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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream

David McCullough

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

Jimmy Stewart -- the part Jimmy Stewart is playing -- is very important. He's almost always playing the same part, and that is the seemingly ordinary, decent American who -- when put to the test in an extreme situation -- rises to the occasion and does the extraordinary. And that's an old, old story in our American way of life. In fact, it's the story of Harry Truman, which is what I've spent the largest part of my creative writing life working on, a project of 10 years. That's the story of Harry Truman, the seemingly ordinary fellow who -- put to the test -- rises to the occasion and does the extraordinary. And, I think we like that story because that's the story of our country.
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David McCullough

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

David McCullough: I think the American dream is the good society. It's the city on the hill. It's what the Founding Fathers talked about, where justice is a way of life, where fundamental rights of citizenship are honored, where the individual counts, but where pulling together in the spirit of all being in the same boat can achieve more than any individual can in isolation or independently. I think it means education. This country was founded on the idea that education for all -- education at its best -- is not just good for the individual, it's essential to the system. The system won't work unless we have an educated population. Democracy demands it. It's the old line in Jefferson: "Any nation that expects to be ignorant and free, expects what never was and never will be."
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Audra McDonald

Six Tony Awards

Audra McDonald: I think every human being has a dream. I think what's special about the American Dream is that it implies, given everything that's happened with the history of America, that there is the opportunity to make your dream come true. So I think America signifies opportunity. I don't think we necessarily have cornered the market on dreams. That's a human thing. But I think opportunity is what the American Dream is about.
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James Michener

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist

The other is that I do think we have paid less attention to the values of our society than we should have. Through the church, through great education, through our newspapers, through the agencies that we have. I think that a nation that loses touch with its essential values, the values which characterize it and determine it, is really playing a very dangerous game because the time comes when you forget them. And when you forget them, you lose them. And when you lose them, you may lose your forward impetus. Let me be very frank about that. From what I know, and the wonderful fact that we are a continental country, from ocean to ocean, we are all that that implies. All the great resources. I am quite confident that we are good until about the year 2050. I think we can absorb errors, and we can absorb civil disturbance, and we can absorb defeats as we did with Vietnam. We can absorb a lot of knocks. I think we are safe, but I'm not so sure after that. If there were to be a continuing provision of generations that did not know what America is all about or did not have tough rigorous inner discipline, or did not produce goods that will keep the country rich and prosperous -- we might be in very serious trouble.
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