Basbanes, Nicholas A.
Adult Nonfiction Z1035.A1 B15 2005
Summary: In celebration of five eventful centuries of the printed word, Basbanes considers of writings that have "made things happen" in the world, works that have both nudged the course of history and fired the imagination of influential people. Basbanes asks what we can know about such figures as Milton, Gibbon, Locke, Newton, Coleridge, John Adams, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Henry James, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller--even the Marquis de Sade and Hitler--by knowing what they read. He shows how books that these people have consulted, in some cases annotated with their marginal notes, can offer clues to the development of their thought. He then profiles some of the most articulate readers of our time, who discuss such concepts as literary canons, classic works in translation, the timelessness of poetry, the formation of sacred texts, and the power of literature to train physicians, nurture children, and rehabilitate criminal offenders.--From publisher description.
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