July 2017 Blog Posts

Celebrating Herman Melville

Monument Mountain near Great Barrington, Massachusetts
“Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken . . . It is strange how he persists—and has persisted ever since I knew him, and probably long before—in wandering to-and-fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as the sand hills amid which we were sitting . . . If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us.” —Nathaniel HawthorneRead More »

Traveling with John Steinbeck—and Charley!

Vista Mission Mountains, National Bison Range, Montana
“I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation—a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.” —John Steinbeck, Travels with CharleyRead More »

Searching for Leadership in World War I

Belligerents, Causes, Leaders, and Present (1918) Results
It is ironic to talk about leadership when we discuss World War I. Almost all historians agree that the war was caused by either weak or reckless leadership on the part of the leaders of the European nations involved. Moreover, historians have documented the way generals in each of these countries made a series of tragic mistakes, leading to death in the trenches of Western Europe. Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Henry David Thoreau at 200

Walden Pond in late June. 27 June 2012
"As things turned out, Thoreau, very likely without knowing what he was up to, took man's relation to Nature and man's dilemma in society and man's capacity for elevating his spirit and he beat all these matters together, in a wild free interval of self-justification and delight, and produced an original omelette from which people can draw nourishment in a hungry day." —E.B. White, "A Slight Sound at Evening"Read More »