Tag Archives: The Devil’s Dictionary

Some Thoughts on History

Enjoy (or not) these musings by famous people on the topic of history:

HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.                 — Ambrose Bierce, from The Devil’s Dictionary

History is a set of lies agreed upon.     —Napoleon Bonaparte

History is bunk.  —Henry Ford

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.  —George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

History is nothing but a collection of fables and useless trifles, cluttered up with a mass of unnecessary figures and proper names. —Leo Tolstoy

History repeats itself; that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history. —Clarence Darrow

 

 

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Ambrose Bierce and Politicians

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In case you’re not familiar with Ambrose Bierce, here’s a brief entry explaining who he is/was. The Devil’s Dictionary is likely his most famous work. If you like snark, you’ll enjoy browsing through it. Below is his definition of a politician.

Bierce, Ambrose |bi(ə)rs(1842– c.1914), US writer, best known for his sardonic short stories that include “An Occurrence at Owk Creek Bridge” (1891) and his satirical treatment of the English language in The Devil’s Dictionary (1911); full name Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce. In 1913, he traveled to Mexico and mysteriously disappeared.

POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

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