January 22, 2022

A Conversation with Fred Shapiro, Editor of “The New Yale Book of Quotations” & Associate Director for Collections and Special Projects at the Yale Law School Library

From Yale News

Did you know that Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake” and that “War is hell” did not originate with William Tecumseh Sherman These are some of the fun facts one discovers in “The New Yale Book of Quotations,” edited by Fred R. Shapiro, associate director for collections and special projects at Yale Law School library. The book, scheduled for publication this month by Yale University Press, updates and expands “The Yale Book of Quotations,” Shapiro’s popular and entertaining 2006 book. In all, there are more than 12,000 comments, quips, and resonant expressions drawn from literature, popular culture, sports, politics, and other realms.

Shapiro, who also edited the “Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations” earlier in his career, decided it was time to update the 2006 edition based on new discoveries about the origins of particular quotes — and to include more than 1,000 new entries. The new volume includes quotes from the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, John Oliver, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Donald Trump. Also incorporated in the new edition are older quotations that have new relevance today. Shapiro, who has had a fascination with quotes since boyhood, recently spoke with Yale News about what makes a good quote, some of his personal favorites, and why the time was right for an updated edition of the book. Interview condensed and edited.

Read the Text Interview with Fred Shapiro (approx. 1700 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.