[PW] Request: Bertrand Russell quotation - New York Post 1964 & Objectivist Newsletter

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 00:44:06 PST 2017

Way back in February 2016 I asked mailing list members for help with a
quotation ascribed to Bertrand Russell. At last, I was able to access
scans of the "New York Post" containing an instance of the quotation.

[ref] 1964 June 23, New York Post, Section: Post Daily Magazine, The
Lyons Den by Leonard Lyons, Quote Page 27 (Magazine Page 3), Column 3,
New York. (Old Fulton)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Incidentally, I once asked Russell if he was willing to die for his
beliefs. "Of course not," he replied. "After all, I may be wrong . .
[End excerpt]

The Quote Investigator website now has an updated entry:

I Would Never Die for My Beliefs Because I Might Be Wrong

Feedback welcome

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:46 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> On February 2, 2016 the Facebook feed for "The Economist" sent out a
> picture of Bertrand Russell that displayed the following attributed
> quotation:
> "I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong"
> I was sent a request to trace the expression.
> The Wikiquote page for Bertrand Russell places a version of the
> quotation in the 'Disputed" section and gives a 2000 citation to the
> reference work "The Times Book of Quotations". This reference uses the
> label "Attr." and gives no citation.
> The best lead I've found is a Google Books snippet from "The
> Objectivist Newsletter" published by Ayn Rand. A seemingly precise
> citation pointing to the "The New York Post" is given:
> Year: 1964 to 1966 (exact date uncertain; should be after June 1964)
> Periodical: The Objectivist Newsletter (The Objectivist)
> Volumes: 1-4
> Quote Page GB 25
> Database: Google Books Snippet View
> [Begin extracted text - visible in snippet]
> "I once asked [Bertrand] Russell if he was willing to die for his
> beliefs. 'Of course not,' he replied. 'After all, I may be wrong.'"
> Leonard Lyons, The New York Post, June 23, 1964.
> [End extracted text]
> The goal of this message is to ask for help to precisely locate and
> verify these two citations.
> Is there an electronic archive for "The New York Post" in 1964? The
> Fulton History database has many issues of "The New York Evening Post"
> but the issues seem to stop in 1939.
> The columnist Leonard Lyons was widely syndicated although I do not
> know how many papers carried his column in 1964. In any case, I have
> checked NewspaperArchive, Newspapers.com, Fulton History, ProQuest
> Historical and I have not been able to find a match for the text given
> in "The Objectivist Newsletter". Perhaps the text was not in the
> regular column of Lyons. It might have appeared in a profile of
> Bertrand Russell that was only published in "The New York Post".
> If there is no database then it may be necessary to look though the
> June 23, 1964 issue on microfilm. Any volunteers or suggestions?
> Regarding the citation in "The Objectivist Newsletter": Here are some
> page numbers for issue covers I've seen online:
> 1965 January – Page 1
> 1965 March – Page 9
> 1965 August – Page 33
> Volumes 1 to 4 apparently covered the period from 1962 to 1965. Since
> the target text referred to 1964 the citation should be in an issue
> from 1964 or 1965. The page number is probably reset to 1 at the
> beginning of each year. GB specifies a page number of 25.
> Thanks for any help you can provide,
> Garson

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