In case you don’t already have enough on your reading list, what with Gina Dalfonzo’s post on Dickens and R.R. Reno’s post on personal great books , here comes George Weigel in today’s On the Square with his arms full of books.

Did you know that it’s the sesquicentennial of the Civil War? Well now you do . Best educate yourself:

The issues that consumed more than 600,000 American lives over four years—the nature of the equality affirmed in the nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence; the relationship of the national government to state and local governments; the morality of various forms of intrusion and coercion in providing for the common defense and securing the general welfare—are alive and deeply contested today. Indeed, the divisions among us are such that some would say that our national life today is a civil war being conducted by other means.

Learning from the past might—just might—give us some insight into the ordered liberty, with justice for all, that we are pledged to seek as a nation.

Read the rest here . I have never read Shelby Foote’s The Civil War , I’m ashamed to say. Maybe I should do a little end-of-the-summer reading of my own.

(P.S.: speaking of great books, have you read Middlemarch yet? )

Articles by B. D. McClay

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