Human Interest

Immortal Words

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 May, 2012, 12:00am

Immortal Words
by Terry Breverton
Quercus (e-book)

Just as it was impossible for Terry Breverton to rank 'history's most memorable quotations' in order of importance, neither did he find any methodology to determine man's most unforgettable words. As he explains, the entries in his interesting book come from, among other places, monuments, gravestones and speeches, and are by everyone from monarchs to novelists to warriors. Breverton starts the book with Moses (1393-1273BCE) and ends with Barack Obama, whose 'Yes, we can' US presidential acceptance speech comes after Aung San Suu Kyi's 'My life is the cause for democracy and I am linked to everybody else in that cause.' Also included are a handful of other Asians, including Lao Tzu, Gandhi and Chairman Mao, who said: 'Every Communist must grasp the truth: 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun'.' Of the women selected, not a few are authors and actresses, among them Jane Austen and Lauren Bacall, whose frivolous inclusion might raise eyebrows when compared to 'the greatest anti-war slogan' ever: 'A bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end (anonymous).'