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Archive for the ‘Book Recommendations’ Category

As They Have Nothing to Hide

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“TAKE NOTE!” boomed Twain, his voice carrying out over the enormous lake. “Never place your trust in a man overly impressed with his own vocal cords. Honest men – and women – speak plainly, and at normal volumes.”

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a recent book – 2017 to be exact. It’s a children’s book based off of some fragmentary writings of Mark Twain from a story he told his daughters. The story wasn’t finished, but Philip Stead pieced things together, and added his own ending. The Result? Something mostly fun, dark, and whimsical with a slight sense of the occasionally profound. It’s a story not of Here, but of There – a fairy tale, perhaps not truly for children.

Source: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine



Written by Agrammatos

January 15, 2018 at 12:11 AM

Choosing Donald Trump – A Review

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“By the dawn of the 2016 presidential race, religious conservatives were traumatized by the Obama years and fearful a second Clinton presidency would mean more of the same. They would back anyone who could win. They would take a nonbeliever. They would accept a candidate of doubtful morality. They were even willing to risk racial and gender offense on the part of their candidate. They could not endure more years of bombardment from a religious left intent upon remaking the nation.

So they stood with Donald Trump, and in so doing they took responsibility for the Trump presidency before the nation and the world. They “own” him now. They are wed to him, whatever he does.” – Stephen Mansfield

In his book, “Choosing Donald Trump”, Stephen Mansfield sets out to explain why America’s religious conservatives could possibly justify backing Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Mansfield begins by outlining the issue: Donald Trump is a strange mixture of aspiring “saint” and self-aggrandizing sinner.

He builds this case by demonstrating the events and people that shaped Donald Trump into the quasi-religious man he is today: a mishmash of the theology of Norman Vincent Peale, Paula White, heavy doses of his father’s business acumen, and promises of vengeance for those that crosses him. Overall Mansfield paints a picture of  Donald Trump that makes perfect sense, and anyone with a cursory understanding of Vincent Peale will see how the positivity teacher has left his imprint in Trump’s message and methods.

The third part of the book focuses on the forces that prepared religious conservatives to accept Trump: The Johnson amendment, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Trump’s offer to be the “voice” for American’s who felt like all the prior factors had stripped their own away.

Overall, Mansfield does an excellent job outlining the factors that have made Trump the man he is, and the factors that have led to his acceptance by religious conservatives. In fact, the only criticism I can truly offer is that the book is too short – it left my appetite whetted for a longer, more scholarly look at President Trump, and the role that “voiceless conservatives” played in the 2016 election.

I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers  program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Source: Choosing Donald Trump by Stephen Mansfield

Written by Agrammatos

October 11, 2017 at 9:09 PM

On Enoch Powell

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“He was free of small-talk. Whenever an escape-route appeared in the wall of trivia, his conversation would veer away into sublimities, and the components of British politics – the crown, the common law, the lords and commons – appeared in his discourse not as humdrum collections of modern people but as radiant and transfiguring ideas which shone above the course of history and cast their great light along the centuries.” -Roger Scruton

Source:On Hunting by Roger Scruton

Written by Agrammatos

May 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM

An Overhasty Passion For Doing Good

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“…the passion for doing good is apt to be overhasty in determining what reason and the will of God say, because its turn is for acting rather than thinking, and it wants to be beginning to act; and whereas it is apt to take its own conceptions, which proceed from its own state of development and share in all the imperfections and immaturities of this, for a basis of action; what distinguishes culture is, that it is possessed by the scientific passion, as well as by the passion of doing good; that it has worthy notions of reason and the will of God, and does not readily suffer its own crude conceptions to substitute themselves for them; and that, knowing that no action or institution can be salutary and stable which are not based on reason and the will of God, it is not so bent on acting and instituting, even with the great aim of diminishing human error and misery ever before its thoughts, but that it can remember that acting and instituting are of little use, unless we know how and what we ought to act and to institute.” – Matthew Arnold

Source:Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold

Written by Agrammatos

April 1, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Spurgeon on True Religion

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“True religion is always practical, for it does not permit us to delight ourselves in a perfect rule without exciting in us a longing to be conformed to that rule in our daily conduct.” – Spurgeon

Source: The Golden Alphabet by Spurgeon

Written by Agrammatos

May 22, 2015 at 2:08 AM

On Two Ways of Living

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“He does not ask whether God will forgive the folly of our lives, the madness of our pleasures, the vanity of our expenses, the richness of our equipage, and the careless consumption of our time; but he asks whether God is pleased with these things, or whether these are the appointed ways of gaining His favour? He does not inquire, whether it be pardonable to hoard up money, to adorn ourselves with diamonds, and gild our chariots, whilst the widow and the orphan, the sick and the prisoner, want to be relieved; but he asks, whether God has required these things at our hands, whether we shall be called to account at the last day for the neglect of them; because it is not his intent to live in such ways as, for aught we know, God may perhaps pardon; but to be diligent in such ways, as we know that God will infallibly reward.”  – William Law

Source: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law

Written by Agrammatos

May 3, 2015 at 9:38 PM

Posted in Book Recommendations, General

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No Reason for Good Writing

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“…unless language is regarded as a work of art and treated as we treat efforts to paint and compose music, there is no tenable reason for setting themes and demanding precise diction, correct idiom, economical syntax, varied rhythm, suitable tone, adroit linkage and transitions – in short, no reason for good writing.”  – Jacques Barzun

Source: The Culture We Deserve by Jacques Barzun

Written by Agrammatos

January 28, 2015 at 9:15 PM

Posted in Book Recommendations

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