Top 47 Quotes of John Gregory Dunne

You do nonfiction, you get to meet people you would not normally meet.

John Gregory Dunne

Writing well about sports is as difficult as writing well about sex.

John Gregory Dunne

Writing is manual labor of the mind – like laying pipe.

John Gregory Dunne

What the world does not need is another script or television writer.

John Gregory Dunne

What is astonishing about the social history of the Vietnam war is not how many people avoided it, but how many could not and did not.

John Gregory Dunne

Were it not for Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey would be remembered, if at all, as a Bible-thumping midwestern Methodist windbag who neither played baseball on Sundays when he was a mediocre catcher for the St. Louis Browns and the New York Highlanders, nor attended games on the Sabbath as a baseball executive.

John Gregory Dunne

Unlike Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, Jackie Robinson never tried to convert himself into an acceptable black man.

John Gregory Dunne

‘Time’ was a glorious place to work in the years that I was there, from 1959 to 1964.

John Gregory Dunne

There was no pretense to objectivity; ‘Time’ had a partisan Republican point of view, and if it was one not shared by many of its gentrified Ivy Leaguers, few felt the compulsion to quit.

John Gregory Dunne

There are no new facts about the Kennedys, only new attitudes, a literature that, like the automobile industry, puts new bodies on old chassis.

John Gregory Dunne

There are no legends about the Duponts; the legends are about Howard Hughes.

John Gregory Dunne

The volunteer military has always been most enthusiastically, even devoutly, embraced by those who would not themselves dream of volunteering – or of encouraging their children to do so.

John Gregory Dunne

The self-image of many contemporary sportswriters seems to depend on maintaining that were it not for sports, athletes would be pumping gas, if they were not sticking up the gas station.

John Gregory Dunne

The myth of the Kennedys – and the hold – was always the hold of the renegade rich, out there on the frontier beyond accountability.

John Gregory Dunne

Reviews don’t bother me.

John Gregory Dunne

Retirement is purgatory for the former sports star. The world outside organized sports is unforgiving.

John Gregory Dunne

Only World War II, which mobilized 10 million draftees, could by any stretch of the imagination be called a people’s war.

John Gregory Dunne

No professional athlete likes to admit that he has played too long. There is too much money involved, rarely enough saved, and there is the eternal hope that age has not withered skills.

John Gregory Dunne

Most anyplace one lives is essentially dangerous. There are floods in the Midwest, and tornadoes. There are hurricanes along the Gulf. In New York, you get mugged.

John Gregory Dunne

Membership in the closed society of the motion-picture industry is almost never revoked for moral failings.

John Gregory Dunne

Life is much more available in New York – there are a dozen movie theaters within walking distance. Living in California is easier, but you get sedentary.

John Gregory Dunne

I’ve always thought a novelist only has one character, and that is himself or herself. In my case, me.

John Gregory Dunne

In what purports to be an egalitarian society, the existence of class is the secret about which no one speaks.

John Gregory Dunne

In the spring of 1988, my wife, Joan Didion, and I were approached about writing a screenplay based on a book by Alanna Nash called ‘Golden Girl,’ a biography of the late network correspondent and anchorwoman Jessica Savitch.

John Gregory Dunne

In sports, the confluence of the 1989 Oakland vs. San Francisco World Series and the Loma Prieta earthquake notwithstanding, the earth rarely moves.

John Gregory Dunne

I’m not a bad mimic, and I can pick up speech cadences that I would not pick up if I didn’t hit the road.

John Gregory Dunne

I’m a great believer in the novelist being ‘on the scene,’ reporting, traveling, meeting all sorts of people.

John Gregory Dunne

I resist and resent the idea of California as a metaphor. It’s something thrust upon us, usually by people in the East.

John Gregory Dunne

I love cops; I’m fascinated by the criminal justice system.

John Gregory Dunne

I liked Los Angeles for odd reasons. For one, there was no sense of community. You were really left to your own resources, spending this inordinate amount of time alone in a balloon of an automobile. I liked that a lot.

John Gregory Dunne

I hate to go on TV. I will start stammering.

John Gregory Dunne

I got ‘The Red White and Blue’ out of journalism. It puts you in touch with the world.

John Gregory Dunne

I call myself a harp because I like the sound of the word – it is short, sharp, and abusive.

John Gregory Dunne

I am willing to believe, but I do not have the gift of faith. I’m skeptical.

John Gregory Dunne

Gavin Lambert was the first person in the movie business my wife and I met when we moved to Los Angeles in 1964.

John Gregory Dunne

For thirty-five years, David Halberstam, an unsilent member of the Silent Generation, has contemplated America and its place in the world, casting his eye on big subjects – Vietnam, global economics, race, mass media, and the 1950s.

John Gregory Dunne

For interns at ‘The Weekly Standard’ or ‘National Review,’ where the martial instinct finds its most insistent voice, what Robert Kagan calls the military ‘career path’ is not widely seen as a plausible future. Pulling a trigger is what Jose, Tyrone, and Bubba do, not early admission students at the better private universities.

John Gregory Dunne

Evading military service has a long history in American life.

John Gregory Dunne

Conspiracy is a small but durable seller, retooled every year or so.

John Gregory Dunne

Class was always the domestic issue during the Vietnam War, not communism.

John Gregory Dunne

Class has always been Tom Wolfe’s subject, and I suspect the reason for much of the disfavor in which he is held.

John Gregory Dunne

Being exposed to the enlisted Army was an eye-opener. I thought everyone was like me, but the enlisted Army is a constituency of the dispossessed.

John Gregory Dunne

Being a professional screenwriter is perhaps the hardest occupation. Because nothing is ever yours and, by the nature of the medium, you are never ultimately responsible for your work. It can be interesting – if you have another outlet.

John Gregory Dunne

Anecdotes are factoids of questionable provenance, burnished to a high gloss, often set in gilded venues and populated with familiar names as background atmosphere, purged of ambiguity in the interest of keeping the narrative flowing smoothly.

John Gregory Dunne

An Episcopalian military institution when it was founded near the turn of the century, Harvard for years had an implicit quota system that effectively limited the number of Jewish admissions.

John Gregory Dunne

All life is inherently dangerous. But beyond that, Los Angeles is just a wonderful place to be.

John Gregory Dunne

A writer is an eternal outsider, his nose pressed against whatever window on the other side of which he sees his material.

John Gregory Dunne