Alfred Whitney Griswold

Alfred Whitney
Griswold
1909
1963

American Historian and Educator, President of Yale

Author Quotes

Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.

Certain things we cannot accomplish... by any process of government. We cannot legislate intelligence. We cannot legislate morality. No, and we cannot legislate loyalty, for loyalty is a kind of morality.

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideals is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path of wisdom is a liberal education.

If appeasing our enemies is not the answer, neither is hating them... Somewhere between the extremes of appeasement and hate there is a place for courage and strength to express themselves in magnanimity and charity, and this is the place we must find.

The scholar is not The Intellectual. He is Man Thinking. Man Thinking is not the member of a race apart. He is the citizen performing the function appointed for all citizens in a civilized state, a function without which there would be no civilized state. He is Everyman purposefully apprehending the meaning of things.

Author Picture
First Name
Alfred Whitney
Last Name
Griswold
Birth Date
1909
Death Date
1963
Bio

American Historian and Educator, President of Yale