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Quotes & Inspirational Sayings

145 Famous Quotes About History and Culture {With Images}


Quotes about history contain information on the wisdom and knowledge of individuals over various time periods. They offer us lessons and methods that could make our lives better if we implement them sincerely.

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
Winston S. Churchill

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
Steve Maraboli

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
Michael Crichton

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”
Virginia Woolf

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Mark Twain – Quotes About History

“People have an annoying habit of remembering things they shouldn’t.”
Christopher Paolini, Eragon

inspirational quotes about history

“Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

“I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

“Never say more than is necessary.”
Richard Brinsley Sheridan – Quotes About History

“We’ll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.”
James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself.”
José Mart

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

“We are all fools in love.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Old books exert a strange fascination for me — their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.”
Lauren Willig

“What really happened doesn’t matter. What matters is how we agree to remember it.”
Leila Sales, Past Perfect

“History – An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.”
Ambrose Bierce

inspirational quotes about history

“The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”
Epictetus – Quotes About History

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
James Joyce, Ulysses

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”
Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
Edmund Burke

“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.”
Malcolm X

“If cats could write history, their history would be mostly about cats.”
Eugen Weber

“In the words of a very famous dead person, ‘A nation that does not know its history is doomed to do poorly on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.”
Dave Barry, Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States

“It is better to believe in men too rashly, and regret, than believe too meanly. Men could be more than they are, if they would try for it. He has shown them that.”
Mary Renault, The Persian Boy

inspirational quotes about history

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
Rosa Luxemburg

“The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.”
Bertolt Brecht

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

“Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.”
Vladimir Lenin – Quotes About History

“Sometimes I feel like we’re a knot, too tangled to be taken apart.”
Kiera Cass, The Elite

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

“When a man learns to love, he must bear the risk of hatred.”
Masashi Kishimoto

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

“The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.”
Robert Penn Warren

“A woman’s got one life: She’s got to reach out and grab it with both hands, or it’ll pass her by and leave nothing but a smelly old fart in her face.”
Robin Schone, Scandalous Lovers

“Human history is a Gaian dream.”
Terence McKenna

“We know only that in some strange and melancholy way we have become a waste land. All the same, we are not often sad.”
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

“Successful revolutions are those which end up by erasing all traces of themselves.”
Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right

inspirational quotes about history

“The Revolution introduced me to art, and in turn, art introduced me to the Revolution!”
Albert Einstein – Quotes About History

“The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.”
Leon Trotsky, Their Morals and Ours

“History is written by the victors.”
Walter Benjamin

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

“The sea is nothing but a library of all the tears in history.”
Lemony Snicket

“Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it.”
Lemony Snicket, The End

“You know the saying: he who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it. And when it’s repeated, the stakes are doubled.”
Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

“History is written by the winners.”
Napoléon Bonaparte – Quotes About History

“By its very nature, history is always a one-sided account.”
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

“Where I’m from, we believe in all sorts of things that aren’t true… we call it history.”
Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

“Freaks become norms, and norms become extinct. Monster by monster, evolution advanced.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene: An Intimate History

“Historical determinism is a recipe for political quietism.”
Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right

“Insecure people often falsify the past, in order to make the future pure.”
Shannon L. Alder

history quotes

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
Winston S. Churchill

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”
Barack Obama – Quotes About History

“There’s an old saying about those who forget history. I don’t remember it, but it’s good.”
Stephen Colbert

“Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
Adam Smith

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
H.G. Wells

“Your pretty empire took so long to build, now, with a snap of history’s fingers, down it goes.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.”
George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

“One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”
Golda Meir, My Life

“Learn from your history, but don’t live in it.”
Steve Maraboli

“The imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.”
Terence McKenna

“Sometimes – history needs a push.”
Vladimir Lenin

history quotes

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”
Frédéric Bastiat

“I just don’t see why the past has to matter.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels

“We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.”
George Bernard Shaw

“All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.”
Friedrich Nietzsche – Quotes About History

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

“The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.”
Harry Truman

“You need to read more science fiction. Nobody who reads science fiction comes out with this crap about the end of history.”
Iain Banks

“History isn’t about dates and places and wars. It’s about the people who fill the spaces between them.”
Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller

“The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, that my friends, that is true perversion!”
Harvey Milk

“You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Carl Sagan

“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”

“If I had known they were going to do this, I would have become a shoemaker.”
Albert Einstein – Quotes About History

“I sound contemptuous, but I am not. I am interested–intrigued even–by the way time erases real lives, leaving only vague imprints. Blood and spirit fade away so that only names and dates remain.”
Kate Morton, The House at Riverton

history quotes

“No matter what your history has been, your destiny is what you create today. What are you going to create?”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“History written in pencil is easily erased, but crayon is forever.”
Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

“It’s hard to throw away history. It was like you were throwing away a part of yourself.”
Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

“History isn’t the lies of the victors, as I once glibly assured Old Joe Hunt; I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious or defeated.”
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
Thomas Paine – Quotes About History

“He who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it.”
Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”
Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History

“I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I’m still here. I have a history of victory.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.”
Susan Sontag

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
Stephen R. Covey

“Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism.”
Vladimir Lenin

“No Statue of Liberty ever greeted our arrival in this country…we did not, in fact, come to the United States at all. The United States came to us.”
Luis Valdez – Quotes About History

“Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.”
Karl Marx, Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

“Maybe history wouldn’t have to repeat itself if we listened once in awhile.”
Wynne McLaughlin

