"Custer's dead and around the bloody guidon of the immortal Seventh Cavalry lie 212 officers of the main. Sioux and Cheyenne are on the war path. By military telegraph news of the Custer massacre is flashed across the long, long miles to the southwest. By stagecoach to the hundred settlements and the thousand farms standing under threat of Indian uprising. Pony Express riders know that one more such defeat as Custer's and it would be 100 years before another wagon train dared to cross the plain. And from the Canadian border to the Rio Bravo 10,000 Indians--Comanche, Arapaho, Sioux, and Apache under Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse, Gaul, and Crow King--are uniting in a common war against the United States cavalry."
"So here they are, the dog-faced soldiers, the regulars, the fifty-cents-a-day professionals riding the outposts of the nation, from Fort Reno to Fort Apache, from Sheridan to Stark. They were all the same. Men in dirty-shirt blue and only a cold page in the history books to mark their passing. But wherever they rode and whatever they fought for, that place became the United States."
"I believe that history has shape, order, and meaning; that exceptional men, as much as economic forces, produce change; and that passé abstractions like beauty, nobility, and greatness have a shifting but continuing validity."
"What is history? Its beginning is that of the centuries of systematic work devoted to the solution of the enigma of death, so that death itself may eventually be overcome. That is why people write symphonies, and why they discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves."
"In the middle of the next century, when the literary establishment will reflect the multicultural makeup of this country and not be dominated by assimiliationists with similar tastes, from similar backgrounds, and of similar pretensions, Langston Hughes will be to the twentieth century what Walt Whitman was to the nineteenth."
"A revolution is not the overturning of a cart, a reshuffling in the cards of state. It is a process, a swelling, a new growth in the race. If it is real, not simply a trauma, it is another ring in the tree of history, layer upon layer of invisible tissue composing the evidence of a circle."
"What characterizes and defines our intellectual situation is precisely the wealth of contents that can no longer be mastered, the swollen facticity of knowledge (including moral facts), the spilling out of experience over the surfaces of nature, the impossibility of achieving an overview, the chaos of things that cannot be denied. We will perish from this, or overcome it by becoming a spiritually stronger type of human being."
"The tremendous outflow of intellectuals that formed such a prominent part of the general exodus from Soviet Russia in the first years of the Bolshevist Revolution seems today like the wanderings of some mythical tribe whose bird-signs and moon-signs I now retrieve from the desert dust."
"History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.... It is not "history" which uses men as a means of achieving--as if it were an individual person--its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends."