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

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1989 - Political Science - 159 pages
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 F. Boller, Jr. and John George examine hundreds of misquotations, incorrect attributions, and blatant fabrications, outlining the origins of the quotes and revealing why we should consign them 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, falsify the historical record with their blatant dishonesty. And other chillingly vicious ones, filled with virulent racial and religious prejudices, 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 thought-provoking book, They Never Said It covers a great deal of history and sets it right. Going beyond a mere catalog of popular misconceptions, Boller and George reveal how rightists and leftists, and atheists and evangelists all have at times twisted and even invented the words of eminent figures to promote their own ends. The ultimate debunking reference, it perfectly complements handbooks of quotations.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

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
Allen Ethan
4
Beria Lavrenti
5
Bible
7
Bogart Humphrey
8
Boyer Charles
9
Burke Edmund
10
Butler Samuel
11
Kautsky Karl
58
Khrushchev Nikita
59
Kissinger Henry
61
Knights of Columbus
62
Lawrence James
63
Lincoln Abraham
77
Long Huey
94
Longworth Alice Roosevelt
95

Carlyle Thomas
12
Churchill Winston
13
Cicero Marcus Tullius
14
Colson Charles
16
Communist Party Directive
17
Congreve William
18
Darwin Charles
19
Devereux James P S
20
Disraeli Benjamin
21
Donaldson Sam
23
Eisenhower Dwight D
24
Emerson Ralph Waldo
25
Francis I
26
Frietchie Barbara
28
Gaither Rowan
29
Galileo
30
Garfield James A
31
Gaulle Charles de
33
Gibbon Edward
34
Gipp George
35
Goering Hermann
36
Goldwyn Sam
37
Gordon Sol
43
Hall Gus
44
Hitler Adolf
45
Holmes Oliver Wendell Jr
46
Holmes Sherlock
47
Hopkins Harry
48
Howard Roy
51
Ickes Harold
52
Jackson Andrew
53
Japanese Government Memo
55
Jefferson Thomas
56
Jones John Paul
57
Maguire William A
96
Manuilsky Dimitri
97
Marx Groucho
98
Napoleon I Napoleon Bonaparte
99
Nash Ogden
100
Nixon Richard M
101
Otis James
102
Paine Thomas
103
Pershing John J
104
Pinckney Charles Cotesworth
105
Prescott William
106
Rabinovich Rabbi Emanuel
107
Reagan Ronald
108
Reed John
110
Reuther Walter
111
Rogers Will
112
Roosevelt Franklin D
113
Rules for Revolution
114
Scholz Jackson
116
Shaw George Bernard
117
Sheridan Philip
118
Stalin Josef
119
Sutton Willie
121
Talmud
122
Twain Mark
123
Voltaire Jean François Arouet
124
Washington George
126
Wellington 1st Duke of
130
Wilson Charles
131
Wise Stephen
132
Zhou Enlai
133
Notes
137
Index
153
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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).

Bibliographic information