What It Is Like to Go to War (Karl Marlantes)
What It Is Like to Go to War: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience. In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war. Continue reading…
Highlights from The Symbolism of Freemasonry (Albert G. Mackey)
Establishing our new series, here are some highlights from Albert G. Mackey’s The Symbolism of Freemasonry (1882).
Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.
“One of the most remarkable phenomena of the human race is the universal existence of religious ideas—a belief in something supernatural and divine, and a worship corresponding to it.”—Gross
[…]we find, soon after the cataclysm, the immediate descendants of Noah in the possession of at least two religious truths […].
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (David McCullough)
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.
Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. Continue reading…
The Evolution of Wealth (Jerry D. Ward)
The Evolution of Wealth: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“This is the story of how people much like us progressed from stone tools and hard lives to levels of almost unbelievable wealth and comfort—at least for those of us born in the right place. It was not a planned transition; it was the result of the natural behavior of people in reacting to the circumstance of the moment, sometimes successfully, often not. The recounting of the high points of this evolution illuminates how today’s technology and the practices of our political economy came into being. Continue reading…
Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (David Miller)
Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as ‘how should we live together in society?’ It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn’t be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. Continue reading…
The Dawn of Christianity: People and Gods in an Age of Miracles and Magic (Robert C. Knapp)
The Dawn of Christianity: People and Gods in an Age of Miracles and Magic: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“Ordinary people of antiquity interacted with the supernatural through a mosaic of beliefs and rituals. Exploring everyday life from 200 BCE to the end of the first century CE, Robert Knapp shows that Jews and polytheists lived with the gods in very similar ways. Traditional interactions provided stability even in times of crisis, while changing a relationship risked catastrophe for the individual, his family, and his community. However, people in both traditions did at times leave behind their long-honored rites to try something new. Continue reading…
The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations (Thomas Morris)
The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“For thousands of years the human heart remained the deepest of mysteries; both home to the soul and an organ too complex to touch, let alone operate on. Then, in the late nineteenth century, medics began going where no one had dared go before. The following decades saw the mysteries of the heart exposed, thanks to pioneering surgeons, brave patients and even sacrificial dogs. In eleven landmark operations, Thomas Morris tells us stories of triumph, reckless bravery, swaggering arrogance, jealousy and rivalry, and incredible ingenuity: the trail-blazing ‘blue baby’ procedure that transformed wheezing infants into pink, healthy children; the first human heart transplant, which made headline news around the globe. Continue reading…
Free Thought and Official Propaganda (Bertrand Russell)
Free Thought and Official Propaganda: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“This is the Conway memorial lecture, delivered by Mr. Russell at South Place Institute, London, 24 March, 1922:
Moncure Conway, in whose honour we are assembled to-day, devoted his life to two great objects: freedom of thought and freedom of the individual. In regard to both these objects, something has been gained since his time, but something also has been lost. New dangers, somewhat different in form from those of past ages, threaten both kinds of freedom, and unless a vigorous and vigilant public opinion can be aroused in defence of them, there will be much less of both a hundred years hence than there is now. Continue reading…
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Timothy Snyder)
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.
“The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.”
New Books Playground says: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century raises really important questions. Continue reading…