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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Krutch, Joseph Wood (1893-1970)
"Poetry, mythology, and religion represent the world as man would like to have it, while science represents the world as he gradually comes to discover it."

--Joseph Wood Krutch

Joseph Wood Krutch was an American writer, critic, and naturalist.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, he initially studied at the University of Tennessee and received a masters degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University. After serving in the army in 1918, he then travelled in Europe for a year with friend Mark Van Doren. Afterwards, he worked as teacher at Brooklyn Polytechnic.

He became a theater critic for The Nation and wrote several books, gaining acclaim through a work critical of the impact of science and technology, The Modern Temper (1929). He also wrote biographies of Samuel Johnson and Henry David Thoreau in the 1940s. Throughout his life he wrote thirty-five books altogether.

He worked as a professor at Columbia from 1937 to 1953. Moving to Arizona in 1952, he wrote books about natural issues and the environment.

He died from colon cancer in 1970.


"A book unlike a television program, moving picture or any other "modern means of communication" can wait for years, yet be available at any moment when it happens to be needed. "

"Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most. "

"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia. "

"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. "

"Electronic calculators can solve problems which the man who made them cannot solve but no government-subsidized commission of engineers and physicists could create a worm. "

"Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with that ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional form and ceremonies. "

"It is not ignorance but knowledge which is the mother of wonder. "

"Only those within whose own consciousness the sun rise and set, the leaves burgeon and wither, can be said to be aware of what living is. "

"Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without. "

"The advertiser is the overrewarded court jester and court pander at the democratic court. "

"The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February. "

"The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only. "

"What a man knows is everywhere at war with what he wants. "

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The Talk Of Lawrence