They Never Said It : A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions

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Oxford University Press, USA, May 18, 1989 - History - 192 pages
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Abraham Lincoln never said, "You cannot fool all the people all the time." Thomas Jefferson never said, "That government is best which governs least." And Horace Greeley never said, "Go west, young man." In They Never Said It, Paul Boller, Jr., and John George examine hundreds of misquotations, incorrect attributions, and blatant fabrications, outlining the origins of the quotes and revealing why they should be consigned to the historical trashcan. Many of the misquotes are quite harmless. Some are inadvertent misquotes that have become popular (Shakespeare actually said, "The best part of valor is discretion"), others, the inventions of reporters embellishing a story (Franklin Roosevelt never opened a speech to a DAR group with the salutation, "My fellow immigrants"). But some of the quotes, such as Charles Darwin's supposed deathbed recantation of evolution, are blatantly dishonest and falsify the historical record. And others are chillingly vicious, filled with virulent racial and religious prejudices that completely distort the views of the person supposedly quoted and spread distrust and hatred among the gullible. These include the forged remarks attributed to Benjamin Franklin that Jews should be excluded from America, and the fabricated condemnation of Catholics attributed to Lincoln. An entertaining and yet thought-provoking book, They Never Said It sorts out a great deal of history and sets it right, going beyond a mere catalog of popular misconceptions to reveal how conservatives and liberals, atheists and evangelists, all have at times twisted and even invented the words of eminent figures to promote their own ends. It is the ultimate debunking reference, a perfect complement to handbooks of quotations.
 

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User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

The authors detail a long list of quotes attributed to famous individuals, but which were never spoken by those individuals, or which are commonly taken out of context. A good reference for anyone ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

The authors detail a long list of quotes attributed to famous individuals, but which were never spoken by those individuals, or which are commonly taken out of context. A good reference for anyone ... Read full review

Contents

Adams John
3
Burke Edmund
10
Dimitrov Georgi
20
Garfield James
31
Gordon
43
Japanese Government Memo
55
Rules for Revolution
67
Longworth Alice Roosevelt
95
Otis James
102
Scholz Jackson
116
Voltaire Jean Francois Arouet
124
Notes
137
Index
153
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About the author (1989)

Paul F. Boller, Jr. is Professor of History Emeritus at Texas Christian University. His many books include the bestselling Presidential Anecdotes, Presidential Campaigns, and Presidential Wives.John George is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Central State University in Oklahoma. He is the author of Public Opinion: Coalitions, Elites and Masses (with Harry Holloway).

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