March 29, 2006more John Adams quotes The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government is to secure the existence of the body politic; to protect it; and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquility, their natural rights and the blessings of life; and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, happiness, and prosperity.
The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals. It is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. (p. 221)
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman. (p. 226)
You invite me to you. You call me to follow you. The most earnest wish of my soul is to be with you - but you can scarcely form an idea of the conflict in my mind. It appears to me such an enterprise, the ocean so formidable, the quitting of my habitation and my country, leaving my children, my friends, with the idea that perhaps I may never see them again, without my husband to console and comfort me under these apprehensions - indeed, my dear friend, there are hours when I feel unequal to the trial. (Abigail - p. 291)
But let no person say what they would or would not do, since we are not judges for ourselves until circumstances call us to act. (Abigail - p. 293)
Though my prof prefaced this book by saying it would be a tough read, I didn't really find it to be so at all. Nirenberg stands most of historical theory on its head with this little book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was an interesting perspective to read and I thought he backed it all up well with compelling evidence.
I had to read sections of this little book for my internship class. I think it's supposed to make us feel like the work we are doing/have done really makes a difference and that the political life is worth all the hassle. The essays were nice and short, giving you just enough to understand the point without becoming too "afterschool special."
It didn't inspire me to do anything more than I've already done but it did make me realize that there are other people out there like me. Perhaps my life path is not as futile as I had once believed it to be.
I have a feeling, at least for the first six months, it's going to be very easy to tell which books are for school and which aren't. Technically, I didn't read the whole thing, but it's feels like I have. While I adore the prof that assigned this book, this was just a challenge for me to read. I always feel like I'm coming in in the middle of the movie. Mr. Walker is obviously very smart, but I just couldn't get into this one.
March 14, 2006Bookends by Jane Green 358 pages. Finished 3/13/06.
I procrastinated my studying for my midterm by finishing this book last night. It wasn't what I expected. Some of the plot twists were obvious and some were unexpected. There was a detour for too many pages about HIV/AIDS when one of the characters is diagnosed that seemed to be more soapbox than actually advancing the plot. The main character makes one of my dream careers a reality in a way that I never could, which is rather frustrating, but fun at the same time.
All in all, I think the book could have been a lot shorter and still had the same effect, but it was a good distraction from my school reading.