|| We all do no end of feeling and we mistake
it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a
boon. Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything.
Some think it is the voice of God.
- "Corn-pone Opinions" essay, 1900
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.
- "License of the Press" speech
To my mind, the bulk of any nation's opinion about its president, or its king,
or its emperor, or its politics, or its religion, is without value, and not
worth weighing or considering or examining. There is nothing mental in it; it
is all feeling, and procured at second-hand without any assistance from the
proprietor's reasoning powers.
- Autobiographical dictation, 14 July 1908. Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3 (University of California Press, 2015)
The public is the only critic whose judgment is worth anything
- "A General Reply," The Galaxy, November 1870
Poster with a quote that differs slightly from Mark Twain's original statement.
From the Dave Thomson collection.
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