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Quotations From THEODORE ROOSEVELT


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  • People ask the difference between a leader and a boss.... The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, October 24, 1910, Binghamton, New York.

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  • It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, August 23, 1902, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any- price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. letter (Jan. 10, 1917).

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  • No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Acceptance speech, June 22, 1912, Chicago, Illinois, upon his nomination for president on an independent ticket.

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  • The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, July 27, 1917, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • We are fighting in the quarrel of civilization against barbarism, of liberty against tyranny. Germany has become a menace to the whole world. She is the most dangerous enemy of liberty now existing.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, April 1917, Oyster Bay, Long Island. Roosevelt added: "The man who does not think it was America's duty to fight for her own sake in view of the infamous conduct of Germany toward us stands on a level with a man who wouldn't think it necessary to fight in a private quarrel because his wife's face was slapped."

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  • The American people abhor a vacuum.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Oct. 3, 1907, Cairo, Ill.

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  • The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Sept. 6, 1918, delivered in New York City. On the anniversary of the first Battle of the Marne.

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  • The government is us; we are the government, you and I.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Sept. 9, 1902, Asheville, N.C..
  • The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Nov. 11, 1902, New York City. Addresses and Presidential Messages (1904).
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