World War II made prosperous the United States, which had been undergoing a depression for a dozen years, and made very rich those magnates and their managers who govern the republic - with many a wink - in the people's name.
While campaigning, I got to know many high-school teachers, and let me say that the good ones are the unsung heroes of our society, and the bad ones are the gravediggers.
Walter Lippmann suggests that the United States behaves like a society which thinks it is complete with no more to accomplish; that, for better or worse, we are what we are, and the only danger to our comfort is external.
The Pentagon talks about our power to 'overkill' Russia ten times, twenty times, perhaps forty-eight times. For my tax money, it is sufficient to overkill them once.
Some of my father's fellow West Pointers once asked him why I turned out so well, his secret in raising me. And he said, "I never gave him any advice, and he never asked for any." We agreed on nothing, but we never quarreled once.
Policemen are seldom tried for their crimes, or indeed, held responsible for what they do, which disturbs the peace and causes distress among the orderly.
Of all recent presidents, Clinton was expected to behave the most sensibly in economic matters. He understood how the economy works. But because he had used various dodges to stay out of the Vietnam War, he came to office ill at ease with the military.
No sooner does an American president take his oath of office than the speculation begins: Will he be reelected in four years' time? If not, who will succeed him? A member of his own party? The other party?
Most children tell themselves stories in which they figure as powerful figures, enjoying the pleasures not only of the adult world as they conceive it but of a world of wonders unlike dull reality.
Like most readers, I tend to skip the acknowledgements at the beginnings of books: the 'To-My-Wife-Without-Whose-Invaluable-Assistance' kind of thing.
I am told the Cheney-Bush team dislikes their junta being compared to the Nazis. If they ceased behaving like Nazis, no comparison would come to mind.
I am a novelist turned temporary adventurer, and I chose to write television, movies and plays for much the same reason that Henry Morgan selected the Spanish Main for his peculiar - and not dissimilar - sphere of operations.
Having no contemporaries left means you cannot say, 'Well, so-and-so will like this,' which you do when you're younger. You realize there is no so-and-so anymore. You are your own so-and-so. There is a bleak side to it.
Europe began as the relatively empty, uncivilized Wild West of Asia; then the Western Hemisphere became the Wild West of Europe. Now the sun has set in our West and risen once more in the East.
By the end of World War II, we were the most powerful and least damaged of the great nations. We also had most of the money. America's hegemony lasted exactly five years.
By 1939, the Depression was back. Unemployment was huge. Roosevelt didn't have any quick fix. Remember, the New Deal, Works Progress Administration, and Civilian Conservation Corps - all that happened years before. Roosevelt was riding a storm.
Because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy's edge, all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. Nothing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all.
Americans have no idea of the extent of their government's mischief... the number of military strikes we have made unprovoked, against other countries, since 1947 is more than 250.
Some have deplored Lincoln's indifference to Christianity. But it was not religion, it was religiosity that put him off.
It is always a delicate matter, when a friend or acquaintance becomes president.
I'm not paranoid, no. I'm different in that I have enemies. Very real ones.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist - I'm a conspiracy analyst.
I was like everyone else when Obama was elected - optimistic.
I remember the Bond movies when I was a child. They were silent then.
I never said I was gay, because I don't think anyone is.
Boys don't like girls around when they do boy things.
Didn't George Washington say, 'He who controls Afghanistan will carry New Jersey?'
Both Marx and Christ agree that in this life, a right action is consideration for the welfare of others.
To a man, ornithologists are tall, slender, and bearded so that they can stand motionless for hours, imitating kindly trees, as they watch for birds.
Envy is the central fact of American life.
The United States is the only civilized country in the world to class its teachers at the bottom of the social scale.
In writing and politicking, it's best not to think about it, just do it.
There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.
On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.
The greatest pleasure when I started making money was not buying cars or yachts but finding myself able to have as many freshly typed drafts as possible.
All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world.
Until the rise of American advertising, it never occurred to anyone anywhere in the world that the teenager was a captive in a hostile world of adults.
Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself.
Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil.
Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.
There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem.
Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
The behaviour of President Bush on 11 September certainly gives rise to not unnatural suspicions.
There's a lot to be said for being nouveau riche, and the Reagans mean to say it all.
The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.
It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true.
All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting to encounter yourself.
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
What the police in their ignorance have not figured out is that they have lost all credibility since World War II. They are sort of parasites on the fringe of society and do no particular good for anyone except possibly themselves.
If you are a Representative and want to be a Senator, you must be careful not to do anything which might upset the various forces you need to harness to get elected.
Gore Vidalwas an American writerand a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing...