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Reviews of Pantheon
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About the Book
Pantheon: Adventures In History, Biography, And The Mind was released on March 30, 2015.
What is Pantheon about?
It is a collection of penetrating essays on the universal themes of life. We use historical, biographical, philosophical, and literary subjects as vehicles for these lessons. Here is the book’s table of contents:
To The Reader
1. Must The Right Thing Be Done For The Right Reason?
2. On Cultivating Certainty
3. The Ordeal Of Captain Bligh
4. Ice Odyssey: Douglas Mawson’s Race Against Death
5. The Ghost of Christopher Hitchens
6. The Need For Submission
7. The Cycle of Societal Wealth
8. A Civilized Frenchman
9. William Harvey Explains The Circulatory System
10. Some Effective Horror Films
11. Is Fiction In Decline?
12. Luiz Vaz de Camões: An Epic Life
13. Revolt: Genesis of the Tunisian Revolution
14. Cervantes And The Grandeur Of Spain
15. On The Wisdom Of Marriage
16. External Goods, Virtue, And Amphoras Of Wine
17. Churchill’s Command Decision
18. Leadership Lessons From Das Boot
19. Raid On Japan
20. The Special Operations of Hans Tofte
21. Turning The Tables
22. On Love And Fate
23. Palatines And Borderers: The Shirkers And The Workers
24. The Wisdom Of Louis IX
25. The Dilemma Of Perspective
26. A Man Apart: Pliny The Elder’s Search For Meaning
27. Forms Of Government
28. The Limits Of Power
29. The Fortress Of The Mind
30. On Detractors
31. Into Desolate Sands: The Arabian Travels Of Wilfred
32. On Conflict
33. Hatred Is A Poison
34. Smashing The Paradigm
35. The Heart Of Plotinus: A Source-Book Of Neoplatonism
36. Ammianus’s Warning
37. On Grief
38. The Consolation Of The Natural World
Each essay girds the unifying themes of the book: the struggle against adversity, the meaning of character and Fate, the moral problems of life, and the search for life’s higher meanings.
As I stated in the “To The Reader” section at the beginning of the book:
An author’s foreword often takes the form of an apologia. So it is with this one. We find ourselves compelled to renew our study of the nature of man, and of the many dimensions of masculine virtue, which we first began with the publication of Thirty-Seven in 2014. The favorable reception of Thirty-Seven made it clear that new approaches to man’s ancient problems were desperately needed, and would be gratefully welcomed.
The unchanging themes of the life of man had cried out for a new voice, and a new technique, that might give them a contemporary resonance.
For too long, the study of masculine virtues had been cloaked in feeble apologetics that neither dignified, nor elevated, man’s struggles. What was needed was a return to the basic sources in history, biography, and philosophy. The nature of adversity, the struggle for personal mastery, the vagaries of Fortune, the triumph of visionary effort, and the moral dimensions of character: these were subjects that demanded a refurbishment, and a modern perspective, that nevertheless paid homage to ancient models.
It is a journey that has had a beginning, but will have no end. And it is right that this is so.
We span the globe, and range across the centuries, to bring timeless lessons to life that deal with adventure, adversity, philosophy, struggle, love, death, and destiny: from the dusty tombs of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings; to the frozen, wind-swept wastes of the South Pole; to the rumbling volcano of Mount Vesuvius; to the mortal trials of men in combat; to the patient labors of the poet, scientist, and scholar; and much, much more.
One chapter of Pantheon also contains a very detailed and uniquely readable summary of the philosophical system of Neoplatonism as espoused by Plotinus, along with an extended commentary. This is the only such summary available in English. Pantheon is not a sequel to Thirty-Seven, and can be read without any knowledge of Thirty-Seven.
The book is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. Click on the icon at the top of this article for details.
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