Finest Hours Book Quotes

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Countless writers express countless ideas on so many bits of paper, and at some unknown moment some specific book, even some specific sentence, will be the right one for the right person. We never know when some scrap of literature will have its finest hour.
Lemony Snicket (Poison for Breakfast)
If a lioness spends her hours pacing back and forth in a cage of gold with the finest meats at her disposal, does that make her any less of a prisoner? If that same feline’s fangs are filed down to blunt, un-tearing teeth and her roar is silenced, can she still be called a lioness?
Kristen Reed (The Kings' Council)
I was like Robinson Crusoe on the island of Tobago. For hours at a stretch I would lie in the sun doing nothing, thinking of nothing. To keep the mind empty is a feat, a very healthful feat too. To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself. The book-learning gradually dribbles away; problems melt and dissolve; ties are gently severed; thinking, when you deign to indulge in it, becomes very primitive; the body becomes a new and wonderful instrument; you look at plants or stones or fish with different eyes; you wonder what people are struggling to accomplish with their frenzied activities; you know there is a war on but you haven't the faintest idea what it's about or why people should enjoy killing one another; you look at a place like Albania—it was constantly staring me in the eyes—and you say to yourself, yesterday it was Greek, to-day it's Italian, to-morrow it may be German or Japanese, and you let it be anything it chooses to be. When you're right with yourself it doesn't matter which flag is flying over your head or who owns what or whether you speak English or Monongahela. The absence of newspapers, the absence of news about what men are doing in different parts of the world to make life more livable or unlivable is the greatest single boon. If we could just eliminate newspapers a great advance would be made, I am sure of it. Newspapers engender lies, hatred, greed, envy, suspicion, fear, malice. We don't need the truth as it is dished up to us in the daily papers. We need peace and solitude and idleness. If we could all go on strike and honestly disavow all interest in what our neighbor is doing we might get a new lease on life. We might learn to do without telephones and radios and newspapers, without machines of any kind, without factories, without mills, without mines, without explosives, without battleships, without politicians, without lawyers, without canned goods, without gadgets, without razor blades even or cellophane or cigarettes or money. This is a pipe dream, I know.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
The most worst scenario.... I mean if this happen to me and to be so deep in the sea and sailing oh hell... let's go be with me... (The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue Book by Tougias, Michael J., Sherman, Casey)
Deyth Banger
It is important to record that the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster was never mass-produced until 2008. It is a historical object of a very peculiar sort. By 2009, when it had first become hugely popular, it seemed to respond to a particularly English malaise, one connected directly with the way Britain reacted to the credit crunch and the banking crash. From this moment of crisis, it tapped into an already established narrative about Britain’s ‘finest hour’ – the aerial Battle of Britain in 1940–41 – when it was the only country left fighting the Third Reich. This was a moment of entirely indisputable – and apparently uncomplicated – national heroism, one which Britain has clung to through thick and thin. Even during the height of the boom, as the critical theorist Paul Gilroy spotted in his 2004 book After Empire, the Blitz and the Victory were frequently invoked, made necessary by ‘the need to get back to the place or moment before the country lost its moral and cultural bearings’. ‘1940’ and ‘1945’ were ‘obsessive repetitions’, ‘anxious and melancholic’, morbid fetishes, clung to as a means of not thinking about other aspects of recent British history – most obviously, its Empire. This has only intensified since the financial crisis began. The ‘Blitz spirit’ has been exploited by politicians largely since 1979. When Thatcherites and Blairites spoke of ‘hard choices’ and ‘muddling through’, they often evoked the memories of 1941. It served to legitimate regimes which constantly argued that, despite appearances to the contrary, resources were scarce and there wasn’t enough money to go around; the most persuasive way of explaining why someone (else) was inevitably going to suffer. Ironically, however, this rhetoric of sacrifice was often combined with a demand that the consumers enrich themselves – buy their house, get a new car, make something of themselves, ‘aspire’.
