So, then, to every man his chance-to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity-to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him-this, seeker, is the promise of America.

You Can't Go Home Again

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More from Thomas Wolfe

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

The Web and the Rock

If a man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know.

The Web and the Rock

I believe that we are lost here in America, but I believe we shall be found. And this belief, which mounts now to the catharsis of knowledge and conviction, is for me-and I think for all of us-not only our own hope, but America’s everlasting, living dream.

America…. It is a fabulous country, the only fabulous country; it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.

Of Time and the River

Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year; something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die, I know not where. Saying: “To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.
Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded, toward which the conscience of the world is tending-a wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”

You Can't Go Home Again (1940 - posthumous)