The Yale Book of Quotations

By Fred Shapiro; Fred R. Shapiro (Editor); Joseph Epstein (Foreword by)
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300107982, 1104pp.)

Publication Date: October 2006

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This reader-friendly volume contains more than 12,000 famous quotations, arranged alphabetically by author. It is unique in its focus on American quotations and its inclusion of items not only from literary and historical sources but also from popular culture, sports, computers, science, politics, law, and the social sciences. Anonymously authored items appear in sections devoted to folk songs, advertising slogans, television catchphrases, proverbs, and others.
For each quotation, a source and first date of use is cited. In many cases, new research for this book has uncovered an earlier date or a different author than had previously been understood. (It was Beatrice Kaufman, not Sophie Tucker, who exclaimed, I ve been poor and I ve been rich. Rich is better William Tecumseh Sherman wasn t the originator of War is hell It was Napoleon.) Numerous entries are enhanced with annotations to clarify meaning or context for the reader. These interesting annotations, along with extensive cross-references that identify related quotations and a large keyword index, will satisfy both the reader who seeks specific information and the curious browser who appreciates an amble through entertaining pages.

About the Author
Fred R. Shapiro is associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at the Yale Law School. He lives in New Haven. He is a well-known authority on quotations and the editor of "The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations."

Associate Librarian for Public Research and Lecturer in Legal Research at the Yale Law School.

Joseph Epstein has been the editor of the American Scholar since 1975. His own books of essays include The Middle of My Tether, Once More Around the Block, A Line Out for a Walk, Pertinent Players, and With My Trousers Rolled (all published by Norton). He was guest editor for Best American Essays (1993) and teaches at Northwestern University. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2009

The quotes of current times are not great rhetorical speeches, but outbursts and clever remarks. This year's No. 1 quote, as selected by the The Yale Book of Quotations: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare," uttered by an anonymous attendee at a town hall health care meeting in South Carolina. More at

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