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Reading List: looking, Reading, Just Finished

  • Dr. Robert T. Morris: Fifty Years a Surgeon
    A clear window into many important and interesting areas of life in general - as well as medicine - in the mid-19th to early 20th century. Warts and all. Good read. (***)
  • Christopher Landon: Ice Cold in Alex

    Christopher Landon: Ice Cold in Alex
    Interesting and well developed characters, in genuinely tension inducing situations - even when the matter of "who did it" is not really a mystery. Vivid enough for the place and period - WW2 North Africa to early 1950s Britain - to come to life inside your mind. (***)

  • Karl Von Clausewitz: On War

    Karl Von Clausewitz: On War
    I read this first many years ago. The author then impressed me as being more lucid and broadly learned than many contemporary writers on this and similar areas. He still does. (****)

  • Loren Lomasky: Person's, Rights, and the Moral Community

    Loren Lomasky: Person's, Rights, and the Moral Community
    Well written, and clear. Many interesting ideas and explications of problems, but his theory itself - on a derivation of rights, seems possessed of unnecessary elements. Worth reading. (***)

  • J. B.Schneewind: Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral PhilosophyVictorian Moral Philosophy
    Details life and analyses work of one of the great figures in 19th century philosophy. Well written, gives good insight into the context of attitudes, assumptions, and circumstances affecting much of the intellectual spirit and life of Britain during those times. (***)
  • J.G.Ballard: The Drowned World

    J.G.Ballard: The Drowned World
    Another (long-time) re-read. Ballard tends to play one note - but it's a good one - and he plays it VERY well. Some uncontrolled/unforeseen calamity engulfs the world. Protagonist(s) confront general realization of the coldly impersonal nature of the world and how human responses are to a large extent a product of the interaction of those forces with his/there-own biological pre-dispositions - engraved in the structure of each and every one of their cells. And, that the true and only expression of one's authentic self and humanity, lies in how and whether one can/does inwardly accept the truth of these constraints, and expresses that realization, in those (few) opportunities available for actual personal choice. Intentionally or not his work gives powerful and poetic expression to the Existentialist perspective. The world of this novel happens to be slowly drowning in the over-heated flood-tides that result from a run-away solar anomaly. But, it could be just about any such occurrence - e.g. A "Wind From Nowhere," or the Japanese invasion of Shanghai (both of which served as the backgrounds of others among his novels). The story-line, character-types, dilemmas, decisions, and general moods are much the same in each story, but the pacing, poetry, intensity, and aggravating authenticity of the characterizations in each instance are gripping enough to make every reading worthwhile. (***)

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« On Purpose | Main | Who They Are »

19 October 2008

Comments

mauve1

CELEBRATE DISASTER and ON PURPOSE are, I think, your best essays to this point, so well structured, thorough, and absolutely clear--bravo for that!

Here are a few of my post-read thoughts:
1. A large number of people in our country don't fit what I think you consider to be the "liberal elite," still embrace and are concerned about many of the values you believe are in danger of eroding, don't dream of socialism or communism, have high ethical standards, obey the laws, and love their pets, yet find some positions of the Right incompatible with their own deeply-felt values. They are not "anti-American," as Michelle Bachmann insultingly asserts. They they recognize the ridiculous extremes in the media on both sides,and don't identify with either. They aren't deluded, idiots, or tools of the radical Left. They're longing for
candidates who can speak to their needs, who understand the world doesn't work without compromise,
don't think a compromise is automatically synonymous with personal or political failure, and don't look at every unsuccessful outcome as something to be blamed on the "other side" when mistakes and lack of foresight know no party.
2. I don't believe the logic of your assumptions is faulty, just
that there are many more variables and perspectives operating that could result, still applying impeccable logic, in a different outcome than you describe.

But getting one's concerns and the possible results of actions taken or not taken out there (which you
always do!) is what's most important. Essay on, David.

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