Famous Quotes By Harry S. Truman


  1. A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.
  2. A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years.
  3. A President needs political understanding to run the government, but he may be elected without it.
  4. All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it.
  5. All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
  6. America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
  7. Any man who has had the job I've had and didn't have a sense of humor wouldn't still be here.
  8. Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
  9. Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice.
  10. I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.
  11. I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it - not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.
  12. I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
  13. I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
  14. I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
  15. I would rather have peace in the world than be President.
  16. In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first.
  17. Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
  18. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
  19. It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.
  20. It's plain hokum. If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em. It's an old political trick. But this time it won't work.
  21. Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
  22. My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States.
  23. Nixon is one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides.
  24. Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in.
  25. Study men, not historians.
  26. The atom bomb was no 'great decision.' It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.
  27. The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
  28. The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.
  29. The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.
  30. The reward of suffering is experience.
  31. The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members.
  32. There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.
  33. Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination.
  34. Upon books the collective education of the race depends they are the sole instruments of registering, perpetuating and transmitting thought.
  35. We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear as potential causes of war until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries.
  36. When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril.
  37. When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.
  38. You and I are stuck with the necessity of taking the worst of two evils or none at all. So-I'm taking the immature Democrat as the best of the two. Nixon is impossible.
  39. You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.
  40. You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.

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