Freedom Lies In Being Bold

Robert Frost? Anita Brookner? Thucydides? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The famous poet Robert Frost enjoyed socializing with people who had strong personalities. He highlighted a connection between freedom and boldness. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In December 1952 “The New Yorker” magazine published a piece by Philip Hamburger who presented statements made by Robert Frost during an interview broadcast on the NBC television network. The ellipses below appeared in the original text. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

“I don’t care about spending much time with people who haven’t a definite personality. I am that kind of an equalitarian. I like to mix with my equals, people who have as much personality as I have … but the great thing is taut boldness. … People … will tell you that freedom lies in being cautious.” Here he violently shook his head. “Freedom lies in being bold.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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  1. 1952 December 13, The New Yorker, Television: Men of Faith by Philip Hamburger, Start Page 167, Quote Page 169, The New Yorker Magazine Inc., New York. (Online New Yorker archive of digital scans)