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Saved by Books

Plutarch tells us that Gaius Gracchus (154–121 b.c.) devoted his life to civic reform, while Cato the Younger (95–46 b.c.) would “rather compete in valor with the best, than in wealth with the richest or the most covetous in love of money.” Impressive in both cases, no doubt, but what are . . . . Continue Reading »

L’affaire Voltaire

Americans know little of Voltaire. French high-schoolers, by contrast, know him the way we once knew Thoreau and Whitman, before social justice eclipsed history as the rationale for our syllabi. Like America’s Liberty Bell, Voltaire’s tomb in Paris’s Panthéon is still visited by school groups . . . . Continue Reading »

Loving to Know

In many spheres, the question not just of what we know but of how we know is urgent and vital. I have tried to develop the notion of love as the ultimate form of knowledge and to explore its wider relevance. My history with this question begins in the 1980s, when I was growing concerned by profound . . . . Continue Reading »

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