„In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was very common for boys and young men to read about the lives of the so-called great men for the purpose of extracting lessons in how to be great themselves in whatever field they chose. I see these books as reviving that tradition by distilling ideas to their essence and putting them in a readily digestible form.“

Alan Axelrod, Business Book Juggernaut – An interview with Mike Hofman, Jun 1, 2004 http://www.inc.com/magazine/20040601/qa.html.

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Alan Axelrod5
American historian 1952

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„The way to live with God is to live with Ideas — not merely to think about ideals, but to do and suffer for them. Those who have to work on men and women must above all things have their Spiritual Ideal, their purpose, ever present. The "mystical " state is the essence of common sense.“

—  Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910

Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages (1873-1874)
Contesto: These old Mystics whom we call superstitious were far before us in their ideas of God and of prayer (that is of our communion with God). "Prayer," says a mystic of the 16th century, "is to ask not what we wish of God, but what God wishes of us." "Master who hast made and formed the vessel of the body of Thy creature, and hast put within so great a treasure, the Soul, which bears the image of Thee": so begins a dying prayer of the 14th century. In it and in the other prayers of the Mystics there is scarcely a petition. There is never a word of the theory that God's dealings with us are to show His "power"; still less of the theory that "of His own good pleasure" He has " predestined" any souls to eternal damnation. There is little mention of heaven for self; of desire of happiness for self, none. It is singular how little mention there is either of "intercession " or of " Atonement by Another's merits." True it is that we can only create a heaven for ourselves and others "by the merits of Another," since it is only by working in accordance with God's Laws that we can do anything. But there is nothing at all in these prayers as if God's anger had to be bought off, as if He had to be bribed into giving us heaven by sufferings merely "to satisfy God's justice." In the dying prayers, there is nothing of the "egotism of death." It is the reformation of God's church—that is, God's children, for whom the self would give itself, that occupies the dying thoughts. There is not often a desire to be released from trouble and suffering. On the contrary, there is often a desire to suffer the greatest suffering, and to offer the greatest offering, with even greater pain, if so any work can be done. And still, this, and all, is ascribed to God's goodness. The offering is not to buy anything by suffering, but — If only the suppliant can do anything for God's children!
These suppliants did not live to see the " reformation" of God's children. No more will any who now offer these prayers. But at least we can all work towards such practical " reformation." The way to live with God is to live with Ideas — not merely to think about ideals, but to do and suffer for them. Those who have to work on men and women must above all things have their Spiritual Ideal, their purpose, ever present. The "mystical " state is the essence of common sense.

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„Men and boys are learning all kinds of trades but how to make men of themselves.“

—  Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 American poet, essayist, naturalist, and abolitionist 1817 - 1862

Letter to Harrison Blake (20 May 1860); published in Familiar Letters (1865)
Contesto: Men and boys are learning all kinds of trades but how to make men of themselves. They learn to make houses; but they are not so well housed, they are not so contented in their houses, as the woodchucks in their holes. What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? — If you cannot tolerate the planet that it is on? Grade the ground first. If a man believes and expects great things of himself, it makes no odds where you put him, or what you show him … he will be surrounded by grandeur. He is in the condition of a healthy and hungry man, who says to himself, — How sweet this crust is!

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—  Jaroslav Hašek, libro The Good Soldier Švejk

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Contesto: Great times call for great men. There are unknown heroes who are modest, with none of the historical glamour of a Napoleon. If you analysed their character you would find that it eclipsed even the glory of Alexander the Great. Today you can meet in the streets of Prague a shabbily dressed man who is not even himself aware of his significance in the history of the great new era. He goes modestly on his way, without bothering anyone. Nor is he bothered by journalists asking for an interview. If you asked him his name he would answer you simply and unassumingly: 'I am Švejk….

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„Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.“

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p. 263 http://books.google.com/books?ei=7hdeUeCtEOGmiQLnu4HYBg&id=x88du4E7ARAC&dq=%22The+Female+Eunuch%22+1971&q=%22hate+them%22#search_anchor
Often paraphrased as: "women have no idea how much men hate them."
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„The idea - the core idea of humanism - is that the act of reading about great deeds will lead you to imitate them,..“

—  Stanley Fish American academic 1938

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„They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky.“

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Fiction, The Call of Cthulhu (1926)
Contesto: They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R'lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.

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„The great authors were great readers, and one way to understand them is to read the books they read.“

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“