The idea in bold-face print is a summary of the quote. The number is the page on which the quote was found.
Critical Thinking 26 "The truth is I did not understand the plan [for the Bay of Pigs invasion] very well and did not know the facts…had let myself become a passive bystander." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 29 "When John F. Kennedy became president, we faced a complex and growing crisis in Southeast Asia with sparse knowledge, scant experience, and simplistic assumptions." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 33 In Vietnam, we failed to criticize our assumptions, the foundations of our decision-making. "We failed to analyze our assumptions critically, then or later; the foundations of our decision-making were gravely flawed." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 39 "We failed to ask the five most basic questions: Was it true that the fall of South Vietnam would trigger the fall of all Southeast Asia? Would that constitute a grave threat to the West’s security? What kind of war—conventional or guerrilla—might develop? Could we win it with U.S. troops fighting alongside the South Vietnamese? Should we not know the answers to all these questions before deciding to commit troops?" McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 41 Assumption that the South Vietnamese leader shared Western values. "That he [Diem] had studied at a Catholic seminary in New Jersey in the early 1950s seemed evidence that he shared Western values." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 59 Continuing the course of action because we had gone so far already. "The president [JFK] agreed we should not go ahead simply because we had gone so far already." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 63 " …we still failed to analyze the pros and cons of withdrawal." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 153 Assumption that air power would be effective in Vietnam. "Air power advocates in the Air Force and Navy accepted bombing’s effectiveness as dogma and failed to examine precisely what it could accomplish in particular situations." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 156 "…on October 5, 1964, George Ball sent Dean, Mac, and me a sixty-two page memorandum challenging the assumptions of our current Vietnam policy." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 176 The media and the Vietnam War. "Oliver Stone’s fanciful movie JFK, for example, includes a scene in which President Johnson, during the 1964 campaign, is made to say, in effect: Gentlemen [Joint Chiefs], you give me my election and I will give you your war; such a scene is disgraceful; these men put their lives—and the lives of the men they felt responsible for and led into battle—at risk…to suggest that military leaders want war is to misunderstand what motivates them." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 180 Making changes in policy. "The actions themselves should be taken in ways that should minimize any appearance of sudden changes in policy…." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 184 Questions not asked about projected actions in the Vietnam War. "General agreement existed on the need for more U.S. forces to prevent Saigon’s collapse; but how many?” pursuing what strategy? with what effect?" McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 184 Incomplete report. "But, again, George’s paper failed to show how to achieve the objectives we all sought." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 195 Assumption behind the Vietnam war. "…his [Dean Rusk’s] view—that if we lost South Vietnam, we increased the risk of WWIII…." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 203 Failure to ask questions about the strategy in the Vietnam War. "Looking back, I clearly erred by not forcing—then or later, in either Saigon or Washington—a knock-down, drag-out debate over the loose assumptions, unasked questions, and thin analyses underlying our military strategy in Vietnam…had spent twenty years as a manager identifying problems and forcing organizations—often against their will—to think deeply and realistically about alternative courses of action and their consequences…doubt I will ever fully understand why I did not do so here." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Critical thinking 1236 Hearsay vs. reality. "All had heard of them, but nobody remembered to have seen any." “The Three Golden Apples” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls
Critical thinking 577 Attacking not men, but ideas. "…attacking not men so much as principles and measures…." Hawthorne: “Thomas Green Fessenden”
Critical thinking 46 Cliche. What does it mean? "He would like to start from scratch; where is scratch?" Elias Canett. 1978.
Critical Thinking 258 "Hear the other side that you may learn." Xenephon. Greek. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Critical thinking 298 Norman evasions. "To reply like a Norman: give an evasive answer." French. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Critical thinking 82 Ambiguity is at the heart of disputes. "We find few disputes, that are not founded on some ambiguity in the expression. David Hume." “Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature.” 1741. Gross, ed. Essays.
Critical thinking 458 Not "either/or," but "and/also." "Enough of ‘nothing but’; it is a time to say again, with primitive common sense… ‘not only, but also.’ " Aldous Huxley. “Meditation on the Moon.” 1931. Gross, ed. Essays.
Critical thinking 472 Hard facts vs. guessing, hearsay and legend. "The technique of isolating hard facts from a sea of guess, or hearsay, or legend…." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.
Critical thinking 483 Prejudice, habit and education change what we see." "Nature, it is true, always holds up the same mirror, but prejudice, habit, and education, are continually changing the appearance of the objects seen in it." Edmund Wilson. “A Preface to Persius.” 1927. Gross, ed. Essays.
Critical thinking 84 Loaded language. "…and vomit out filthy atheism." Lewis, Babbitt.
Critical thinking 250 Putting positive labels on your side of an issue. "There was no one in Zenith who talked of anything but the strike, and no one who did not take sides...were either a courageous friend of labor, or you were a fearless supporter of the Rights of Property; and in either case you were belligerent, and ready to disown any friend who did not hate the enemy." Lewis, Babbitt.
Critical thinking 24 Questioning superstitions. "It was not only beginning to be permitted to question superstitions, it was becoming fashionable to do it." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 26 Take nothing for granted. "Spallanzani… questioning everything…taking nothing for granted…." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 35 Answering questions with empty words. "Nedham and Buffon had deluged the scientific world with words—they had not answered his facts, they had not shown where Spallanzani’s experiment of the sealed flask was wrong." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 37 Tried to challenge his own pet ideas. "Spallanzani was triumphant, but then he did the curious thing that only born scientists ever do—he tried to beat his own idea, his darling theory—by experiments he honestly and shrewdly planned to defeat himself." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 105 Enthusiasm and jumping to conclusions. "...the enthusiasms of Pasteur did not for one moment make him [Koch] jump at conclusions." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 143 Overly critical of his own theories. "Koch always recited his failures with just as much and no more enthusiasm than he did his triumph...he looked at his own discoveries as if they had been those of another man of whom he was a little over-critical." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 213 "Either/Or thinking." "For twenty years both sides were so engaged they could not stop to think that perhaps both our blood and our phagocytes might work together to guard us from germs." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 220 Twisting the facts to prove one's point. "[Metchnikoff] sat down to write a great book on all that he had found out about why we are immune...an enormous treatise...written in a style Flaubert might have envied...made every one of the ten thousand facts in it vivid, and everyone of them was twisted prettily to prove his point." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 233 Fine Buildings and apparatus did not distract him from clear thinking. "Theobald Smith did not confuse fine buildings and complicated apparatus with clear thinking...." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 312 Every eminent physician thought that yellow fever was contagious. "Everybody believed that clothing and bedding and possessions of yellow fever victims were deadly—millions of dollars worth of clothing and bedding had been destroyed; the Surgeon-General believed it; every eminent physician in America, North, South, and Central….believed it." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking 323 Thinking beyond the accepted answer. "…two plus two makes five…Paul Ehrlich was that kind of man." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Critical thinking. Emotion over rationality. Fanny: “Oh! never, never, never; he never will succeed with me” …spoke with a warmth which quite astonished Edmund [who responded] “Never, Fanny, so very determined and positive…not like yourself, your rational self.” Austen, Mansfield Park.
Critical thinking 83 Reporting, not defending. "Utopia. …I have promised to tell you of their practices, not defend them." Thomas More, Utopia.