Talk:Charles A. Beard

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I love the "When it's dark enough..." quote. However, I've also seen it attributed to Emerson. Does anyone know for sure? --red.rabbit

Four lessons of history[edit]

The earliest mention of a source for this that I have found is:

  • "Four Lessons of History", Readers' Digest, Feb 1941.

Although I have not examined the source myself, I stuck it in the article anyway because this is widely quoted — Please verify!
Some report that the editors of Reader's Digest asked Beard to write a short book summarizing the lessons of history and, by way of declining, he replied that he could do it in four short sentences. Others report that it was a reply to a question posed by George S. Counts. (I also found mention, but no citations, that Lawrence A. Cremin commented on these statements, calling them "the Hellenic idea of Providence, the Greek concept of hubris, the Marxian principle of the dialectic, and the Enlightenment faith in progress.") ~ Ningauble 17:33, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Update: I have been able to verify and correct the Reader's Digest citation using GoogleBooks snippets. The last statement was widely repeated after that appearance, but I have not found any earlier instances. ~ Ningauble 18:22, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


  • You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.
  • I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and women trample themselves in the mire and die. Something magnificent is taking place here amid the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail.