Friday, November 18, 2011

The Book of Man by William Bennett

Out of heroism grows faith in the worth of heroism.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

We want our Little Men to have heroes. Heroes of faith are best of all, but men of good character and strong moral attributes can also teach our sons. I sought, and found, in The Book of Man a celebration of goodness, bravery, sacrifice, love, service, and excellence.  

But the book isn’t written for boys, not by any means. The selections are so well chosen, ranging from Classical Greek authors, to the well-educated English man, and on to the thoughtful American, that the book is intended for men, young and old. My husband plans to read it next, then share it with the boys, and I suppose the girls will listen in too. My boys will enjoy sitting beside their Dad (their very own flesh and blood hero), hearing him read. The words are highly quotable and printed in short sections well suited to reading aloud.

We don’t agree with every writer, I doubt anyone would. Particularly in the section on prayer and reflection the book is intended to appeal to a wide audience. For example, prayers of Luther are printed facing the prayer of Thomas More; and prayers of Jimmy Carter precede one by Ronald Reagan. I would recommend caution; teach your children your own heroes of the faith.

The Book of Man has its place: provoking thought, and ideally, also actions. I hope my Little Men are challenged not only by presidents and poets but by the sanitation engineer and computer programmer as well. I hope they become men who deserve a page in this kind of book.

Full disclosure per The Rules:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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