If you don't read Paul Krugman regularly, you should (including his blog). His cred is impressive, including a Nobel Prize in economics. However, he writes in his column for the NYT in a very accessible, and often quite humorous, manner. Here he makes a superb argument by analogy and parody. Oh, that all political discourse could prove so entertaining and enlightening! Instead, we tend to hear a lot of Tea Party rants. Am I wrong, or do some conservatives—certainly not all—go primarily with rants and taunts for political persuasion and "liberals" (hard to define, mind you) go more with humor and parody to make their points? Think The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Following up on the post from yesterday, the following list of "classics" that I've found most gratifying. Again, I go with authors rather than any one particular work (although the last entry, Max Weber, got on based on a single, relatively short work). Again, I list these in roughly chronological order:
- The Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). We're talking selections, not the whole thing. Especially Genesis, Exodus, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.
- New Testament. (I read the entire NT straight through as a senior in high school, once I'd returned from the Dark Ages of pretty much not reading books after the 6th grade.)
- Plato (Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Republic)
- St. Augustine (Confessions, City of God (portions)).
- Dante (Comedia. Perhaps the greatest single work in Western lit? )
- Machiavelli (The Prince).
- Montaigne (Essays)
- Shakespeare (a long list: the four great tragedies, The Tempest, Henry V, etc.
- Spinoza (Ethics).
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays, etc.).
- Karl Marx (No, I am not a Marxist; however, he gets included because the early Marx was an interesting idealist and the later Marx was such a force that even if one disagrees with him, one must consider him and respond accordingly).
- William James (essays, Talks to Teachers, and especially The Varieties of Religious Experience).
- Max Weber (Politics as a Vocation).