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Louis L'Amour
1908 - 1988

American writer, a.k.a. Louis Dearborn LaMoore, author of over 100 novels - most of them western-themed, many of them still in print, more than 30 of them made into movies - as well as collections of short stories and of poetry, which have sold in total more than 230 million copies. Awarded the high American honours of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Freedom, L'Amour helped nurture values of rugged individualism, appreciation for the the land and a direct and uncompromising morality, in millions of Americans. Author of Hondo (1953), the 18-volume Sacketts saga (1960-1985), Adventures of a Wandering Man (1989) and many other works.


Victory is not won in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later win a little more.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
Luck comes to a man who puts himself in the way of it.

1976 - from To the Far Blue Mountains
The more one learns the more he understands his ignorance.

1976 - from To the Far Blue Mountains
It is only the ignorant who are positive, only the ignorant who can become fanatics...

1984 - from The Walking Drum
... to build anything and to make it last calls for discipline that a man provides for himself and the cooperative discipline that men give to each other.

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
... civilization is a flimsy cloak, and just outside are hunger, thirst, and cold... waiting.

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way.

1969 - from The Lonely Men
A ship does not sail with yesterday's wind.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
Statesmanship is about ten percent good ideas and motives and ninety percent getting backing for your program.

1960 - from The Daybreakers
Nobody got anywhere in this world by simply being content.

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
When one has lost his freedom is it always a long walk back.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
Living a life is much like climbing mountains--the summits are always further off than you think, but when a man has a goal he always feels like he's working toward something.

1969 - from The Lonely Men
A man can wait out a storm if he doesn't exhaust himself first.

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
Sometimes the damned fool things a man does are the ones that save his bacon.

1964 - from Mojave Crossing
Beware of those who would use violence, too often it is the violence they want and neither truth or freedom.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
... people have a greater tolerance for evil than for violence.

1960 - from The Daybreakers
Men strive for peace, but it is their enemies that give them strength... if man no longer had enemies, he would have to invent them, for his strength only grows from struggle.

1983 - from The Lonesome Gods
A man needs heroes. He needs to believe in strength, nobility, and courage. Otherwise we become sheep to be herded to the slaughterhouse...

1974 - from Sackett's Land
One has to be aware of danger to defend oneself against it.

1981 - from Comstock Lode
If men are to survive upon the earth there must be law, and there must be justice, and all men must stand together against those who would strike at the roots of what men have so carefully built.

1983 - from The Lonesome Gods
When you have obtained position you will have influence. Otherwise you will tear at the bars until your strength is gone, and you will have accomplished nothing but rant and rave.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
... even a rebel grows old, and sometimes wiser. He finds the things he rebelled against are now the things he must defend against newer rebels...

1984 - from The Walking Drum
There is no greater role for a man to play than to assist in the government of a people, nor anyone lower then he who misuses that power.

1983 - from The Lonesome Gods
Everyone hopes for an immediate solution, but the only solutions to social problems come through time. We ... believe we have only to pass a law and everything will be changed... People only obey a law the majority have already decided to obey...

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
I've a regard for the law, although I do not always agree with it.

1974 - from Sackett's Land
Honor can be a troublesome thing, but if one has it one does not lightly yield it.

1984 - from The Walking Drum
I want my son to learn what he can, bur most of all I wish him to be a citizen, to judge issues, to use logic in his thinking, to respect his country and its people.

1978 - from Bendigo Shafter
We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions, and that is something altogether different.

1989 - from Education of a Wandering Man
To me it ... seems obvious that a child should be taught some methods of reasoning, methods of scientific investigation. Children have an innate feeling for logic and, given the opportunity, would learn quickly. Such instruction would be unthinkable in any country not a democracy, and if carried out in a democracy it might clear the air of a lot of loose thinking, loose public speaking, and the kind of questionable statements that fill the air during political and other campaigns.

1989 - from Education of a Wandering Man
Acquiring an education has many aspects, of which school is only one, and the present approach is, I believe, the wrong one. Without claiming to have all the answers, I can only express my feeling that our methods of instruction do much to hamper a child in learning. Our approach is pedestrian. We teach a child to creep when he should be running; education becomes a task rather than excitement. Yet each of us can remember one or two teachers who made learning an adventure, which it surely is.

1989 - from Education of a Wandering Man
Books are the building blocks of civilization.

1989 - from Education of a Wandering Man
Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape his life into the sort of thing he wishes it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, This I am today; that I will be tomorrow.

1984 - from The Walking Drum