Russell Baker Quotes

Who is Russell Baker?

Russell Wayne Baker was an American journalist, narrator and writer. Baker wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning satirical commentary and self-critical prose, and is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography 'Growing Up'.

Born August 14, 1925
Died January 21, 2019

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Best 96 Quotes by Russell Baker | Page 1 of 4

“A $10 million windfall? At today's prices, I'd feel almost as rich as I did one day in 1936 when I found a dime on the sidewalk and blew the whole wad on 20 Mary Jane candy bars, a box of jujubes, and a double feature.”

“A day spent praising the earth and lamenting man's pollutionist history makes you feel like a superior, sensitive soul.”

“A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.”

“A man doesn't amount to something because he has been successful at a third-rate career like journalism. It is evidence, that's all: evidence that if he buckled down and worked hard, he might some day do something really worth doing.”

“A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn’t have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it.”

“A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems.”

“After two years studying what rewrite men did with the facts I phoned them, I knew that journalism was essentially a task of stringing together seamlessly an endless series of cliches.”

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”

“Americans like fat books and thin women.”

“An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious – just dead wrong.”

“Anticipating that most poetry will be worse than carrying heavy luggage through O'Hare Airport, the public, to its loss, reads very little of it.”

“Caution: These verses may be hazardous to your solemnity.”

“Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.”

“Feel good about linking hands in human chain for good causes.”

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“Gerald Boyd was a classic specimen of the self-made man. Born poor, he worked and studied his way up out of poverty under the guidance of his widowed grandmother.”

“Goat cheese... produced a bizarre eating era when sensible people insisted that this miserable cheese produced by these miserable creatures reared on miserable hardscrabble earth was actually superior to the magnificent creamy cheeses of the noblest dairy animals bred in the richest green valleys of the earth.”

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“I mix my water myself. Two parts H, one part O. I don’t trust anybody.”


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“Grass is the least rewarding of all status symbols... The grass does nothing but drink money, exhaust energies, crush spirits, destroy sleep, create tensions and interfere with the watching of baseball games, and sprout insolent signs ordering humans to keep off it.”

“How many more years will our educators continue to lecture us on the evils of whipping children until they bring home high grades? Year after year we listen to these fellows tell us that it is not the grade that counts but the development of the child's personality. After the lecture they go back to all the best schools and reject our children because they have C averages.”

“I am sitting here 93 million miles from the sun on a rounded rock which is spinning at the rate of 1000 miles an hour... and my head pointing down into space with nothing between me and infinity but something called gravity which I can't even understand, and which you can't even buy any place so as to have some stored away for a gravityless day...”

“I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.”

“I worry about people who get born nowadays, because they get born into such tiny families--sometimes into no family at all. When you're the only pea in the pod, your parents are likely to get you confused with the Hope Diamond. And that encourages you to talk too much.”

“In America nothing dies easier than tradition.”

“In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.”

“In an age when the fashion is to be in love with yourself, confessing to be in love with somebody else is an admission of unfaithfulness to one's beloved.”

“Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost. The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately to defeat him, and the three major classifications are based on the method each object uses to achieve its purpose. As a general rule, any object capable of breaking down at the moment when it is most needed will do so.”

“Industrial-strength foolishness sets in-in males, at least-at about the age of 18. This is why the military prefers males in the 18-to-25-year-old range when there's combat to be done.”

“Ireland really is my problem; the breaking point of the huge suppuration which all British and all European society now is.”

“Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.”

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“It is fitting that yesteryear's swashbuckling newspaper reporter has turned into today's solemn young sobersides nursing a glass of watered white wine after a day of toiling over computer databases in a smoke-free, noise-free newsroom.”

“It seems to be a law in American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.”

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“When you get to my age, and I'm 66 now, you realize that the world is a madhouse and that most people are operating in fantasy anyway. So once you realise that, it doesn't bother you much.”


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