Paul Johnson

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Paul Johnson (right) 2006

Paul Bede Johnson (Born 2 November 1928) is an English journalist, historian, speechwriter and author.


  • Men are excessively ruthless and cruel not as a rule out of malice but from outraged righteousness. How much more is this true of legally constituted states, invested with all this seeming moral authority of parliaments and congresses and courts of justice! The destructive capacity of an individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and the destructive capacity necessarily expands too. Collective righteousness is far more ungovernable than any individual pursuit of revenge. That was a point well understood by Woodrow Wilson, who warned: 'Once lead this people into war and they'll forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.
    • Modern Times (1983).
  • It was part of Rousseau’s vanity that he believed himself incapable of base emotions. ‘I feel too superior to hate.’ ‘I love myself too much to hate anybody.
    • Intellectuals (1988).
  • This book is dedicated to the people of America--strong, outspoken, intense in their convictions, sometimes wrong-headed but always generous and brave, with a passion for justice no nation has ever matched.

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