Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
 Preparation
 Courage
 Perseverance
   + [ Integrity ]
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
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

Jefferson was very contained, very restrained, did not want anybody to know what he truly felt, what kinds of passion was within or at odds with him -- at odds within. Whereas Adams wore his emotions on his sleeve. Adams, who was very eloquent on his feet, a great speaker, a great convincer of juries and delegations at the Continental Congress; Jefferson, who couldn't speak on his feet to save his life, a terrible public speaker, but who could express himself on paper, as few people ever have. And how they started off as friends and co-revolutionaries, ultimately became political rivals, even adversaries, in a harsh fashion nearly. Who didn't speak to each other for years, who, in a way, were responsible for the political divisions that set up our two-party system, and who then have a great reconciliation after each has served in the presidency and become great friends, again. And correspondence! Carrying on some of the most eloquent correspondence in our history, and in our language. And who then -- incredibly, unimaginably -- die on the same day, and the same day is the 4th of July, 50 years to the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which they created! Now, that doesn't happen in real life. That couldn't happen on the stage or in a movie, because nobody would believe it, but it did.
View Interview with David McCullough
View Biography of David McCullough
View Profile of David McCullough
View Photo Gallery of David McCullough



William McRaven

The Art of Warfare

William McRaven: What I'm always happy to tell folks is the phenomenal work of the CIA. Our part of the mission was really pretty straightforward. I mean, it's kind of viewed as the sexy piece. We flew from Afghanistan into Pakistan and got Bin Laden and came back. And there was an attractiveness to that aspect of it. But that was a pretty straightforward mission for us. In fact, I would tell you that it was -- I mean, it had a political aspect of it and an angst aspect of it that was higher than the rest of the missions we do -- but from a standpoint of a pure military operation it was pretty straightforward. What I have said before is the credit really belongs to the CIA, who in fact located Bin Laden, and the President and his National Security team who made the decision, the President who made the decision to go after Bin Laden when our intelligence really at best had us at about 50/50. So the President made a decision to risk American lives and frankly to risk his political fortune, I think, to do the right thing for America. And I'm always very appreciative that he did that. And I think those are the big takeaways that the American public ought to have is that the President and his National Security team did the right thing. The CIA -- the best intelligence organization in the world -- along with the National Security Agency, which was part of their ability to figure out where Bin Laden was, those were the real stars of this mission. I'm very proud of what my guys did, but that's the sort of things we do pretty much every day.
View Interview with William McRaven
View Biography of William McRaven
View Profile of William McRaven
View Photo Gallery of William McRaven



W.S. Merwin

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry

I was supposed to go and read at the University of Buffalo, and I didn't know until fairly close to the time of the reading that I was supposed to -- this was at the time of the Vietnam War -- I was supposed to sign a loyalty oath, not only to the Constitution of the United States, but if you please, to the Constitution of the State of New York, and I refused to sign the loyalty. We went around and around and around about all of the different ways around it, but they involved putting down my name and then putting riders under it that made it empty and I said that I don't see why I should do that. I mean, I don't believe in doing this, I don't think this has anything to do with loyalty, I think it has to do with entrapment. And I won't play the game and I just won't do it. And at that time, it was $1,000 for the reading, and they said, "We won't pay you," and I said, "Well, we'll see about that." And finally I agreed to go because a friend -- it was Robert Haas who invited me, and he was very embarrassed by the situation. He hadn't known about it to begin with.
View Interview with W.S. Merwin
View Biography of W.S. Merwin
View Profile of W.S. Merwin
View Photo Gallery of W.S. Merwin



W.S. Merwin

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry

I went and gave this talk about being loyal, what loyalty really meant and why I wouldn't sign a loyalty oath and about the Vietnam War. And then I said -- and I published the talk afterwards in The New York Review of Books -- and passed the hat at the reading. I said, "This is a free reading," and passed the hat, not for me, I said, for the war resisters who have gone to Canada. When war resisters leave, this money will go to them. So, I raised several thousand dollars for the war resisters and the University of Buffalo was angry as could be. And Auden wrote and said that if he didn't know me -- he didn't know me very well -- he would have thought the whole thing was a publicity stunt. And I wrote -- I spent two days over the letter -- answering Auden with deep respect saying, you know, we completely disagree. This was a public situation which I didn't ask for, and I had a right to make a public statement at that time and to use it because I think we're involved in something that is so wrong and so really shameful and we've told so many lies about it that if one has a strong position, one should speak out about it.
View Interview with W.S. Merwin
View Biography of W.S. Merwin
View Profile of W.S. Merwin
View Photo Gallery of W.S. Merwin



Browse Integrity quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page