Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saramago to Marcus

On authors in my recommended reading:
The dignity and persistence of landless peasants, like his [Jose Saramago's] own parents, were themes of several of his books, and though he called them ants, they were ants that raised their heads, that were not irreversibly downtrodden by landlord or estate owner or secret police or priests, but could still make the future if they wanted to. --The Economist

"This is what Israel is most afraid of," said Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, a prominent Palestinian who is calling for a nonviolent mass movement. He says Palestinians need to create their own version of Gandhi’s famous 1930 salt march. --Nicholas D. Kristof

he [Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence] did not say that among men's inalienable rights, which a just government should secure, the attainment of happiness. If he had said that, it would have been nonsense. ...
Now the pursuit ... he chose the word pursuit, which is a remarkable choice on his part, meaning a government should attempt to secure for every man the external conditions within its powers to control, to facilitate the pursuit by the individual of happiness. --Mortimer J. Adler

... [Amerigo] Vespucci concluded that the lands reached by Columbus in 1492 and explored by Columbus and others over the ensuing two decades were indeed a segment of the world, a new continent, unknown to Europe. Because of Vespucci's recognition of that startling revelation, he was honored with the use of his name for the newly discovered continent. --John R. Hebert (via Arts & Letters Daily)

... Augustus too was known to have written philosophical reflections, 'Exhortations to Philosophy', but that work has been lost. ... In other words, we cannot be sure that the evidence supports the view of Marcus Aurelius as a uniquely virtuous and philosophical emperor. --John Talbot

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