20 Captivating Ida Minerva Tarbell Quotes

Ida Tarbell was an American author, teacher, and journalist. Pioneering investigative journalism during the progressive era, Tarbell is most known for her notable magazine series and biographies written on those such as President Abraham Lincoln. Here is a look at some of the best Ida Minerva Tarbell quotes ever recorded.

“A mind truly cultivated never feels that the intellectual process is complete until it can reproduce in some media the thing which it has absorbed.”

“A mind which really lays hold of a subject is not easily detached from it.”

“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief.”

“Imagination is the only key to the future. Without it none exists – with it all things are possible.”

“It is not alone that justice is wounded by denying women a part in the making of the civilized world – a more immediate wrong is the way the movement for a fuller, freer life for all human beings is hampered.”

“One of the permanent possessions of the human heart is the memory of its noble enthusiasms.”


“Perhaps our national ambition to standardize ourselves has behind it the notion that democracy means standardization.”

“Sacredness of human life! The world has never believed it! It has been with life that we settled our quarrels, won wives, gold and land, defended ideas, imposed religions.”

“The first and most imperative necessity in war is money, for money means everything else – men, guns, ammunition.”

“The only reason I am glad I am a woman is because I will not have to marry one.”

“The quest of the truth had been born in me – the most tragic and incomplete, as well as the most essential, of man’s quests.”

“The theory that the man who raises corn does a more important piece of work than the woman who makes it into bread is absurd. The inference is that the men alone render useful service.”

“The whole force of the respectable circles to which I belonged, that respectable circle which knew as I did not the value of security won, the slender chance of replacing it if lost or abandoned, was against me.”

“There is no gaming table in the world where loaded dice are tolerated, no athletic field where men must not start fair.”

“There is no man more dangerous, in a position of power, than he who refuses to accept as a working truth the idea that all a man does should make for rightness and soundness, that even the fixing of a tariff rate must be moral.”

“There is no more effective medicine to apply to feverish public sentiments than figures.”

“They fought their way to control by rebate and drawback, bribe and blackmail, espionage and price cutting, by ruthless efficiency of organization.”

“Very often people who admit the facts, who are willing to see that Mr. Rockefeller has employed force and fraud to secure his ends, justify him by declaring, ‘It’s business.’ That is, ‘it’s business’ has come to be a legitimate excuse for hard dealing, sly tricks, special privileges.”

“we were raising our standard of living at the expense of our standard of”

“You cannot settle a new country without suffering, exposure, and danger. Cheerful endurance of hardships and contempt of surroundings become a virtue in a pioneer. Comfort is a comparatively new thing in the United States.”

Here is a unique look at Ida Tarbell’s biography as she became the first recipient of the Allegheny Alumni Medal. More than 100 years ago, Tarbell was considered to be one of the most popular women in America transforming investigative journalism.

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