Monday, December 2, 2013
Book Review - Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue
About the Book
There is no formula for becoming humble—not for individuals, and not for nations.
Benjamin Franklin’s dilemma—one he passed on to the young United States—was how to achieve both greatness and humility at once. The humility James Madison learned as a legislator helped him to mold a nation, despite his reputation as a meek, timid, and weak man. The humility of Abigail Adams fed her impossible resilience. Humility of all kinds is deeply ingrained in our American DNA. Our challenge today is to rediscover and reawaken this utterly indispensable, alarmingly dormant national virtue before it’s too late.
In Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue, Dr. David J. Bobb traces the “crooked line” that is the history of humility in political thought. From Socrates to Augustine to Machiavelli to Lincoln, passionate opinions about the humble ruler are literally all over the map. Having shown classical, medieval, and Christian ideas of humility to be irreconcilable, Dr. Bobb asserts that we as a nation are faced with a difficult choice. A choice we cannot put off any longer.
My Take on the Book
Not only is this a great history book, but it makes you think outside of the box on how these iconic people embodied the value of humility in many ways and what it takes to be a great person. This is a book that you will have to struggle through a bit as the author places forward many thoughtful arguments and premises about what it should mean to be a leader and even what today's leaders should really embody and strive for to both lead and make our world a better place. This was a great book that will really make you think. I found myself re-reading many passages to gain additional insight and you will too!
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