Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Final Book Review
I'm reading "Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World," by Nicholas Basbanes. The author looks at how we learn about historical figures based on what we know of what they read and how such figures as diverse as John Milton, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, the Marquis de Sade, and even Hitler were shaped by what texts they perused and found of worth. Basbanes also looks at "some of the most articulate readers of our time," in an effort to explore the importance of this type of historical research. Basically, he claims that by looking at what has been read throughout history, we can get a much broader understanding of the societal beliefs and views of a particular time in history, which is what we have been discussing in class, especially in relation to Pawley's book and what those library records tell us about the Osage community at the turn of the century.