Nonfiction Book Award Status: Bronze
Author Name: Jason R. Goetz
The Idols of History series explores modern European history through the lens of the Great Books, emphasizing primary source classics. Most volumes contain a theme, and a chapter focusing on precursors. This volume, which explores the Italian High Renaissance, looks at the rediscovery of Lucretius in 1417, the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent transfer of Plato’s ideas to Italy, and the interplay between Lucretian realism and Platonic idealism as expressed politically in the competing dynasties of the Medici and Sforza families, artistically in the figures of da Vinci and Michaelangelo, and philosophically in the books of Machiavelli and Castiglione. It explores the links between political/philosophical idealism and commercial enterprise, and between political/philosophical realism and the military; and it translates the lessons of the past into a commentary on current affairs.
It is the perfect classroom resource, and is ripe for conversion into a documentary television series.
Jason R. Goetz is the award-winning author of The Bubble Boys: How Mistaken Educational Ideals and Practices are Causing a Warped Social Fabric. He has studied the classics extensively, looking at classics from all eras and regions, and focusing on independence of thought and freedom of expression. Mr. Goetz currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona, where he is looking to establish Great Books programs for high school students, and awaiting the right moment for conversion of his books into documentary television series.
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