Reading Update!

Reading a bunch lately, such a relief. Now that I’ve plowed through Brian Niemeier’s Souldancer (which I will need to read again in order to review it), a collection of essays by Chesterton called In Defense of Sanity (micro-review: read it. I’ve read it a couple-three times, and it just gets better.),  Jagi Lamplighter’s Rachel Griffin books and John C. Wright’s Moth and Cobweb stuff and await further installments, I have only William Brigg’s Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics  remaining on the High Guilt Book Pile (the Somewhat Lower But Still Pretty High Guilt Book Pile is still, um, large.) So… Let’s get some more books!

books

The top is a hardcover replacement for my well-thumbed and falling apart paperback – had to be done. Marrou’s take is over 60 years old, but I haven’t come across anything better. Lovely review of education in the ancient world, a key to understanding where we’ve been and thus where we’re going.

Next, had to get some dead tree versions of the Rachel Griffin books to give to my daughters for Christmas.

Finally, need to put the latest Menelaus Montrose yarn right behind Brigg’s book. What has the old – and I do mean old – coot been up to? Besides saving the world and pining for his beloved?

Also looking for a hard cover of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, as both my and my wife’s college copies are self-destructing, which, while totally and poetically appropriate, makes it hard to read them.

Oops. Made the mistake of looking through  my saved books, so also ordered

Don’t want to get too far out in front of the headlights, here, but I’m strongly suspicious that Fr. Shields is one of the great villains in the history of Catholic education in America. Like all great villains, his story is sympathetic to a large degree. But what he did – trying to provide a ‘scientific’ basis to education via the nascent pseudo-sciences of psychology – proved and continues to prove disastrous. The bishops at the time (around 1900) were dominated by men who saw the public schools as the enemies of Catholicism that they most certainly were and remain. Shields ignored them – you know, his bosses –  and published textbooks for kids and, like the one above, for teachers. He thought that the ‘scientific’ schools, with their graded classrooms, spoon-fed curricula, and make-you-stupid pedagogy then being rammed down throats all over America were OK with a little tweaking by smart guys like him. He got his ideas out and accepted by working around the bishops and pouring them into the desperate need of Catholic schools for texts.

Like I said, I don’t really know – yet. But this is all very suspicious….

And I’ve got three more books to read that represent the apex of everything I’ve come to loathe and hate. Fortunately, being possessed of a cultivated mind, I can actually suspend judgement and read to understand – a skill all but vanished from the world, even and especially among the well-schooled.  Rules for Radicals, Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and a collection of the writings of Gramsci. Good times, huh?

I also found a collection of the speeches of Mussolini. Tempting, Hammy, very tempting…

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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