Here are several key quotations from Ken Follet's novel in his trilogy covering the twentieth century. This novel covers the first part of the 1900s, encompassing such major events as the first World War, the Russian Revolution, the granting of voting rights for women, and the changing roles of women in general:
On the New Century:
"All his life he would cherish the memory of an endless caravan of camels alongside the railway line, the laden beasts plodding patiently through the snow, ignoring the twentieth century as it hurled past them in a clash of iron and a shriek of steam."
“President Wilson says a leader must treat public opinion the way a sailor deals with the wind, using it to blow the ship in one direction or another, but never trying to go directly against it.”
“In every country, those who were against war had been overruled. The Austrians had attacked Serbia when they might have held back; the Russians had mobilized instead of negotiating; the Germans had refused to attend an international conference to settle the issue; the French had been offered the chance to remain neutral and had spurned it; and now the British were about to join in when they might easily have remained on the sidelines.”
On Women's Roles:
“Mam kissed Ethel and said: “I'm glad to see you settled at last, anyway,” That word ANYWAY carried a lot of baggage, Ethel thought. It meant: “Congratulations, even though you're a fallen woman, and you've got an illegitimate child whose father no one knows, and you're marrying a Jew, and living in London, which is the same as Sodom and Gomorrah.” But Ethel accepted Mam's qualified blessing and vowed never to say such things to her own child."
On the Russian Revolution:
“A baby was like a revolution, Grigori thought: you could start one, but you could not control how it would turn out.”
You can find complete chapter summaries from eNotes at the link below!