Top Quotes by Douglas Brinkley

The Edmund Pettus Bridge – which in 2013 was declared a National Historic Landmark – isn’t symbolic of the Civil War in a meaningful way. It is, however, the modern-day battlefield where the voting rights movement was born.

Douglas Brinkley

How one deals with the death of a loved one is a highly personalized affair. Some people weep for days; others take a hike in the woods or count rosary beads.

Douglas Brinkley

We can only imagine the history of the free world today if, at the end of the Civil War, there had been two countries: the United States and the Confederate States of America.

Douglas Brinkley

Rosa Parks’ entire career has been one as working as a civil rights activist.

Douglas Brinkley

It’s Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency. Clean Air and Water Acts. Endangered Species Act. Promoted affirmative action. One could go on and on with Nixon as a New Deal liberal on domestic policy and a hawk, but one with great geo-political skills.

Douglas Brinkley

The D-Day moniker wasn’t invented for the Allied invasion. The same name had been attached to the date of every planned offensive of World War II. It was first coined during World War I, at the U.S. attack at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, in France in 1918.

Douglas Brinkley

When I was 8 years old, I made my own encyclopedia of American biography – Johnny Appleseed, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Charles Lindbergh, my pantheon of favorite heroes. Then I would write my own things and sew them together and try to make my own book.

Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry doesn’t think in terms of black-and-white. He’s all gray, and he looks at all sides of the issues. That makes people think he likes to be devil’s advocate. Whatever you say, he’ll challenge you on.

Douglas Brinkley

If D-Day – the greatest amphibious operation ever undertaken – failed, there would be no going back to the drawing board for the Allies. Regrouping and attempting another massive invasion of German-occupied France even a few months later in 1944 wasn’t an option.

Douglas Brinkley

In Austin, the eco-capital of Texas, residents tend to favor native plants and wildflowers to the sculpted lawns of the Palm Springs variety.

Douglas Brinkley

Politicians wanted to mine the Grand Canyon for zinc and copper, and Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘No.’

Douglas Brinkley

President Abraham Lincoln never lost his ardor for the United States to remain united during the Civil War.

Douglas Brinkley

Broadcast radio was entering its own golden age during the Depression, with live programming on stations all through the day. Local stations needed singers, musicians, announcers, and whipcord personalities, along with Christian clergy to give prayers and pundits to speak on world affairs.

Douglas Brinkley

While the old spiritual ‘Slavery Chain Done Broke at Last’ was sung by blacks in the hours following the Appomattox surrender, racism sadly continues to be a crippling national scourge.

Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry wants to be the hero in his own drama. He likes King Arthur and the Round Table. He likes the young swashbuckling Churchill, and he loved the early antics of Theodore Roosevelt.

Douglas Brinkley

With the newspapers cheering, Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt chose a top-notch regiment of more than 1,250 men. They were first called Teddy’s Texas Tarantulas and went through three or four other monikers until Roosevelt’s Rough Riders stuck.

Douglas Brinkley

What I was most curious about was why Armstrong, a top U.S. Navy test pilot, flying the most advanced aircraft in the world, would want to join the astronaut corps in 1962, which included chimpanzees and monkeys.

Douglas Brinkley

Reagan never cottoned to dictators. He was pure in this notion in a true belief that democracy was the best solution in the world because it spoke to people’s hopes and dreams and aspirations, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.

Douglas Brinkley

I think there’s a green side to John Kerry, if you like, that he’s an environmental activist. His record on the environment is as best as you have on a pro-environment record of anybody in the U.S. Senate.

Douglas Brinkley

Stubbornness is a positive quality of presidential leadership – if you’re right about what you’re stubborn about.

Douglas Brinkley

Unfortunately, one of the biggest misperceptions the American public harbors is that Katrina was a week-long catastrophe. In truth, it’s better to view it as an era.

Douglas Brinkley

The answer to New Orleans’s levee woes is painfully obvious: money and willpower.

Douglas Brinkley

It’s very important that we keep these special, wild places. It defines the United States. Imagine our country without our national parks and our monuments. Here in California, imagine if you didn’t have in Southern Cal the Channel Islands or the great Highway 1, Big Sur up to Point Reyes up to the Redwood country.

