“Life of St. Benedict” by St. Gregory the Great

Brother and Sister His twin sister Scholastica, who was consecrated to God from her very childhood, used to come once a year to see him; unto whom the man of God was wont to go with his brethren to a house not far from the gate, within the possession of the Monastery. On one occasion, his sister, entreated him saying: “I beseech you, leave me … Continue reading “Life of St. Benedict” by St. Gregory the Great

“Cyropaedia” by Xenophon

He who rules himself well can rule the world. Plato writes in Republic that the principle of justice is the same for an individual as it is for a state. Therefore, the person who is eligible to govern a state must be a philosopher, i.e. lover of wisdom. Xenophon has found concrete expression of this ideal in the person of Cyrus, the founder of the … Continue reading “Cyropaedia” by Xenophon

“Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson

A well-balanced, comprehensive account of Einstein’s personal life, scientific visions and achievements, as well as his political beliefs and activism. A good complementary reading to Einstein’s “Ideas and Opinions“. The book presents Einstein not as a genius with a superior brain, but as someone whose awe at the beauty and intelligence of the laws of nature and whose indomitable tenacity to pursue his vision should … Continue reading “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson

“Apology” by Plato

Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was accused of impiety and corrupting the Athenian youths, and had to defend himself in court against his accusers. He refused to beg for mercy, defended his way of life and his character with dignity, a tad of irony and defiance, and received a death sentence with tranquility and showed no trace of fear of death. Quotes: “The unexamined life is not … Continue reading “Apology” by Plato

“Phaedo” by Plato

[AKA: “The Trial and Death of Socrates“] Four Dialogues of Plato provide an account of the trial and death of Socrates, “Euthyphro“, “Apology“, “Crito” and “Phaedo“. Socrates, falsely accused of impiety and corrupting the Athenian youths, was condemned to death by poison. In “Euthyphro“, he discourses on piety and tears apart the covering of a man who professes to know all about piety; “Apology“ is … Continue reading “Phaedo” by Plato

“Traitor to His Class” by H.W.Brands

A detailed account of FDR’s life and times. It covers FDR’s personal life (his relationships with his mother, wife and mistress),  his apprenticeship in politics under Woodrow Wilson, whose internationalist idealism inspired FDR to lay down the foundation for the United Nations, his fight against polio, his economic policies emphasizing government regulation and intervention (the New Deal) during the Depression, and  his international leadership in … Continue reading “Traitor to His Class” by H.W.Brands

“Galileo’s Daughter” by Dava Sobel

Because Sobel collected numerous materials from Galileo’s own writings (his personal letters and published works), she revealed much about him through this book, not only his keen intellect, but also his wit and tact, his manifold interests and talents, his loving relationship with his devoted daughter, who comforted and sustained him during the trying years of his life. Through the correspondence of his daughter, a … Continue reading “Galileo’s Daughter” by Dava Sobel