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John Steinbeck
1902 - 1968

American author of The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, and numerous other classic novels and essays. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.


I guess this is why I hate governments, all governments. It is always the rule, the fine print, carried out by fine-print men. There's nothing to fight...

1962 - from Travels With Charley
This I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.

I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security - out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction.

1966 - from American and Americans
Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half-remembered glory.