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Gertrude Himmelfarb

  • ... absolute liberty may also corrupt absolutely.

  • In its sentimental mode, compassion is an exercise in moral indignation, in feeling good rather than doing good ... In its unsentimental mode, compassion seeks above all to do good ...

  • Without will, without individuals, there are no heroes. But neither are there villains. And the absence of villains is as prostrating, as soul-destroying, as the absence of heroes.

    • Gertrude Himmelfarb,
    • "Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets," On Looking Into the Abyss ()
  • The 'real movement' of history, it turns out, is fueled not by matter but by spirit, by the will to freedom.

    • Gertrude Himmelfarb,
    • "From Marx to Hegel," On Looking Into the Abyss ()
  • ... absolute liberty ... tends to corrupt absolutely.

    • Gertrude Himmelfarb,
    • "Liberty: 'One Very Simple Principle'?" On Looking Into the Abyss ()

Gertrude Himmelfarb, U.S. historian, philosopher


Also known as Bea Kristol.