I've been reading Babbit, and this quote, "In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman." Is straight of it. I do not believe it should be attributed to Lewis, however, as it was said by a character who was meant to be a caricature of an American businessman, therefore, I am removing this quote from the "attributed" section, as I do not believe it represents the beliefs of Sinclair Lewis.
I added the quote to the attributed section:
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
This is showing up on bumper stickers and on the web in "signature" files. No source given. An example is at:  and similar stickers can be found at places selling customized stickers mugs etc. I am a bit dubious of this attribution, but it does seem to be somewhat widespread. It also seems to be a variant of the quote by Huey P. Long found on the Fascism subject page, but also not sourced and also not found on the Huey P. Long person page. "When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag." Oswald Glinkmeyer 14:34, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
- It appears to come from Lewis' 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here".184.108.40.206 11:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)The Sinclair Lewis Society has been wrestling with this for years and I received several phone calls during the last presidential election campaign. This quote sounds like something Sinclair Lewis might have said or written, but the Sinclair Lewis Society has never been able to find this exact quote although we've been asked a number of times.
Here are passages from two books Lewis wrote that at least hint at the quote attributed to him.
From It Can't Happen Here: "But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word 'Fascism' and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty."
From Gideon Planish: "I just wish people wouldn't quote Lincoln or the Bible, or hang out the flag or the cross, to cover up something that belongs more to the bank-book and the three golden balls."
There was also a play called Strangers in the late 1970s which had a similar quote, but no one, including one of Lewis’s biographers, Richard Lingeman, has ever been able to locate the quote.
- Full text of that book here. No sign of it.
- That quote captures the general idea of the book, but it's falsely attributed. --220.127.116.11 03:26, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Sinclair Lewis. --Antiquary 15:15, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
- Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
- He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.
- I can not understand why ministers presume to deliver sermons every week at appointed hours because it is humanly impossible for inspirations to come with clock-like regularity.
- In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.
- Intellectually, I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.
- Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.
- People will buy anything that is 'one to a customer.'
- Pugnacity is a form of courage, but a very bad form.
- The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century.
- There are dozens of young poets and fictioneers— most of them a little insane in the tradition of James Joyce, who, however insane they may be, have refused to be genteel and traditional and dull.
- There are two insults no human will endure. The assertion that he has no sense of humor and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.
- Variant: There are two insults no human being will endure: that he has no sense of humor, and that he has never known trouble.
- We have the power to bore people long after we are dead.
- Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.
- When audiences come to see us authors lecture, it is largely in the hope that we'll be funnier to look at than to read.
- When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
- A variation on quote attributed to Huey Long.
- Winter is not a season, it's an occupation..