Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

April 12, 2005

An American History Reading Plan

Here's my American history reading plan. The idea is to read through the nation's history by reading a series of overlapping biographies of key persons. For example, to start out, you might want to read a biography of, say, John Winthrop, who died in 1649. Your next biography should take up the life of some representative figure who was born around that time (give or take a decade or two). For example, Increase Mather (1639-1723). After that, maybe Ben Franklin (1706-1790) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). I have always believed that one of the best ways to get a sense of a past time is to see it through the "window" of biography. Now, this is obviously a long-term project that will perhaps take several years to complete (including the predictable interruptions, of course). But I'm kind of liking the idea. Life and times of John Winthrop, here I come!

[UPDATE: Okay, I've chosen the first in the series: The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop, by Edmund S. Morgan. Looks like a good one!]


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