Russell Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker

Russell
Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker
1925

American Journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Writer, Author, Humorist and Political Satirist

Author Quotes

Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

The young cult of sociology, needing a language, invented one. There are many dead languages, but the sociologists' is the only language that was dead at birth.

I frankly admit to not knowing who I am. This is why I refuse to buy clothes that will tell people who I want them to think I am.

Most English speakers do not have the writer's short fuse about seeing or hearing their language brutalized. This is the main reason, I suspect, that English is becoming the world's universal tongue: English-speaking natives don't care how badly others speak English as long as they speak it. French, once considered likely to become the world's lingua franca, has lost popularity because those who are born speaking it reject this liberal attitude and become depressed, insulted or insufferable when their language is ill-used.

There is no business like show business, Irving Berlin once proclaimed, and thirty years ago he may have been right, but not anymore. Nowadays almost every business is like show business, including politics, which has become more like show business than show business is.

A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.

Objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

Though Americans talk a good deal about the virtue of being serious, they generally prefer people who are solemn over people who are serious. In politics, the rare candidate who is serious, like Adlai Stevenson, is easily overwhelmed by one who is solemn, like General Eisenhower. This is probably because it is hard for most people to recognize seriousness, which is rare, especially in politics, but comfortable to endorse solemnity, which is as commonplace as jogging.

A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab twenty miles out of town to reach it.

I worry about people who get born nowadays, because they get born into such tiny families, sometimes into no family at all. When you're the only pea in the pod, your parents are likely to get you confused with the Hope Diamond. And that encourages you to talk too much.

One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce, and punish fraud, hypocrisy, and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned, and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning, and hanging were Christian things to do.

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.

A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems than you have to.

In America nothing dies easier than tradition.

People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.

Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

In an age when the fashion is to be in love with yourself, confessing to be in love with somebody else is an admission of unfaithfulness to one's beloved.

People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately.

What [man landing on the moon] is doing up there is indulging his obsession with the impossible. The impossible infuriates and tantalizes him. Show him an impossible job and he will reduce it to a possibility so trite that eventually it bores him.

All politicians are humble, and seldom let you forget it. They go around the country boasting about their humility. They are proud of their humility. Many are downright arrogant about their humility and insist that it qualifies them to be President.

In politics, the rare candidate who is serious, like Adlai Stevenson, is easily overwhelmed by one who is solemn, like General Eisenhower. This is probably because it is hard for most people to recognize seriousness, which is rare, especially in politics, but comfortable to endorse solemnity, which is as commonplace as jogging.

Poetry is so vital to us until school spoils it.

Author Picture
First Name
Russell
Last Name
Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker
Birth Date
1925
Bio

American Journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Writer, Author, Humorist and Political Satirist