To paraphrase Ira Gershwin, "on every [page] that you turn you meet a notable with a statement that is eminently quotable" in this collection. According to editor Shapiro, this is "the first quotation book to be compiled using state-of-the-art research methods to seek out quotations and to trace quotation sources." He compares his approach with that of the Oxford English Dictionary:
he, too, traces words back to their earliest possible usages. Using a variety of electronic sources, such as JSTOR, LexisNexis, ProQuest
Historical Newspapers, andTimes Digital Archive,
scores of quotations were verified, and in many cases reverified. The more than 12,000 quotations collected here span a wide array of subjects, from literature, philosophy, and history to science, business, and politics.
Quotations are presented alphabetically by the name of the author or speaker. Shakespeare and the Bible, the mother lodes of quotations, are amply represented, but emphasis is on "modern and American materials." Children's authors, who are often ignored in other dictionaries, are quoted here. There are a number of special sections devoted to particular types of quotations, among them advertising slogans, ballads, film lines, political slogans, and radio and television catchphrases. Song lyrics are entered by the name of the composer, and film lines appear either under the film title in the special section devoted to movie lines or, if they originated in a book or play upon which the film was based, under the author of that literary source. Proverbs span the centuries and often include evidence of a saying's first print appearance. A keyword index, an essential element of any quotation dictionary, rounds out the text.
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (17th ed., Little, Brown, 2002) has around 25,000 quotations, and Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (6th ed., 2004) has more than 20,000. Although the Yale dictionary is smaller, readers may find it a richer source for familiar names, from Dr. Seuss to Donald Rumsfeld, and for special categories such as advertising slogans and film lines. Quotation dictionaries are an essential part of the reference collection, and this one, with its broad scope and meticulous attention to the origins of the material quoted, will enhance any collection, large or small. Carolyn Mulac
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Browsing in The Yale Book of Quotations:
"Today I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
"Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse."
"Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger."
"We must love one another or die."
W. H. Auden
"Don't ask, don't tell."
"Showing up is 80 percent of life."
"What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"
"Yes I said yes I will Yes."
"You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'"
George Bernard Shaw
"There is no there there."
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."