"War is too important to be left to the generals” is a famous quote, attributed to Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929). The quotation has also become famous in a politics version. T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) wrote in 1927:
“Politics has become too serious a matter to be left to politicians.”
The saying began to be used frequently in the 1950s. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) used it in speeches in 1952 and in 1962. A similar saying is: “The economy is too important to be left to economists.”
Wikiquote: Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau (28 September 1841 – 24 November 1929) was a French journalist, physician and statesman. He served as Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909 and from 1917 to 1920. He is remembered for his wit and his wartime leadership of France during World War I.
La guerre! C’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des militaires.
War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.
Variant translation: War is too important a matter to be left to the military.
. As quoted in Soixante Anneés d’Histoire Française (1932) by Georges Suarez
War is too serious a matter to leave to soldiers.
. As quoted in Clemenceau and the Third Republic (1946) by John Hampden Jackson, p. 228; this has also become commonly paraphrased as: War is too important to be left to the generals.
3 August 1927, New York (NY) Times, “Butler Sees Europe Hurt by Tariff Ban,” pg. 10:
“It will be remembered that one of M. Clemenceau’s most quoted remarks was one made in the Autumn of 1914. He then said: “This war is much too important to be left to the Generals.” In like fashion we may say of the allied debts and war reparations: ‘These matters are much too important to be left to the politicians.’”
(Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia—ed.)
November 1927, The Monthly Criterion, pg. 386:
Politics has become too serious a matter to be left to politicians. We are compelled, to the extent of our abilities, to be amateur economists, in an age in which politics and economics can no longer be kept wholly apart.
(Written by T. S. Eliot—ed.)
Europe and the German Question
By Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster
New York, NY: Sheed & Ward
Ludendorff says that politics are too difficult to be left to the politicians.
30 October 1950, New York (NY) Times, “Moderate Liberals Appear Favored by Nation’s Voters” by James Reston. pg. 14:
In short, there seems to be a suspicion in the country that politics now is too serious a business to be left to the politicians, and too diverse a subject to be squeezed into a series of political comic books.
3 August 1952, New York (NY) Times, “Stevenson’s Strategy: ‘The Springfield Touch’” by James Reston, pg. E6:
This last point was of some importance, especially since Mr. Wyatt was a former president and is a present member of Americans for Democratic Action, a group of liberal Young Turks who have been arguing for years that politics was too serious a business to be left to politicians.
23 October 1952, New York (NY) Times, “Text of Speech by General Eisenhower Denouncing ‘False’ Prosperity,” pg. 26:
Clemenceau once said that war is too serious a matter to be left to the generals. Today someone might well say inflation is too critical a matter to be left to the politicians of expediency in Washington.
10 September 1959, New York (NY) Times, “Books of the Times” by Charles Poore, pg. 33:
POLITICS, some generals thought, was too important a matter to be left to the politicians.
26 September 1959, New York (NY) Times, “Business Urged to Help Govern” by William G. Weart, pg. 21:
LEWISBURG, Pa., Spet. 25—Gov. FavifL. Lawrence declared tonight that abandonment of the responsibilities of citizenship to politicians and officeholders was harmful to government and to the people it served.
It is imperative, he said, that every citizen understand and help solve the problems of government at every level. He said government was “too essential to every phase of our daily lives to be left to the politicians alone.”
21 October 1962, New York (NY) Times, “Eisenhower Prods Business Leaders” by Felix Belair jr., pg. 54:
Paraphrasing an unidentified French political scientist who said that “war is too important to be left to the generals” the former President declared that politics was too important to be left to the politicians.
19 April 1964, New York (NY) Times, pg. E10 ad:
If you believe that politics is too important to be left to the politicians, Newsweek’s complete, impartial election-year stories are for you.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, August 08, 2011 • Permalink