has reached his full development, so he is worst of all when divorced from law and justice.”
  8. #92
    “From these things it is evident, then, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal.”
  9. #93
    “You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him—why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument?”
  10. #94
    “Political genius lies in extracting success even from the people’s ruin.”
  11. #95
    “Let all political pursuits that neglect the poor and make the rich richer be dealt with.”
  12. #96
    “The public execution is to be understood not only as a judicial, but also as a political ritual.”
  13. #97
    “Delinquency (is) a politically or economically less dangerous—and ... usable—form of illegality.”
  14. #98
    “Visibility is a trap.”
  15. #99
    “Discipline is a political anatomy of detail.”
Book Topics › government
Children's Books About Government
Join Our Kids Book Club
Learn More