Tuesday, November 18, 2008

America's British Culture


I chose to read America's British Culture by Russell Kirk as my November reading list choice.

This is probably one of the shortest books written by Russell Kirk, but it may be one of the best books on history and civilization that I've read. Excluding the appendix, this book is under 100 pages long and it is one I'll have my children read. I'll also be recommending it to other readers, especially those who home school their children.

Mr. Kirk wrote:

"When poetry is replaced by 'communication skills' and narrative history by vague sociological generalizations, the intricate patrimony of general culture is threatened. There exist professors of education who argue that no young person ought to read any book more than half a century old. The imaginative and rational disciplines, so painfully cultivated over centuries, can be permanently injured by a generation or two of neglect and contempt.
"Modern men and women live in an age in which the expectation of change often seems greater than the expectation of continuity. In any order worthy of the name, men and women must be something better than the flies of a summer; generation must link with generation. Some people, in this closing decade of the twentieth century, are doing what is in their power to preserve a common heritage. This is not a work that can be accomplished through fresh positive laws or through the creation of new international commissions. Yet if a people forget the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods, the consequences soon will be felt in the laws and in international affairs. Cultural continuity lacking, there remains small point in political tinkering with a body social that has become exhausted spiritually and intellectually."

Written in 1992, but applicable today, don't you think?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Dana said...

Dr Kirk is one of my favorite authors. His writings are always an encouragement to me.

Slowly but surely I am collecting all of his books.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Amanda Read said...

Wow, that's very timely!

Right now I'm planning on majoring in History (possibly minoring in Political Science) - since I've worked on that historical screenplay, I've been interested in doing other literary projects about history and government, so I hope to study topics in that area in college.

I still want to keep up my art work though. My sisters and I have had a great time knitting. I hope to post some more pictures soon!

~Amanda~

2:43 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Hey, that sounds pretty interesting. I'll keep an eye out! Thanks for posting the quotes as well.

10:44 AM  

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