Henry Steele Commager Quotes

James (William James) confronted all dogma with skepticism and made skepticism itself a dogma.

When in the course of history, the threat of extinction confronts mankind, it is necessary for the people of the United States to declare our independence with all peoples. Two centuries ago, our forefathers brought forth a new nation. Now we must bring forth, for peace, plenty, and freedom, a new world order. This is […]

If our democracy is to flourish it must have criticism, if our government is to function it must have dissent. Only totalitarian governments insist upon conformity and they – as we know – do so at their peril… Americans have a stake in nonconformity, for they know that the American genius is nonconformist. It is […]

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.

Censorship always defeats it own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.