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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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William McRaven

The Art of Warfare

To me, the American Dream is the opportunity for me to be able to be in the right place at the right time and then do the right thing. Not once, not twice, but a lot of times that kind of moved me along this path to be where I am today. But there was nothing that stopped me. And for me the American Dream is, I look at it today -- and this is one of the exciting things about being the chancellor -- is I look at the changing demographics, and the changing kind of social fabric we have. And I think the human capital that we have in the Hispanics, in the Asians, in the African Americans, and in the women that are out there -- give them an opportunity to get an education and it will change everything. And I have seen this firsthand in Iraq, and Afghanistan in particular, where the female population that we spent a lot of time in Afghanistan trying to get them into schools and were very successful at doing that. I guarantee you that will change everything about Southwest Asia. As the women begin to grow up and they have this great education, and you see the incredible character of women like Malala from Pakistan, it's all about education. I honestly believe that. If we can educate our young kids coming out of high school, we will buy down fear, we will buy down bigotry, we will buy down all of the bad things if we just do a good job of educating.
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