Customer Reviews: The Yale Book of Quotations
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HALL OF FAMEon March 27, 2007
What is a 'quotation'?
It is something which someone has said which has been repeated so often so as to in effect become part of the collective consciousness. It is a 'saying' which has become 'immortal' at least for the foreseeable future.
The YBQ seems to understand however that the foreseeable future is not forever and so reduces the space it gives to pre- modern quotations and adds more from contemporary American life. It includes less matter than its ertswhile predecessor the 'Oxford Dictionary of Quotations' but provides more spice and story. It too uses the most modern of electronic means in hunting down the ' true source' of its quotations. It for instance will not rest content with attributing Henry Kissinger the well- known quotation 'Academic politics is so bitter, because the stakes are so low' but traces it back to a Columbia University political - scientist Wallace S. Sayre who reportedly repeatedly said this in the early 1950's. Editor Shapiro seems to take special interest in providing carefully researched attributions for the quotations.
All in all works like this are an unending source of 'dipping in' reading. Like the Talmudic sea there is no end to them and one can begin anywhere get lost in the middle and remain there for an unreasonable period of time.
There is no end to the next interesting thing which may come up anywhere.
One of course will always find no matter how comprehensive a 'missed quotation' from an author one especially favors.
I would only say that with the rise of the 'Internet Culture' and with so many millions of people making their gems of wisdom available to the worldwide readership that perhaps a corollary to Warhol's famous five minutes of fame for everyone should be instituted in the next great quotation work. That one should be one in which each human being is given a chance to contribute their own favorite gem to the world.
A signature- sentence or sound- bite for each 'MySpace' sounder- off.
In the meantime however the 'Yale Book of Quotations' is a tremendous treasure of memorable sayings which no doubt will be much mulled, and highly enjoyed by its readers.
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on October 17, 2008
Yale Bk of Quotations was a suggestion from the Wall Street Journal of essential resource books to have in a home library. Since we already have Bartlett's (doesn't everyone?) we purchased the Yale Book. Great idea. More current, more "pop" language, more American English oriented. A great choice. Helpful and fun. Just to sit and skim the contents is a pleasure and diversion. Enjoy.
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on January 10, 2015
A most reliable source of quotations. If Fred Shapiro has included it in this beautiful book of quotations, you can depend on its validity and provenance. His annotations are mini history lessons and examples of examples of exhaustive research. Quotations junkies should take a gander at "The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations".
Sanford L. Jacobs, editor of "The Little Black Book of Political Wisdom".
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on January 5, 2007
This book is great! Most quote books don't quote anything from the last hundred years. However, this one includes all the classic (think old and boring) quotes you would expect AND the modern classics from Groucho Marx, Elvis, etc. It's fun for both adults and kids of reading age.
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on May 20, 2014
This is an excellent coffee table book. A very comprehensive collection of quotes from all sorts of notable figures. It's difficult to page through this book without finding at least a few memorable quotes.
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on February 12, 2007
This is a terrific book --- well researched, clever and readable, and the ultimate source of contemporary quotations. Certainly the best of its kind available.
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on February 7, 2007
Thorough, immensely entertaining, and best bed-time reading in years! A must for anyone interested in language or writing.
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VINE VOICEon December 31, 2009
The Yale Book of Quotations is a fantastic quote reference book if you can afford it. Over 1,000 pages filled with quotes from all throughout history. If you are a big quote fan, this one will keep you busy for a very, very long time. I definitely recommend this book specifically for people who use quotes in their everyday life (e.g. writers, public speakers, or coaches). You will love it.


Todd Hagopian
Hagopian Institute
Author of the popular "Quote Junkie" book sereies and the brand new "Idiom Junkie" series
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on June 25, 2013
A fun resource book. It documents who is given credit for a memorable statement of phrase. Sometimes we credit the wrong person for saying something famous, but this book helps clarify it. It is will organized.
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on December 21, 2012
... and I enjoy using them in my writings. I added this book to my library after it was suggested by a friend who had seen several of my other quote books and asked why I did not have "The Yale book of Quotes". I ordered it that day.
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