Who said: "People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them

Eric Hoffer Eric Hoffer was born in New York City in 1902 to German immigrants. By the age of five he could read in both German and English, but when he was seven he suffered an accident that left him mysteriously blinded. When he was fifteen he regained his sight for reasons as inexplicable as why he lost it in the first place. From that time on he read voraciously, initially because he feared his recovery would be temporary. Following the death of his parents, he traveled to California in 1920 where he was employed as a migratory worker until the outbreak of World War II; he later recorded these experiences in his autobiography Truth Imagined.

Some sources say that he enlisted in the US Armed forces but was rejected on medical grounds, whether this is the case or not, he spent the war years at a naval shipyard in San Francisco, where he settled, educating himself in his own time and working odd jobs. In 1943, he started work as a longshoreman (a dock worker who loads and unloads ships) and remained so employed until he retired in 1967.

He wrote eleven books including The True Believer (1951), a study of fanaticism and mass movements.

Hoffer, affectionately known as the "longshoreman philosopher", died in 1983 but his name lives on through his books and also in the Eric Hoffer Award which highlights important voices that might otherwise not be heard through traditional publication avenues.


More quotes from Eric Hoffer

"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

"For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious."

"In times of change learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."

"The best stimulus for running ahead is to have something we must run from."

"No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are."

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: All We Have Left
    All We Have Left
    by Wendy Mills
    September 11, 2001 is a date that few Americans will ever forget. It was on this day that our ...
  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

A library is thought in cold storage

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.