History's Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 726 quotes )
...glanced up and caught Ammu's gaze. Centuries telescoped into one evanescent moment. History was wrong-footed, caught off guard. Sloughed off like an old snakeskin. Its marks , its scars its wouns from old wars and the walking backwards days all fell away. In its abscence it left an aura, a palpable shimmering that was as plain as water in a river or the sun in the sky. As plain to feel the heat on a hot day, or the tug of a fish on a taut line. So obvious that no-one noticed. In that brief moment, Velutha looked up and saw things that he hadn't seen before. Things that had been out of bounds so far, obscured by histor's blinkers....This knowing slid into him cleanly, like the sharp edge of a knife. Cold and hot at once. It only took a moment. Ammu saw that he saw. She looked away. He did too. History's fiends returned to claim them. To rewrap them in its old scarred pelt and drag them back to where they really lived. Where the Love Laws lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
It seems logical to suppose that history's pattern reflects innate differences among people themselves. Of course, we're taught that it's not polite to say so in public. We see in our daily lives that some of the conquered peoples continue to form an underclass, centuries after the conquests or slave imports took place. We're told that this too is to be attributed not to any biological shortcomings but to social disadvantages and limited opportunities. Nevertheless, we have to wonder. We keep seeing all those glaring, persistent differences in peoples' status. We're assured that the seemingly transparent biological explanation for the world's inequalities as of A. D. 1500 is wrong, but we're not told what the correct explanation is. Until we have some convincing, detailed, agreed-upon explanation for the broad pattern of history, most people will continue to suspect that the racist biological explanation is correct after all. That seems to me the strongest argument for writing this book.
No single man makes history. History cannot be seen, just as one cannot see grass growing. Wars and revolutions, kings and Robespierres, are history's organic agents, its yeast. But revolutions are made by fanatical men of action with one-track mind, geniuses in their ability to confine themselves to a limited field. They overturn the old order in a few hours or days, the whole upheaval takes a few weeks or at most years, but the fanatical spirit that inspired the upheavals is worshiped for decades thereafter, for centuries.
Out of the huts of history's shame. I rise. Up from a past that's rooted in pain. I rise. I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear. I rise. Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear. I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.
Curiously I was unmoved by my work. Unaffected by the act of murder, I had become entirely numb. I couldn't understand how such detachment was possible-- but I did some digging. What I discovered would have horrified me... if I was capable of being horrified. My augmentation had included the binding of my DNA to some of history's most notorious assassins. Are you not getting this? I'll say it in plain English--- I am the perfect killer in every sense of the word--- ---because--- ---I--- ---am--- ---every--- killer. I'm the act of change possessed in a revolver. I am revolution packed into a suitcase bomb. I am ever Mark David Chapman and every Charlotte Corday. I am Luigi Lucheni slow-dancing with Balthasar to the tune of semi-automatics, while Gavrilo Princip masturbates in the corner with bath-tub napalm. I am all of them and so much more... because I am going to live forever." Number Five
Everything is a self-portrait. A diary. Your whole drug history’s in a strand of your hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hand tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Everything you do shows your hand.
History isn't like that. History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, reknitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always - eventually - manages to spring back into its old familar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It's been around a long time.