Owen Hatherley (The Ministry of Nostalgia)
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13 (NIV) One day I was standing in line at the store, when a woman tapped me on the arm. “Remember me?” she asked. It was Margo, a girl I’d gone to middle school with. We did the usual those-were-the-days banter and then she said, “A while back I picked your mom up one night on Lahser Road.” My mother was fighting the onset of Alzheimer’s, and she used to get up in the middle of the night, don her Sunday finest, and walk three miles to church in the freezing Michigan dark. I started to thank Margo, but she stopped me. “I thought my life was crumbling,” she said, “that I’d wasted years for nothing. I couldn’t lie in bed crying anymore, so I just threw something on and went driving. I didn’t know what I was going to do. That’s when I saw her.” “Mom?” “We had the most incredible conversation. She said she knew how I felt, that things may seem dark now, but they will get better because God is always near. And she was right. They did. Your mom was such a kind soul and good listener. I will never, ever forget that night.” Mom’s been gone now for a few years. I sometimes wonder about her need to get to church when the hour was darkest. I think she knew what she was about more than we might have suspected and maybe not quite as lost as we assumed. She was searching for something in that cold dark, something she knew was there. My old school friend said she’d never forget that night. Neither will I. Lord, I search for You when the hour is darkest and I am most lost. Direct my steps to You. —Edward Grinnan Digging Deeper: Pss 73:28, 139:7–8; Jn 1:5
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
THE THING THAT ENTRANCED ME about Chicago in the Gilded Age was the city’s willingness to take on the impossible in the name of civic honor, a concept so removed from the modern psyche that two wise readers of early drafts of this book wondered why Chicago was so avid to win the world’s fair in the first place. The juxtaposition of pride and unfathomed evil struck me as offering powerful insights into the nature of men and their ambitions. The more I read about the fair, the more entranced I became. That George Ferris would attempt to build something so big and novel—and that he would succeed on his first try—seems, in this day of liability lawsuits, almost beyond comprehension. A rich seam of information exists about the fair and about Daniel Burnham in the beautifully run archives of the Chicago Historical Society and the Ryerson and Burnham libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago. I acquired a nice base of information from the University of Washington’s Suzallo Library, one of the finest and most efficient libraries I have encountered. I also visited the Library of Congress in Washington, where I spent a good many happy hours immersed in the papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, though my happiness was at times strained by trying to decipher Olmsted’s execrable handwriting. I read—and mined—dozens of books about Burnham, Chicago, the exposition, and the late Victorian era. Several proved consistently valuable: Thomas Hines’s Burnham of Chicago (1974); Laura Wood Roper’s FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted (1973); and Witold Rybczynski’s A Clearing in the Distance (1999). One book in particular, City of the Century by Donald L. Miller (1996), became an invaluable companion in my journey through old Chicago. I found four guidebooks to be especially useful: Alice Sinkevitch’s AIA Guide to Chicago (1993); Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski’s Graveyards of Chicago (1999); John Flinn’s Official Guide to the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893); and Rand, McNally & Co.’ s Handbook to the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893). Hucke and Bielski’s guide led me to pay a visit to Graceland Cemetery, an utterly charming haven where, paradoxically, history comes alive.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
It would take another twenty-seven years before the first government-authorized lifesaving stations were erected on Cape Cod. In all, nine stations were built from Race Point in Provincetown to Monomoy Island in Chatham. These two-story wooden structures were put up in the sunbaked dunes away from the high-water mark, thus protecting them from floods. They were painted a deep red and carried sixty-foot flags to make them easily recognizable from the ocean. The stations were manned by up to seven surfmen from August 1 to June 1 of the following year. The station’s keeper kept a watchful eye for the remaining two months. The keeper earned $200 per year for his duties while the surfmen were paid $65 a month. Each surfman, no matter how many years of service, was obligated to pass a strenuous physical examination at the dawn of each new season. Writer J. W. Dalton described the surfman’s weekly routine in his 1902 book, The Life Savers of Cape Cod: “On Monday the members of the crew are employed putting the station in order.
Michael J. Tougias (The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue)
MAY 10, THE day that Roosevelt issued his nonresponse to Churchill’s plea for U.S. belligerency, German bombers returned to London. As devastating as the previous raids had been, none came close to the savagery and destructiveness of this new firestorm. By the next morning, more than two thousand fires were raging out of control across the city, from Hammersmith in the west to Romford in the east, some twenty miles away. The damage to London’s landmarks was catastrophic. Queen’s Hall, the city’s premier concert venue, lay in ruins, while more than a quarter of a million books were incinerated and a number of galleries destroyed at the British Museum. Bombs smashed into St. James’s Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Parliament. The medieval Westminster Hall, though badly damaged, was saved, but not so the House of Commons chamber, the scene of some of the most dramatic events in modern British history. Completely gutted by fire, the little hall, with its vaulted, timbered ceiling, was nothing but a mound of debris, gaping open to the sky. Every major railroad station but one was put out of action for weeks, as were many Underground stations and lines. A third of the streets in greater London were impassable, and almost a million people were without gas, water, and electricity. The death toll was even more calamitous: never in London’s history had so many of its residents—1,436—died in a single night.
Lynne Olson (Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour)
In War: Resolution In Defeat: Defiance In Victory: Magnanimity In Peace: Good Will
Winston S. Churchill (Their Finest Hour (Winston S. Churchill The Second World Wa Book 2))
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