#21 Topical Discussion
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Josef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial, today than it was when it first appeared more than fifty years ago. This edition also includes his work The Philosophical Act. Leisure is an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world. Pieper shows that the Greeks and medieval Europeans, understood the great value and importance of leisure. He also points out that religion can be born only in leisure -- a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. Pieper maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture -- and ourselves.More info →
The Dragon’s Tooth
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.
Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.
N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an imagination-capturing adventure that inventively combines the contemporary and the legendary.More info →
Vittorino da Feltre and Other Humanist Educators
'The humanist idea of education is among the permanently influential legacies of the Italian Renaissance. Four short Latin treatises published between 1400 and 1460 define it admirably: Pier Paolo Vergerio's De ingenuis moribus et liberalibus adolescentiae studiis; Leonardo Bruni's De studiis et literis; the De liberorum educatione of Aeneas Sylvius, who later became Pope Pius II; and Battista Guarino's De ordine docendi et studendi. Translated into English by William Harrison Woodward and framed, on the one hand, by his description of the famous school founded by Vittorino da Feltre in 1424 at the court of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, marquis of Mantua, and, on the other, by a judiciously balanced analysis of the aims and methods of the humanist educators, these important texts form the heart of a book that has remained for almost seventy years the fundamental study of early Renaissance educational theory and practice.'
From the foreword by Eugene F. Rice Jr.
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.More info →
The Art of Teaching
The Politics is one of the most influential texts in the history of political thought, and it raises issues which still confront anyone who wants to think seriously about the ways in which human societies are organized and governed. By examining the way societies are run--from households to
city states--Aristotle establishes how successful constitutions can best be initiated and upheld.
For this edition, Sir Ernest Barker's fine translation, which has been widely used for nearly half a century, has been extensively revised to meet the needs of the modern reader. The accessible introduction and clear notes examine the historical and philosophical background of the work and discuss its significance for modern political thought.