A. J. Liebling Quotes

Abbott Joseph "A. J." Liebling (October 18, 1904 – December 28, 1963) was an American journalist who was closely associated with The New Yorker from 1935 until his death

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A. J. Liebling


The science of booby-trapping has taken a good deal of the fun out of following hot on the enemy's heels.

A. J. Liebling


The only way to write is well and how you do it is your own damn business.

A. J. Liebling


I met a keen observer who gave me a tip: 'If you run across a restaurant where you often see priests eating with priests, or sporting girls with sporting girls, you may be confident that it is good. Those are two classes of people who like to eat well and get their money's worth.'

A. J. Liebling


A Louisiana politician can't afford to let his animosities carry him away, and still less his principles, although there is seldom difficulty in that department.

A. J. Liebling


I can write better than anyone who can write faster,

A. J. Liebling


No ascetic can be considered reliably sane.

A. J. Liebling


News is like the tilefish which appears in great schools off the Atlantic Coast some years and then vanishes, no one knows whither or for how long. Newspapers might employ these periods searching for the breeding grounds of news, but they prefer to fill up with stories about Kurdled Kurds or Calvin Coolidge, until the banks close or a Hitler marches, when they are as surprised as their readers.

A. J. Liebling


In the light of what Proust wrote with so mild a stimulus, it is the world's loss that he did not have a heartier appetite. On a dozen Gardiner's Island oysters, a bowl of clam chowder, a peck of steamers, some bay scallops, three sauteed soft-shelled crabs, a few ears of fresh picked corn, a thin swordfish steak of generous area, a pair of lobsters, and a Long Island Duck, he might have written a masterpiece.

A. J. Liebling


The fighter (like the writer) must stand alone. If he loses he cannot call an executive conference and throw off on a vice president or the assistant sales manager. He is consequently resented by fractional characters who cannot live outside an organization.

A. J. Liebling


Any city may have one period of magnificence, like Boston or New Orleans or San Francisco, but it takes a real one to keep renewing itself until the past is perennially forgotten.

A. J. Liebling


Cynicism is often the shamefaced product of inexperience.

A. J. Liebling


Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.

A. J. Liebling


A city with one newspaper... is like a man with one eye, and often the eye is glass.

A. J. Liebling


If a boxer ever went as crazy as Nijinsky all the wowsers in the world would be screaming 'punch-drunk.' Well, who hit Nijinsky? And why isn't there a campaign against ballet? It gives girls thick legs

A. J. Liebling


There is a healthy American newspaper tradition of not taking yourself seriously It is the story you must take that way... And if you do take yourself seriously, according to this sound convention, you are supposed to do your best not to let anyone else know about it. (Like bed-wetting.)

A. J. Liebling