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James Buchan quotes

To make a love story, you need a couple of young people, but to reflect on the nature of love, you're better off with old ones. That is a fact of life and literature - and of the novel ever since it fell in love with love in the 18th century.

Saudi Arabia is a puritanical state that claims a monopoly of wisdom and virtue.

For 50 years, nuclear power stations have produced three products which only a lunatic could want: bomb-explosive plutonium, lethal radioactive waste and electricity so dear it has to be heavily subsidised. They leave to future generations the task, and most of the cost, of making safe sites that have been polluted half-way to eternity.

In rising financial markets, the world is forever new. The bull or optimist has no eyes for past or present, but only for the future, where streams of revenue play in his imagination.

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.

Liberty in Islam is the liberty to be a Muslim, democracy likewise, individualism likewise.

A century ago, petroleum - what we call oil - was just an obscure commodity; today it is almost as vital to human existence as water.

Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.

Financial crises are like fireworks: they illuminate the sky even as they go pop.

Is there any purpose to translating poetry? A poem does not contain information of importance, like a signpost or a warning notice.

Of all the failed technologies that litter the onward march of science - steam carriages, zeppelins, armoured trains - none has been so catastrophic to prosperity as the last century's attempt to generate electricity from nuclear fission.

Since the attack on the United States on September 11 2001, and the US retaliation in Afghanistan and Iraq, there must be few people who have not felt a twinge of nostalgia for the cold war.

All UK nuclear power stations should be shut down without delay.

Any new financial order for the world must tackle the three chief challenges of our age.

By pouring money and goods into devastated regions, foreign aid workers sometimes compound the disruption and debauch the survivors.

If good history is dispassionate history, it must naturally wait until the passions of the period subside.

Life without oil, in fact, would be so different that it is frightening to contemplate. We are addicted, and it is no comfortable addiction.

Losing your capital is like losing your trousers. It is a real humiliation, and one not to be soon repeated.

Profits in business always depend on the rate of interest: the higher the interest, the higher the rate of profit required.

The dividing line between wish and need was never clear.