Joseph J. Ellis Quotes

Joseph J. Ellis Quotes

If he (John Adams) could not control events, he could at least record them for posterity – perhaps the ultimate form of control.

Adams had gone to Harvard, Jefferson to William and Mary. Washington had gone to war.

Because he could not afford to fail, he could not afford to trust.

If you knew how the journey was going to end, you could afford to be patient along the path.

Lincoln once said that America was founded on a proposition that was written by Jefferson in 1776. We are really founded on an argument about what that proposition means.

In a very real sense, we are complicitous in their achievement, since we are the audience for which they were performing; knowing we would be watching helped to keep them on their best behavior.

Some models of self-control are able to achieve their serenity easily because the soul fires never burn brightly to begin with.

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