Douglas Brinkley

The Rough Riders brought honor to San Antonio by winning battles in Cuba throughout the summer of 1898, and Roosevelt became a Texas folk hero overnight.

Douglas Brinkley

Ever since Willie Nelson brought rednecks into an alliance with hippies back in the psychedelic ’70s, Austin has milked its quirky libertarian spirit for a worldwide bonanza of free publicity.

Douglas Brinkley

Theodore Roosevelt had been enthralled with the idea of Texas since 1883, when he arrived in the Dakota Territory to ranch cattle.

Douglas Brinkley

If you’re a Kennedy and you go to Italy or you go to Argentina, you’re treated as royalty. And in the United States, we’re endlessly fascinated by the family.

Douglas Brinkley

Animals interest me more than anything else.

Douglas Brinkley

I’m not a partisan.

Douglas Brinkley

It is a long revisionist road up from the bottom for George W. Bush. He is ranked toward the bottom rung of presidents.

Douglas Brinkley

There is nobody that’s ever going to fill Ted Kennedy’s shoes, and that’s a tall order for somebody in the family to try to live up to.

Douglas Brinkley

I feel like I’m always learning from people.

Douglas Brinkley

I have a lot of books I want to write.

Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry can be absolutely ruthless. I would not want to be on his enemies list when he’s ready to go after you.

Douglas Brinkley

Demeanor-wise, Reagan was a conservative, but a pragmatic conservative, and he found silver linings in things. He liked to be a mediator. He didn’t like to have enemies around him.

Douglas Brinkley

President Obama had a few historians at the White House for a couple of dinners. I was lucky enough to be one of those asked, and he was very interested in Ronald Reagan, and I came away feeling that.

Douglas Brinkley

When we settled our country, the dark forest was considered in some ways evil and something that you needed to plow or, later, bulldoze. We now have a new understanding of the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the need for bird flyways and why all species matter.

Douglas Brinkley

Richard Kerry not only was a pilot in World War II, but was a civil servant. He did not come from money.

Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry only went to prep schools because he had an aunt who had the money to pay for his way into those prep schools.

Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry had a very vivid imagination as a young person. I mean, he actually did go and take his bicycle from Norway to go camp in Sherwood Forest to be around the ghost of Robin Hood.

Douglas Brinkley

I was only 8 years old on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old commander of ‘Apollo 11,’ descended the cramped lunar module Eagle’s ladder with hefty backpack and bulky spacesuit to become the first human on the moon.

Douglas Brinkley

To Armstrong, constantly speaking about ‘Apollo 11’ only diminished the magic. That’s why he worked overtime to avoid notice, living a quiet life in Indian Hill, Ohio.

Douglas Brinkley

For years, I longed to hear Armstrong describe what it was like to contemplate Earth from 238,900 miles away. Former Space Center director George Abbey once told me that many NASA astronauts felt that looking at Earth was akin to a religious experience.

Douglas Brinkley

Nobody has trusted the Iranian government from day one, but the idea of just refusing to have any kind of talks is dangerous in the extreme. Every administration says at least that we’re trying to have talks between Israel and Palestine and solve the Middle East peace problem.

Douglas Brinkley

The Middle East is the tinder box of the world, and to be able to remove a nuclear threat of any kind out of Iran, that would have been a big deal, very positive step forward.

Douglas Brinkley

Usually, one day in a century rises above the others as an accepted turning point or historic milestone. It becomes the climactic day, or ‘the day,’ of that century.

Douglas Brinkley

Walter Cronkite had a golden rule for all wartime reporters: never self-aggrandize.

Douglas Brinkley

Although Cronkite had once crash landed in a Dutch potato field under enemy fire, he chose instead to focus on celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands at the hands of the Free Dutch.

Douglas Brinkley

Everybody trusted Cronkite because he reminded them of their favorite uncle or trusted family physician. Being square in the age of the Beatles made Cronkite retro cool.

Douglas Brinkley

The superhighway of celebrity and showmanship is filled with debris.

Douglas Brinkley

There were three Selma-to-Montgomery marches in March 1965, and Rosa Parks had missed the first one. Parks, whose act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, moved to Detroit two years later for safety reasons.

Douglas Brinkley

One thing ‘not right’ on the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches is the sad fact that the Edmund Pettus Bridge hasn’t been renamed the John Lewis Bridge.

Douglas Brinkley