Reading Notes of a Bibliophile
Argumentum ad HominemThe subtitle should have read, Every Negative Fact and Innuendo I Could Dredge UpAlthough he was not particularly unkind to me in the book, I found virtually every page to be a smart-alecky and snide diatribe of the worst order against the Great Books, Adler, Hutchins, et al. Plus the book is replete with errors of commission and omission.As an effective antidote, I prescribe Robert Hutchins' pithy essay, The Great Conversation.If the Great Books crusade is as bleak as Beam purports, then happily, not many will read his invective book.Max Weismann,President and co-founder with Mortimer Adler, Center for the Study of The Great IdeasChairman, The Great Books Academy
Thanks for your comment. I share your concern and updated the commentary with a reference to the work of the Foundation.
James, I completely agree with what you say in your review of this book. Unfortunately nowadays in the Age of Twilight in which we live, projects such as The Great Books are seen as elitist. The author of the book under review probably finds it easier to smirk at attempts to widen access to great minds than it is to engage with great minds. God forbid we should ever encounter anything to lift us up out of the materialistic, easily-fed, MTV-advertising-induced torpor of contemporary culture.All honour to Weismann and Adler for conceiving and implementing this great idea.
Murr, Thanks for your observation on the direction of our culture. The continuing existence of interest in great books is a positive sign.
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