Breaking Bread with the Dead: Reading the Past in Search of a Tranquil Mind
A Spectator Book of the Year
It's fashionable to think of the writers of the past as irredeemably tarnished by prejudice. Aristotle despised women. John Milton, the great champion of free speech, wouldn't have granted it to Catholics. Edith Wharton's imaginative sympathies stopped short of her Jewish characters. But what if it is only through the works of such individuals that we can achieve a necessary perspective on the troubles of the present?Join literary scholar Alan Jacobs for a truly nourishing feast of learning. Discover what Homer can teach us about force, what Machiavelli has to say about reading and what Charlotte Bronte reveals about race. Not all the guests are people you might want to invite into your home, but they all bring something precious to the table. In Breaking Bread with the Dead, an omnivorous reader draws us into close and sympathetic engagement with minds across the ages, from Horace to Donna Haraway.
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