American philosopher (1898-1983)
Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change (1963) was his finest work. The Eric Hoffer Book Award is an international literary prize established in his honor. Berkeley College awards an annual literary prize named jointly for Hoffer.
Eric Hoffer Quotes Page 4
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.
To spell out the obvious is often to call it into question.
The greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves.
Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.
Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.
It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.