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Found 3 results

  1. I've a copy of WEM I'm picking up tomorrow, I'll be doing my first reading of it ever. Anyone care to join me in comparing thoughts/notes as I work through the first reading?
  2. I've just started reading the Well-Educated Mind and am about to start tackling the reading lists. I wasn't quite sure how to approach the lists though. Do I read all the way through a particular genre list before beginning the next? Or do I read the first book on every list before reading the second book on every genre list (chronologically)? In other words, do I read each genre chronologically or do I read strictly chronologically across all genre lists?
  3. There are times when it feels like I'm really swimming upstream with the amount of reading I want my kids to be doing in school. And from the posts people make here about feeling out of place around workbook orriented homeschoolers or unschoolers, I'm probably not alone. I just read the best book review, 1648 and All That by Roger Kimball, which is a review of Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order by Charles Hill (the review, alas, is for NR subscribers only). The review would be well worth finding a library copy of the Sept 20 edition of National Review. Since I can't link to the full review, here are some snippets. After asking what you should look for in a well qualified diplomat, Kimball answers, How about a deep acquaintance with the mountain peaks of literature, from Homer, Aeschylus, and Thucydides through Montaigne, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Milton, and Lock, and on to Madison, Schiller, Dickens, Bismarck, Dostoevsky, Kipling, and Hermann Broch? [ snip] ...this last qualification may be as important as all the rest, not least because, if truly accomplished, it argues possession of brains, discretion, etc. [snip] The questions "What kind of society should we endeavor to make?" cannot be answered, cannot even be seriously entertained, in the absence of the questions "Who are we?" and "What do we want?" And those questions, Hill argues, have been entertained in the most sustained and penetrating way in imaginative literature - understanding "literature" in the large sense that embraces the works of philosophers and historians as well as novelists and poets. In brief, as Hill writes in his prologue, "statecraft cannot be practiced in the absence of literary insight." at the end of the review, Kimball has a long quotation from Henry Kissinger: We have entered a time of total change in human consciousness of how people look at the world. Reading books requires you to form concepts, to train your mind to relationships. You have to come to grips with who you are. A leader needs these qualities. But now we learn from fragments of facts....Now there is no need to internalize because each fact can instantly be called up on the computer. There is no context, no motive. Information is not knowledge. People are not readers but researchers, they float on the surface. This new thinking erases context. It disaggregates everything. All this makes strategic thinking about world order impossible to achieve. Yesterday I was on the phone with the supervisor of the local personal property office trying to explain to him that we really in fact did actually have thousands of books that fell into military professional gear because of the areas that my husband works with. I always find it so amazing that there is no problem thinking of a specially fitted flight helmet as pro gear, or musical instruments as pro gear for a member of one of the Navy bands, or of medical or legal books for a military doctor or lawyer. But as soon as a more general military officer starts to amass a library of much beyone the Navy reading list and Fleet Tactics you get weird looks. I've had packers threaten to quit over how many books they were having to pack. I've had moving inspectors tell me that they'd never seen so many books in their entire military and civilian career scheduling moves. It gets so tiring to seem like a freak because we think that the world of literature and non-ficiton writing has some purpose beyond the NY Times best seller list. Anyway, I'll be ordering Hill's book and probably clipping Kimball's essay for future encouragement. If you can get ahold of the 20 Sep edition of National Review, you should look up the review (pg 50). And it encourages me to pull out my copy of Pilgrim's Progress and start tackling the Well Educated Mind reading list again.
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