- Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Volume III, p. 274.
People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
The man who has not anything to boast of but his illustrious ancestors is like a potato,—the only good belonging to him is under ground.
- Sir Thomas Overbury, Characters
Birth and ancestry, and that which we have not ourselves achieved, we can scarcely call our own.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, XIII. 140.
Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. I know people who can't even learn from what happened this morning. Hegel must have been taking the long view.
- John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1968)
Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child.
- Cicero, M. Tulli Ciceronis Orator Ad M. Brutum (46 B.C.)
Everybody likes a bit of gossip to some point, as long as it's gossip with some point to it. That's why I like history. History is nothing but gossip about the past, with the hope that it might be true.
- Gore Vidal, Interview in: Butt, Nr. 20, Special Summer 2007, S. 63.
If you don't know history, it's as if you were born yesterday. If you were born yesterday, then any leader can tell you anything.
- Howard Zinn, War and Social Justice, speech at Binghamton University on 8 November 2008.