Bri Colorful

19th Century Book Club

Posted on: October 7, 2010

My digital civilization class is doing small group book clubs. We want to find a book that relates to themes that we are studying from the 19th century including things like: New Science, Enlightenment thinking, Capitalism, Democracy, Revolution (French, industrial, etc), Romanticism, etc.  We have one week to read and report on it.

Here are some of my ideas:

American Sphinx: Thomas Jefferson (365 pages) or His Excellency: George Washington (352 pages). Both books are written by biographer, Joseph Ellis and have been enthusiastically recommended to me.

John Adams by David McCollough  (654 pages) This book is a less likely candidate because of length but I do hope to read it one day as John Adams is sort of a Zabriskie family hero.

Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 1: From the Ancient World to the Age of Enlightenment by Colin Brown (447 pages). This book is an overview of the “thinkers, ideas and movements that have shaped our intellectual landscape” (IVP). It answers questions about the relationship between philosophy and Christianity and sounds fascinating to me.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (207 pages) – This book is probably the most likely candidate because of length, because it is in the public domain, and because it relates so well to the time period. It was published in 1859 to Victorian readers and radically advocated moral and economic freedom of individuals from the state.

Please share any other ideas with me or let me know if you have read one of my suggestions and what you thought of it.


2 Responses to "19th Century Book Club"

I loved reading Mill’s “On Liberty” in one of my literature classes. I’m pretty sure that’s where one of my favorite quotes comes from: Stupidity is much the same all the world over. 🙂

I hated His Excellency: George Washington. I couldn’t stand the author. I do love David McCollough, though. Absolutely fantastic.

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