Lessons in Leadership (I): Steve Jobs

I am reading books on leadership with a group of friends at HBU and we began with Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson is a better writer than Jobs’ a topic and at times the gap between talent and the subject’s pretensions shows in the book: Jobs was less consequential than he believed and Isaacson struggles to do more [Read More...]

Middle March Advice from Middlemarch

It is the middle of March, so I am reading Middlemarch. This plan has been much more cheering than the year I studied Julius Caesar during the Ides of March. Middlemarch may be the best novel written in English, though perhaps not. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, the novel meanders and it does not sparkle with [Read More...]

The Problem of “Pamela” for Pamela

Pamela is an early English sort-of-novel showing the triumph of the virtue of Pamela: one of the more insufferable characters ever to appear in literature. For those tempted to believe that Elsie Dinsmore, her American soul sister, would be tolerable if English: wrong. Virtue is supposed to be triumphant in Pamela and a certain virtue is, but meanwhile virtue becomes [Read More...]

Our Kid’s Dentist Says: Buy this Book!

    So I have this novel . . .and the publisher has fixed certain earlier publication problems. It has just been reviewed positively here. This kind review is not by our dentist, but our dentist would like to get paid. You know what to do. You can buy it here. . .  It has a [Read More...]

In Which I Live Blog Sarah Palin’s New Book: “Good Tidings of Great Joy”

The Rules: In a live reading, I live my life while reading a book and post my unedited (actually lightly edited) thoughts as I go. I then end with my final thoughts and this stands as the “review.” Thoughts Before Reading: If a free book comes in the mail, it must be acknowledged. Sarah Palin [Read More...]

The Bible and “Fifty Shades of Grey”

To avoid disappointment let me begin by saying this is not a post reviewing Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read it and am averse to commenting on books I have not read. I have no intention of reading Fifty Shades of Grey, not having yet completed the complete works of Anthony Trollope, also a romantic writer. [Read More...]

On Mindless Entertainment

Charles Dickens wrote a most excellent essay against proposed Sabbath laws, Sunday Under Three Heads. Certain puritanical types wanted to close absolutely everything closable all Sunday and ban harmless pursuits, though they were harder on the middle-class and poor than the rich. Dickens would not stand for it. He admitted that a day of rest was [Read More...]

The Bible is the Iliad!

Did Jesus rise from the dead? The Gospels say He did, but lately I have bumped into more than one skeptic who claims that I should classify “the Bible” as “legendary.” Generally, he (and it almost always a he) will cite a book like the Iliad as an example of legendary material. “We know ancients produced legendary [Read More...]

In Which I Live Blog a Marathon Weekend Reading of Plato’s Republic

What would happen if a group of HBU students, faculty, and staff joined together to read Plato’s Republic? What will we see? What will we learn? Our host is not Cephalus, but Professor Al Geier of the University of Rochester: a master of the dialectic and a father in the logos. We began with ten [Read More...]

The Bible Tells Me So

There is a simple error: you cannot be part of a community, if you don’t agree with all the ideas in it. I am Republican, the son of Republican, the grandson of a Republican, and the great-grandson of a Republican. I could continue all the way back to Mr. Lincoln and the Reynolds who left [Read More...]


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