Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
Force and Freedom: Reflections on History
Force and Freedom Reflections on History Author:Jacob Burckhardt From Amazon review: — Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897) was one of the most brilliant historians of the 19th century. Burckhardt was a professor of history and the history of art at the University of Basel from 1858-1893. He believed studying customs and manners of an era were more insightful than studying institutions. He also thought that by studyin... more »g literature and art of a historic period contained a more meaningful truth than the history of events. This book is composed from a series of notes for lectures Burckhardt delivered from 1865-1885 at the U. of Basel. This book is a defiant counter-cultural look at human history from antiquity to the time of Napoleon. Burckhardt does not judge history by modern day standards, but seeks to find each historical epoch's own intrinsic meaning to the intellectual and artistic treasure of mankind. The historian's job is to observe, contemplate and enjoy. Although; not quick to judge the past, Burckhardt was quick to ridicule the "smugness" of his present times. Burckhardt had grave misgivings about "popular egalitarian democracy," watching it corrupt culture and politics. Burckhardt was an environmentalist worried about the ravaging of the earths natural resources during the industrial revolution. Burckhardt was very wary of the growth of the state politically and believed it was only a matter of time before the tyranny of the state would steal people's liberty. Yet, Burckhardt is no pessimist, he was a "philosopher of freedom," believing man could rise above the bleakest of circumstances.
He is an astute observer and is fascinating to read. His lectures have the clarity and historic scope like that of Lord Acton's works. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in political philosophy, and history.« less