Mainstream historians view Calvin Coolidge as a political and personal cipher — a man of few words and fewer accomplishments who, as liberal columnist Walter Lippman famously charged, possessed a veritable “genius for inactivity.” But if “inactivity” is defined as a spirited, principled, often brilliantly eloquent, active opposition to government intervention in the economy and the invariably crushing tax burdens that follow — then in articulating and implementing that opposition Calvin Coolidge deserves to be remembered as one of our most accomplished and indeed quotable presidents, whose writing H.L. Mencken once praised as possessing “almost Lincolnian austerity and beauty.” Silent Cal’s Almanack is the ultimate distillation of Calvin Coolidge’s political wisdom, and includes hundreds of topically arranged quotations, a collection of anecdotes showing his inimitable wit in action, a generous selection of his key speeches, a biographical essay, a 50-page portfolio of Coolidge photos, editorial cartoons and campaign memorabilia — and much more.
Nobody Said It As Well — Or Succinctly — As Silent Cal
“Government should not assume for the people the inevitable
burdens of existence.”
“A nation that is morally dead will soon be financially
“There is scarcely a word in the constitution of any of our
States or of our nation that was not written there for the
purpose of protecting the liberties of the people from some
servitude which a despotic government had at some time
imposed upon them.”
“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is
“Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must
be justified by something more than the will of the
majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of
“The people who start to elect a man to get what he can for
his district will probably find they have elected a man who
will get what he can for himself.”
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful
people with talent.”
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has
been the reward for what he gave.”
“It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to
“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save
money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women
of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of
the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means
that their life will be so much the more meager. Every
dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be
so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most
Once at a dinner party Coolidge was seated next to a young
woman who confided that she had bet she could pry at least
three words of conversation from him. Unimpressed, he
quietly responded, “You lose.”
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