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John Keegan Quotes

Even a pacifist should admire the military virtues.

Good men who exercise power are really the most fascinating of all people.

I can't visualize the situation in which we nuke ourselves into extinction.

I don't look to find an educated person in the ranks of university graduates, necessarily. Some of the most educated people I know have never been near a university.

I don't think that what's going on in Bosnia is political activity. It's partly political, but it's partly atavistic as well.

I think Americans like the practical; they like the human. And I like both those things myself, and I try and put them into my books.

I think that black Africa is extremely terrifying. Black Africa can become a maelstrom of warring tribes without the outside world needing to feel the need to do anything about it.

I think to be shot in a mountain valley somewhere or other is altogether less glorious than crashing an airliner into a skyscraper.

If Wellington epitomizes the English gentleman, Eisenhower epitomizes the natural American gentleman.

It's a necessary quality of a diplomat or a politician that he will compromise. Uncompromising politicians or diplomats get you into the most terrible trouble.

It's commonly said that people who've been ill in childhood and who've had an upset education never really regret that they do. It means that you don't look at the world in the way that other people do, and if you were inclined to be a writer, that's a help.

Men killing other men really is an extraordinary phenomenon. Why does it happen? And how long has it gone on? And have the motives changed?

Nobody should teach anywhere for 25 years, but I did.

Soldiers, when committed to a task, can't compromise. It's unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it's been done.

Some people are more terrorist than others.

The great Chinese classics have always said that it's better not to fight; that the clever man achieves his ends without violence; that a battle delayed is better than a battle fought.

The great men of power who seek to change the nations they belong to usually are pretty terrible people.

The Islam of the 18th, 19th and first half of the 20th century was a poor thing. Nobody bothered about it. Islam was that funny sort of pure system of beliefs that depressed people in the Middle East held as their religion.

The leader of men in warfare can show himself to his followers only through a mask, a mask that he must make for himself, but a mask made in such form as will mark him to men of his time and place as the leader they want and need.

The revival of Islam dates from the early years of the 20th century. It was brought about by their humiliation, by their sense of how low they'd fallen compared with the West.