Joseph J. Ellis Quotes.

1. "Rather than adjust his expectations in the face of disappointment, he (Jefferson) tended to bury them deeper inside himself and regard the disjunction between his ideals and the worldly imperfections as the world's problems rather than his own."
- Quote by Joseph J. Ellis

2. "The issue concerned a minor matter of etiquette: How should the president be addressed by members of Congress? While hardly an earthshaking question, it had symbolic significance because of the obsessive American suspicion of monarchy, which haunted all conversations about the powers of the presidency under the recently ratified constituion...Anyone who favored a strong exective was vulnerable to the charge of being a quasi-monarchist...Adams was so confident in his own revolutionary credentials that he regarded himself as immune to such charges, but when he lectured the Senate on the need for elaborate trappings of authority and proposed the President Washington be addressed as 'His Majesty' or 'His Highness,'his remarks became the butt of serveral barbed jokes, including the suggestion that he had been seized by 'nobilimania' during his long sojourn in England and might prefer to be addressed as 'His Rotundity'or the 'Duke of Braintree.' Jefferson threw up his hands at the sheer stupidity of Adam's proposals, calling them 'the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of."
- Quote by Joseph J. Ellis

3. "He was responsible for administering an army that lacked time-tested procedures and routinized policies, so every decision became an improvisational act."
- Quote by Joseph J. Ellis

4. "Because he could not afford to fail, he could not afford to trust."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

5. "Some models of self-control are able to achieve their serenity easily because the soul fires never burn brightly to begin with."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

6. "The old adage applied: if God were in the details, Colonel Washington would have been there to greet him upon arrival."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

7. "Washington's task was to transform the improbable into the inevitable."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

8. "Having now finished the work assigned me," Washington solemnly said, "I retire from the great theatre of Action....I here offer my Commission, and take leave of all the enjoyments of public life." The man who had known how to stay the course now showed that he also understood how to leave it. Horses were waiting at the door immediately after Washington read his statement. The crowd gathered at the doorway to wave him off. It was the greatest exit in American history."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

9. "p. 274 ...his trademark decision to surrender power as commander in chief and then president, was not...a sign that he had conquered his ambitions, but rather that he fully realized that all ambitions were inherently insatiable and unconquerable. He knew himself well enough to resist the illusion that he transcended human nature. Unlike Julius Caesar and Oliver Cromwell before him, and Napoleon, Lenin, and Mao after him, he understood that the greater glory resided in posterity's judgment. If you aspire to live forever in the memory of future generations, you must demonstrate the ultimate self-confidence to leave the final judgment to them. And he did."
- Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington

10. "[quoting someone else] the American constitution is a document designed by geniuses to be eventually interpreted by idiots"
- Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

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