Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: A Great Resource, a Great Gift

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is the longest-lived and most widely distributed collection of quotations. Dating back to 1855, this American reference work is now in its Seventeenth Edition. As an attorney and writer, I purchased the book for purposes of inspiration. I often use recognizable quotes both in my fiction writing and legal correspondence.

There’s nothing better than responding to an adversary’s lengthy diatribe and outrageous accusations by stating, “It depends on what the meaning of “is” is,” and attributing it to Bill Clinton.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is the most reliable and amusing collection of quotes on the market today, and it’s been in continuous print for the past one hundred and fifty years. This Seventeenth Edition, issued in 2003, spans almost five thousand years of history and culture. You’ll find more than 25,000 quotations from over 2,500 authors from 700 B.C. Homer to 2002 George W. Bush: “Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.”

Edited by Justin Kaplan, the Seventeenth Edition of Barlett’s Familiar Quotations is a large, heavy hardcover book containing over 1,400 pages. The entries contained in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations are arranged by author, and the authors are arranged chronologically by date of birth. Within the years of birth, authors are organized alphabetically and quotations are arranged chronologically within each author’s entry. Of course, a keyword index in the back of the book makes quotations easy to find.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations makes a great coffee table book and a fabulous conversation piece. It also makes a great gift for Dads and Grads and students heading off to college in the fall. It can be helpful for students writing term papers or simply looking for inspiration.

The newest edition contains a wide variety of authors from J.K. Rowling to Michael Jackson. Even Jerry Seinfeld: “Everybody lies about sex. People lie during sex. If it weren’t for lies, there’d be no sex.” Of course, the book is also filled with more inspirational quotations from the likes of such leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

There are also quotations from great writers, such as Sylvia Plath, Jack Kerouac, and Truman Capote. Famous musicians such as James Brown, Elvis Presley and The Doors. Quotations from popular movies, such as “Show Me the Money!” from Jerry Maguire.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is a must have for any serious personal library.

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