„America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.“
— Georges Clemenceau French politician 1841 - 1929
Attributed to Clemenceau by Hans Bendix, in "Merry Christmas, America!" The Saturday Review of Literature (1 December 1945), p. 9; this appears to be the earliest reference to such a remark as one by Clemenceau, though earlier, in Frank Lloyd Wright : An Autobiography (1943) there is mention that "A witty Frenchman has said of us: 'The United States of America is the only nation to plunge from barbarism to degeneracy with no culture in between.'" Similar remarks are sometimes attributed without a source to Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Variants: America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to decadence without the usual interval of civilization. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between.