Reading, Learning and Civilization

“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change, windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”
Barbara W. Tuchman

A couple of thoughts before I go back to my books.  I wish our politicians and leaders were better read and took to heart the and learn the reality of history rather than cherry-pick history to suit their ideology.  But I digress….

I do a lot of reading, mostly history. I have been this way since I was a child. I think if you asked my mom that she could tell you that very early on I had my face jammed into a book. You could surmise the same if you were to visit my home, my apartment or my office based on the vast number of books in all. I think that reading, especially about history whether it be about events or biographies is important in understanding human nature and not only interpreting the past but to live fully in the present.

I love the internet and I use social media to expand my horizons, to encounter people and ideas and to lead me to more books, more reading more writing.

So tonight I go back to my books. Lately I have been reading a number of books on the Naval Wars of the Napoleonic era including biographies of Admiral Horatio Nelson and histories of the varies battles chiefly Trafalgar. I have always loved studying the period not only the battles but the lives of sailors, life aboard ship as well the gritty details of the ships and the weapons employed.  I can imagine the privations endured by sailors of that era because I have been aboard ship when we had long intervals in being provisioned and when water was short.  Certainly nothing like the conditions faced by sailors of the late 18th and early 19th centuries but enough to appreciate the hardships they endured more than any landlubber could.

So anyway, when I am done with all of my reading I will probably do some articles on the era of Nelson and Napoleon.  I think there is much for us to learn about ourselves and our world, especially that of diplomacy and military grand strategy in studying this period.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under History, philosophy

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