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John Keegan's Quotes

John Keegan profile photo

Born: 1934-05-15
Profession: Historian
Nation: English
Biography of John Keegan

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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.

Tags: Courage, Done, Loyalty

There are certain wicked people in the world that you can't deal with except by force.

Tags: Deal, Except, Force

Well, if they are trying to kill you, on the whole they're the people you have to kill, aren't they?

Tags: Trying, Whole

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.

Tags: Educated, Graduation, University

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.

Tags: Funny, Islam, Religion

Even a pacifist should admire the military virtues.

Tags: Admire, Military, Virtues

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

Tags: Good, Men, Power

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

Tags: Extinction, Ourselves, Situation

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.

Tags: Activity, Bosnia, Political

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.

Tags: Human, Put, Try

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

Tags: Less, Mountain, Somewhere

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

Tags: American, Gentleman, Natural

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?

Tags: Happen, Men, Why

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

Tags: Anywhere, Nobody, Teach

Some people are more terrorist than others.

Tags: Others, Terrorist

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

Tags: Change, Great, Men

We may have to have a geo-political regrouping or major geo-political changes.

Tags: Changes, Major, May

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.

Tags: Africa, Become, Black

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.

Tags: Compromise, Quality, 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.

Tags: Education, Help, Regret

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.

Tags: Battle, Fight, Great

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.

Tags: Him, Men, Time

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.

Tags: Early, Islam, Sense
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