12 Best Quotes from Tom Clancy Books

A look at some of the best quotes from 6 of the late author's popular books.

12 Best Quotes from Tom Clancy Books

Tom Clancy, renowned author of espionage thrillers, died yesterday. His books, as well as the movies based upon them and starring actors like Sean Connery and Harrison Ford, defined the genre.

Here are some memorable quotes from his work:



1) The Hunt for Red October (1984)

  • “It was one thing to use computers as a tool, quite another to let them do your thinking for you.”
  • “It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.”

2) The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)

  • “So few people were left who knew what combat was like. People were so easy to frighten. Combat taught a man what to fear – and what to ignore.”
  • “Ice hockey is the closest thing to religion permitted by the Soviet Union.”

3) Clear and Present Danger (1989)

  • “The point of life was to press on to do the best you can do make the world a better place.”
  • “Ideas are important. Principles are important. Words are important. Your word is the most important of all. Your word is who you are.”



4) Red


  • “Courage …was being the only one who knew how terrified you were.”
  • ’‘[Ryan] hated cutting grass, having learned as a child that however much you sliced it down, the goddamned stuff just grew back in a few days to look scraggly again.’‘ 

5) The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)

  • “Colleges typically did not tell you that ninety percent of your education came after you hung the parchment on the wall. People might ask for a rebate.”
  • “You’d better not kick a tiger in the ass unless you have a plan for dealing with his teeth”

6) Dead or Alive (2010)

  • “It takes ten years to become an overnight success.”
  • “Anticipation and expectation were lethal sides of the same coin. Either one in the right dose at the wrong moment would get you killed.”

What’s your favorite Clancy book or line?

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