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The New Yale Book of Quotations Is Published

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Fred Shapiro | 8.30.2021 11:08 AM

The New Yale Book of Quotations has just been published by Yale University Press. This volume is a greatly enhanced edition of the 2006 book that was named by the Wall Street Journal as the second most essential of all reference works. State-of-the-art research has been employed to reach far beyond the information in other collections in tracing the true origins of famous quotes. The highlights and lowlights of recent culture are also encompassed. There is a special emphasis on legal and political quotations.

Below is the first part of the book's introduction. The "art of the quotation dictionary" is explained. We all quote, and quotations are a communal bond uniting us with past culture and with other lovers of words and ideas. The New Yale Book of Quotations is geared to the needs of contemporary readers, presenting ample coverage of modern and American materials in all fields but also the classic words of older and non-American sources. The quotation compiler needs to "know a great quotation when he or she sees it," to paraphrase Potter Stewart on obscenity. The ideal quotation should sparkle.

The Yale Book of Quotations was published in 2006, with two principal ambitions: to capture the most famous quotations more comprehensively than other compilations, and to use pioneering research methods to trace quotations to their true origins. The response by reviewers and readers was overwhelmingly........

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