Monday, September 16, 2013

Probably not from Calvin Coolidge

My friend Rob Zseleczky had in his apartment a postcard with these words:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and will always solve the problem of the human race.
This passage has been atttributed, famously so, to Calvin Coolidge, and appeared with his name in a Depression-era pamphlet issued by the New York Life Insurance Company, of which Coolidge was a director. But Coolidge scholars David Pietrusza and Amity Shlaes, the source of the information in the preceding sentence, make a strong case that the passage is “probably not Coolidge’s.” It’s good advice though, whoever its source. For me, its source is Rob Zseleczky.

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