A. J. Liebling Quotes

  • There is no concept more generally cherished by publishers than that of the Undeserving Poor.

  • If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.

  • Southern political personalities, like sweet corn, travel badly. They lose flavor with every hundred yards away from the patch. By the time they reach New York, they are like Golden Bantam that has been trucked up from Texas - stale and unprofitable. The consumer forgets that the corn tastes different where it grows.

  • A city with one newspaper, or with a morning and an evening paper under one ownership, is like a man with one eye, and often the eye is glass.

  • The world isn't going backward, if you can just stay young enough to remember what it was really like when you were really young.

  • People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.

  • It is impossible for me to estimate how many of my early impressions of the world, correct and the opposite, came to me through newspapers. Homicide, adultery, no-hit pitching, and Balkanism were concepts that, left to my own devices, I would have encountered much later in life.

  • The way to write is well, and how is your own business.

  • The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite. Without this, it is impossible to accumulate, within the allotted span, enough experience of eating to have anything worth setting down.

  • Chicago seems a big city instead of merely a large place.

  • If there is any way you can get colder than you do when you sleep in a bedding roll on the ground in a tent in southern Tunisia two hours before dawn, I don't know about it.

  • The science of booby-trapping has taken a good deal of the fun out of following hot on the enemy's heels.

  • A Louisiana politician can't afford to let his animosities carry him away, and still less his principles, although there is seldom difficulty in that department.

  • I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.

  • To the Parisians, and especially to the children, all Americans are now 'heros du cinema.' This is particularly disconcerting to sensitive war correspondents, if any, aware, as they are, that these innocent thanks belong to those American combat troops who won the beachhead and then made the breakthrough. There are few such men in Paris.

  • An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed.

  • No sane man can afford to dispense with debilitating pleasures. No ascetic can be considered reliably sane.

  • Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.

  • I take a grave view of the press. It is the weak slat under the bed of democracy.

  • The pattern of a newspaperman's life is like the plot of 'Black Beauty.' Sometimes he finds a kind master who gives him a dry stall and an occasional bran mash in the form of a Christmas bonus, sometimes he falls into the hands of a mean owner who drives him in spite of spavins and expects him to live on potato peelings.

  • The function of the press in society is to inform, but its role in society is to make money.

  • If the first requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite, the second is to put in your apprenticeship as a feeder when you have enough money to pay the check but not enough to produce indifference of the total.