Winston Churchill? Victor Hugo? Thomas Jefferson? Jules Sandeau? Charles Mackay? Elminster of Shadowdale? Ed Greenwood? William J. Robinson? Jim Bunning? Eminem? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: If you become prominent and influential then you will inevitably face detractors. If you take tough stances on major issues then you will encounter adversaries. The British statesman Winston Churchill has received credit for the following expression:
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
I am skeptical of this attribution because I have been unable to find a solid citation. This notion has also been credited to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and French novelist Victor Hugo. Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that Winston Churchill made this remark. He died in 1965, and he received credit many years later in 2002. Churchill quotation expert Richard M. Langworth was unable to find a citation. He placed this saying into an appendix titled “Red Herrings” of his indispensable compilation “Churchill By Himself: In His Own Words”. 2013 (Kindle Edition), Churchill By Himself: In His Own Words by Winston S. Churchill, Compiled and edited by Richard M. Langworth, Appendix I: Red Herrings, RosettaBooks. (Kindle Location 19660)
Thematic matches did appear in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Victor Hugo, but these quotations were not close matches. The earliest close match found by QI appeared in an “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” fantasy book in 1993. See further below for details.
Here are selected citations in chronological order.
|↑1||2013 (Kindle Edition), Churchill By Himself: In His Own Words by Winston S. Churchill, Compiled and edited by Richard M. Langworth, Appendix I: Red Herrings, RosettaBooks. (Kindle Location 19660)|