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Arnold J. Toynbee Quotes

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Arnold J. Toynbee
April 14, 1889 - October 22, 1975
Nationality: British
Category: Historian
Subcategory: British Historian

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.


Sooner or later, man has always had to decide whether he worships his own power or the power of God.


I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills.


Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.


The human race's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenceless against ourselves.


A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man.


To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.


The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.


Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.


The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.


Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.


History not used is nothing, for all intellectual life is action, like practical life, and if you don't use the stuff well, it might as well be dead.


A life which does not go into action is a failure.


Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.


The immense cities lie basking on the beaches of the continent like whales that have taken to the land.


It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.


The equation of religion with belief is rather recent.


History is a vision of God's creation on the move.


I can not think of any circumstances in which advertising would not be an evil.


As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility.


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