The History Quotes Page:
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does contain quotes I find interesting. If you would like to suggest one, drop me a line. I've noticed that a lot of people are coming directly to this page from search engines. Welcome!

HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

What is history but a fable agreed upon.
Napoleon Bonaparte

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.
George Santayana

History is more or less bunk.
Henry Ford

Every past is worth condemning.
Friedrich Nietzsche

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
George Santayana

What experience and history teach is this-- that people and governments never have learned anything from history.
George Wilhelm Hegel

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
Kurt Vonnegut

History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided.
Konrad Adenauer

A people without history is like the wind on the buffalo grass.
Sioux saying

History can never be covered up.
Zhu Rongji prime minister of China, as quoted by The New York Times

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Karl Marx

History warns us... that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
Thomas Henry Huxley

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
James Joyce (spoken by Stephen in 'Ulysses')

The causes of events are even more interesting than the events themselves.
Marcus T. Cicero

History is simply one damned thing after another.
Winston Churchill

Historians have been drug dealers to the addicts of national self-affirmation.
E.J. Hobsbawn

That historians should give their own country a break, I grant you; but not so as to state things contrary to fact. For there are plenty of mistakes made by writers out of ignorance, and which any man finds it difficult to avoid. But if we knowingly write what is false, whether for the sake of our country or our friends or just to be pleasant, what difference is there between us and hack writers? Readers should be very attentive to and critical of historians, and they in turn should be constantly on their guard.

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.
Will Durant

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
L. P. Hartley

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
Mignon McLaughlin

People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
Oscar Wilde (spoken by Gilbert in 'The Critic as Artist')

History: Gossip well told.
Elbert Hubbard

Oh, gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.
Oscar Wilde (spoken by Cecil in 'Lady Windermere's Fan')

When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
Barbara Bloom

History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
Karl Marx

Tradition is a guide and not a gaoler.
W. Somerset Maugham

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Napoleon Bonaparte

All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand
Sir Boyle Roche

God cannot alter the past, that is why he is obliged to connive at the existence of historians.
Samuel Butler

History never looks like History when you are living through it.
John William Gardner

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
Andy Warhol

He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.
George Orwell

History should always be studied in the morning, before anything else can happen...
Charles M Schulz (spoken by Peppermint Patti in 'Peanuts')

The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
Thomas Carlyle

I read [history] a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome.
Jane Austen (spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey')

Well behaved women rarely make history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
Will Durrant

Our future is certain, but our past is full of surprises...
Russian saying (before collapse of USSR)

Historians are dangerous people. They are capable of upsetting everything.
Nikita Khrushchev