BY WILLIAM J. BRYAN In giving the public the story of my life I trust I may be credited with something more than a desire to acquaint the public with myself. The time has passed when I could have any ulterior motive in a heart-to-heart talk with the American people. Whatever ambition I have had has been more than gratified; I feel that I have received more than I have deserved and been abundantly repaid for the efforts I have made in behalf of the American people.
It is my purpose to show that in my own case good fortune has had more to do with such success as I may have achieved than any efforts of my own. Success in politics--and, to a large extent in other lines of activity--is the conjunction of opportunity and the preparedness to meet it. Opportunity comes independently of one's own efforts; and his preparedness to meet opportunity is due, as I shall show, largely to others. The facts as I present them will prove that I have been wonderfully fortunate in the opportunities that have come to me and that I am indebted to a multitude of individuals known and unknown for such preparation as I have had to improve the opportunities as they came.
My second purpose is to show the goodness of the American people, their patriotism, their moral courage, their high ideals, their willingness to sacrifice for their convictions-- the virtues that not only make popular government possible but insure its success. No man in public life has ever been in a better position to record these virtues of the people or under deeper obligation to give them the credit they deserve.
I trust that with the two purposes in view I may be able so to shift the accent from "I" to "they" as to purge my Memoirs of every trace of egotism or self-assertion. I shall
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Publication information: Book title: The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan. Contributors: Mary Baird Bryan - Author, William Jennings Bryan - Author. Publisher: John C. Winston. Place of publication: Chicago. Publication year: 1925. Page number: 9.
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