Friday, March 10, 2006
"Out of the Flames"
For my book report, I plan to read "Out of the Flames" by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. The book is about a 16th century Spanish scholar, Miguel Servetus, who was put to death for heresy for his book "Christianisimi Restitutio," which laid out the foundations of Unitarianism. Servetus was burned at the stake along with--so it was believed--every existing copy of his book. It turns out that three copies survived and over the next four centuries, passed through a huge number of different hands, handled by many later-famous people, surviving revolutions, wars and book burnings, ending up in France, Britain, and the United States. I'm interested in the book because its sort of represents the "perfect storm" of censorship: A book that simply could not be done away with, despite the best and most vicious efforts to do so.