Sunday, January 17, 2016

What is Loren J. Samons, II reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Loren J. Samons, II, author of Pericles and the Conquest of History: A Political Biography.

His entry begins:
I’ve just completed two very different books, both non-fiction and both worthy, I think, of recommendation.

John McWhorter’s Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English presents a compelling and revisionist treatment of the language’s development by a practicing linguist. The book answers some interesting questions: for example, why does English employ “useless do”—“Did you see him?”— when other Germanic languages do not? The book doesn’t ask the reader to follow long, technical linguistic arguments but it also does not patronize. My only real criticism is that McWhorter, like most linguists, treats those interested in the “rules” of English grammar as...[read on]
About Pericles and the Conquest of History, from the publisher:
As the most famous and important political leader in Athenian history, Pericles has featured prominently in descriptions and analysis of Athenian democracy from antiquity to the present day. Although contemporary historians have tended to treat him as representative of values like liberty and equality, Loren J. Samons, II demonstrates that the quest to make Athens the preeminent power in Greece served as the central theme of Pericles' career. More nationalist than humanist and less rationalist than populist, Pericles' vision for Athens rested on the establishment of an Athenian reputation for military success and the citizens' willingness to sacrifice in the service of this goal. Despite his own aristocratic (if checkered) ancestry, Pericles offered the common and collective Athenian people the kind of fame previously available only to heroes and nobleman, a goal made all the more attractive because of the Athenians' defensiveness about Athens' lackluster early history.
Learn more about Pericles and the Conquest of History at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Pericles and the Conquest of History.

My Book, The Movie: Pericles and the Conquest of History.

Writers Read: Loren J. Samons, II.

--Marshal Zeringue