Winston Churchill? Harry Truman? Chinese Adage? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: Anyone who was sitting atop a tiger would have a difficult time dismounting safely. Apparently, this scenario has been employed metaphorically by the political leaders Winston Churchill and Harry Truman. Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: In 1937 Winston Churchill delivered an address titled “Armistice—Or Peace?” He correctly perceived that political and military developments of that period were ominous, and emerging dictatorships were particularly dangerous. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
Grim war-gods from remote ages have stalked upon the scene. International good faith; the public law of Europe; the greatest good of the greatest number; the ideal of a fertile, tolerant, progressive, demilitarized, infinitely varied society, is shattered. Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
Harry Truman also used this figurative language in a volume of his memoirs. Detailed information is given further below together with additional selected citations in chronological order. Continue reading
- 1939 Copyright, Step By Step 1936-1939 by Winston S. Churchill, Essay: Armistice—Or Peace?, Date: November 11, 1937, Start Page 157, Quote Page 159, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York. (Verified with scans) ↩