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Sleeping giant

Posted by ESC on November 03, 2003

In Reply to: What Napoleon said about China waking up posted by EE on November 03, 2003

: I heard Napoleon once said,"When China wakes up, the whole world will be shaken." or something like that. Does anyone know the exact quote and the circumstances under which he said so? Thanks.

SLEEPING GIANT - "unrealized source of great power; untapped or potential force. This term is perhaps derived from the plight of the title character in Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel, 'Gulliver's Travels'.The term itself may have appeared after the attack on Pearl Harbor. 'Respectfully Quoted,' a collection of quotations by the Library of Congress, tracks the term to a 1970 motion picture, 'Tora, Tora, Tora.' In the film Isoroku Yamamoto, a Japanese admiral in World War II, says, 'I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.' The attributed remark, however, has no printed evidence to support Yamamoto's use. In 1978, Vermont Royster offered another possible source in the 'Wall Street Journal': 'China is a sickly, sleeping giant. But when she awakes the world will tremble.'.attributed to Napoleon by Lord Amherst." From Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

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