Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations
See larger image

Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Knowles
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £5.66 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.33 (43%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

‹  Return to Product Overview

Product Description


From the deeply serious to the frivolous, key quotations of today underpinned by landmark voices of the past in over 5,000 quotations.

Product Description

This new collection offers a vivid picture of the world in the 21st century, against a backdrop of the landmark events leading up to it. From Catherine Tate and the Simpsons to Mother Teresa and Winston Churchill, Modern Quotations charts the ebbs and flows of popular culture as well as marking the key voices and watersheds for our time. An authoritative look-up reference, and an enjoyable source for browsing: the perfect gift.

New quotations include:

'You tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.' [Homer Simpson] Matt Groening

'I ain't a communist necessarily, but I been in the red all my life.' Woody Guthrie

'I don't eat anything with a face.' Linda McCartney

'Never stop because you are afraid -- you are never so likely to be wrong.' Fridtjof Nansen

'I watch where the cosmetics industry is going and then walk in the opposite direction.' Anita Roddick

'I wish I had invented blue jeans.' Yves Saint Laurent

'Fame vaporizes, money goes with the wind, and all that's left is character.' O. J. Simpson

From the Publisher

The perfect answer

The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations 2/e is an author-organized text with over 5,000 quotations, covering 1900--2001. There are 15 special category sections, with the new Cartoon captions ("On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog") and Taglines for films ("In space no one can hear you scream") being added to existing favourites like Advertising slogans ("The future's bright, the future's Orange"), Film lines ("I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant" -- Tora! Tora! Tora!), and Official advice ("Duck and cover", "Just say no"). With generous cross-referencing and keyword and thematic indexes, Modern Quotations is perfectly designed to answer the questions, "Who said that...and when...and why?"

Yesterday and today

All quotations are from the 20th or 21st centuries, and the book concentrates on those who were alive in or after 1914 (taking the First World War as the cultural watershed of the modern period). The book records resonant moments of the past ("It's bursting into flames...Oh, the humanity" -- eyewitness report of the Hindenburg disaster, 1937, and "the world stood like a playing card on edge" -- Norman Mailer on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962), as well as the interests and concerns of today. Past and present, in fact, often seem to intermingle. We may think of "asylum-seekers" as a phenomenon of today, but Bertolt Brecht writes in the 1930s of those who "went, as often changing countries as changing shoes." Rebecca West, speaking of Yugoslavia in the same decade, concludes that if she were to ask one of the peasants there "in your lifetime, have you known peace?" and were magically able to pursue her question back through the generations, "I would never hear the word "Yes", if I carried my questioning of the dead back for a thousand years." At a memorial service in New York after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Tony Blair quoted from Thornton Wilder's novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), "Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love."

Wit and Frivolity

Modern Quotations is both informative and entertaining: the tone ranges from the deeply serious to the witty and even surreal. Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition, appearing when nobody expects it, can now be paired with Eddie Izzard's vision of how an Anglican Inquisition might have interrogated its victims: "Cake or death?" "Cake, please." Gore Vidal explains his decision to vote for Ralph Nader instead of his own cousin Al Gore in the presidential election of 2000 by saying, "in the long run, Gore is thicker than Nader." John Cleese comments on the popularity of his Ministry of Silly Walks sketch: "It's probably why I had to have a hip replacement." And John McEnroe, watching a characteristically nail-biting Tim Henman match comments wryly to Henman's fans, "He doesn't make it easy for you guys."


It is often said that this is the age of the cynical soundbite, but inspirational quotations are here too, from Michael J. Fox on Parkinson's disease ("It's about losing your brain without losing your mind") to the Canadian wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen's comment, "You have to be the best with what you have." The famously acid-tongued American TV host David Letterman, when The Late Show came back on air in the aftermath of 11 September, eschewed sarcasm to say simply of Rudolph Giuliani's leadership, "If you didn't know how to behave, all you had to do at any moment was watch the mayor."

Rich and diverse

The coverage is comprehensive, with key comments of today underpinned by landmark voices of the past, as the history of modern times is reflected through this rich and diverse assembly of quotations.

About the Author

Elizabeth Knowles is the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. She is Publishing Manager for Oxford Quotations Dictionaries and is a historical lexicographer, having previously worked on the 4th edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
‹  Return to Product Overview