By President Mark Roosevelt
By President Mark Roosevelt
By Mark Roosevelt
I reserve a part of a book shelf for “vacation nominees.” These are books that I believe will be especially compelling when my time is relatively free, and I can make my way through even a very long book in a compact period of time.
For the last few months, I have avoiding writing about species extinction, the loss of the wild, and how human encroachment is changing all facets of life on earth. I found it difficult to write about because it is so painful. And I knew that if I wrote about it, there could be no sugarcoating or half-heartedness. I would have to face it—squarely.
The Poetry of Jack Gilbert: “To Accept our Gladness in the Ruthless Furnace of this World”
There are some things you have to look away from if you are going to make it through the day and stay sane. The human population explosion and the extinction crisis among other species is such a topic for me, although I have not stopped reading about it.
Writing that breaks new ground often has trouble reaching a large readership, but momentum builds as these works find advocates among bookish people. For the past few years the hottest such books have been Edward St. Aubyn’s spectacularly maudlin novels about the hideous parenting and drug-addled youth of British aristocrat Patrick Melrose. As I write today, St.
A topic of conversation at a few recent dinner parties has been picking the best president of our lifetimes. The guests have mostly been in their fifties or sixties and have chosen to limit the debate to the presidents who have served since 1952, thus excluding FDR and Truman. The guests evidence a pronounced progressive bent. When pushed to pick, most struggle with their choice.
In December many of us think back on the year about to pass. So in this column I write about what have I read this year that has stayed with me (and that I have not written about previously).
It has been an especially busy month here at Antioch. Much of this busyness was due to the November visit from the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation team. For me, another cause was preparing a TEDx talk I gave on November 15 on Abraham Lincoln. An expanded version of that talk was my October Roosevelt’s Reads.
My mind is still on Lincoln. After all, this November marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. So this month I offer a few suggestions as to what to read if you want to spend some time with him.
What follows is an expanded version of a talk I will give at the inaugural Dayton TEDx conference on November 15, 2013. At TEDx I have only nine minutes to explain why I love Abraham Lincoln and also explore how Lincoln guided this nation through the worst crisis in our history—the Civil War—and how he resolved our most intractable problem and great national sin—slavery.