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Lewis Mumford Quotes (42 Quotes)


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  • For most Americans, progress means accepting what is new because it is new, and discarding what is old because it is old.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Sport in the sense of a mass-spectacle, with death to add to the underlying excitement, comes into existence when a population has been drilled and regimented and depressed to such an extent that it needs at least a vicarious participation in difficult feats of strength or skill or heroism in order to sustain its waning life-sense.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • The artist does not illustrate science (but) he frequently responds to the same interests that a scientist does.
    (Lewis Mumford)


  • The vast material displacements the machine has made in our physical environment are perhaps in the long run less important than its spiritual contributions to our culture.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for training.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed.
    (Lewis Mumford)

  • Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.
    (Lewis Mumford)


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