“I had come to Yugoslavia to see what history meant in flesh and blood.”
Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

history quotes

“Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“Time after time, history demonstrates that when people don’t want to believe something, they have enormous skills of ignoring it altogether.”
Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

“Everything is relative in this world, where change alone endures.”
Leon Trotsky – Quotes About History

“Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle.”
Vladimir Lenin

“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana, The Life of Reason: Five Volumes in One

“No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words.”
Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light

“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”
Winston S. Churchill

“History is a Rorschach test, people. What you see when you look at it tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past.”
Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”
Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan

“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.”
Richard Lederer, Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language

“And in the absence of facts, myth rushes in, the kudzu of history.”
Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life

“There is no document of civilization that is not also a document of barbarism.”
Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History

“History is idle gossip about a happening whose truth is lost the instant it has taken place.”
Gore Vidal, Julian

“My mind is in a state of constant rebellion. I believe that will always be so.”
George Mallory – Quotes About History

“Never lend if you need repayment; never give where you want a return.”
Lindsey Davis, The Course of Honor

history quotes

“Learning the truth has become my life’s love.”
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

“Right time, right place, right people equals success. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people equals most of the real human history.”
Idries Shah, Reflections

“History dressed up in the glow of love’s kiss turned grief into beauty.”
Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

“Horror is the natural reaction to the last 5,000 years of history.”
Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to Earth

“It is better to fill your head with useless knowledge than no knowledge at all.”
Jim Hinckley, Route 66 Backroads: Your Guide to Scenic Side Trips & Adventures from the Mother Road

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Quotes About History

“How do I define history? It’s just one fucking thing after another.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

“In the beginning was the Word. Then came the fucking word processor. Then came the thought processor. Then came the death of literature. And so it goes.”
Dan Simmons, Hyperion

“Most of the mess that is called history comes about because kings and presidents cannot be satisfied with a nice chicken and a good loaf of bread.”
Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

“Humanism is the only – I would go so far as saying the final- resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.”
Edward W. Said

“History is Storytelling.”
Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing

“Rough palms cradled my face while my fingers gripped the pillow on either side of his. Lips, teeth, tongue, mingled together. I ate him up and didn’t let go until I had to come up for air.”
Priya Ardis

“The geologist takes up the history of the earth at the point where the archaeologist leaves it, and carries it further back into remote antiquity.”
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas

“It’s subjunctive history. You know, the subjunctive? The mood used when something may or may not have happened. When it is imagined.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

“The tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible.”
Anderson Cooper

history quotes

“Somehow the past is a safe place to explore our collective cultural neuroses.”
Tom Hiddleston

“He gave me a small smile, and in that smile I saw our whole catastrophic history playing out before my eyes.”
Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me

“People always fear what they don’t understand, Evangeline. History proves that.”
Libba Bray, The Diviners

“Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”
Winston S. Churchill – Quotes About History

“I am the Love that Dare not Speak its Name.”
Alfred Bruce Douglas

“History has rewritten itself so many times I’m not really sure how it was to begin with — it’s a bit like trying to guess the original color of a wall when it’s been repainted eight times.”
Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten

“There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”
Michelle Cooper, A Brief History of Montmaray

“History is just a way of keeping score, but it doesn’t have to be who we are.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants

“I knew I was alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before.”
Michael Collins – Quotes About History

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”
George S. Patton Jr.

“The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.”
Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

“This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: ‘At the time, no one knew what was coming.”
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

“The student is to read history actively not passively.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

“Beyond all sciences, philosophies, theologies, and histories, a child’s relentless inquiry is truly all it takes to remind us that we don’t know as much as we think we know.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

history quotes

“A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“We learn from history that we don’t learn from history!”
Desmond Tutu

“There was something so heavy about the burden of history, of the past. I wasn’t sure I had it in me to keep looking back.”
Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

“The repeated lies become history, but they don’t necessarily become the truth.”
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

“History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.”
David McCullough – Quotes About History

“The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future.”
Stephen E. Ambrose

“Those who understand history are condemned to watch other idiots repeat it.”
Peter Lamborn Wilson

“To believe that what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in the dignity of man.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“There was one great tomb more lordly than all the rest; huge it was, and nobly proportioned. On it was but one word, DRACULA.”
Bram Stoker, Dracula

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty and there is nothing to fear from them then he is always stirring up some wary or other in order that the people may require a leader.”

“Patterns repeat themselves in history.”
Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

history quotes

“We need the courage to learn from our past and not live in it.”
Sharon Salzberg, The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love & Compassion

“How fortunate it was for the world that when these great trials came upon it there was a generation that terror could not conquer and brutal violence could not enslave.”
Winston S. Churchill

“The problem is not the content of textbooks, but the very idea of them.”
Sam Wineburg

“Well, that’s history for you, folks. Unfair, untrue and for the most part written by folk who weren’t even there.”
Joanne Harris, The Gospel of Loki

“There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

“Once people said: Give me liberty or give me death. Now they say: Make me a slave, just pay me enough.”
Todd Garlington

“Anybody can make history; only a great man can write it.”
Oscar Wilde

“History is no more fixed and dead than the future. The past is no further away than the last breath you took.”
Robin Hobb

“Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity.”
Niccolo Machiavelli

“Never question the power of one! Throughout history it has been the actions of only one person who has in inspired the movement of change.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“Why should we look to the past in order to prepare for the future? Because there is nowhere else to look.”
James Burke, Connections

“Tyranny is Tyranny, let it come from whom it may.”
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

“You can’t be a full participant in our democracy if you don’t know our history.”
David McCullough – Quotes About History

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