The Reading Room

Review: The Soul of Civility

Review of: Alexandra Hudson, The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves (St. Martin’s Press, 2023)


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Who Will Watch the Watchmen?

Will democracy survive? Recent years have not always brought encouragement. In Lincoln’s memorable phrase the possibility of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was not a guarantee but a “proposition” yet to be determined. Lincoln acknowledged that such a political arrangement  might yet “perish from the earth. 

Oliver Wardrop and His “The Kingdom of Georgia” (1888)

British diplomat, translator and well-known Georgianist, Sir Oliver Wardrop (1864-1948) is among those foreigners who were well acquainted not only with the political and socio-economic situation in Georgian, but also with its history and culture. In 1919, he was appointed as the first British Chief Commissioner in Transcaucasia. He was a founder of Kartvelology (Georgian studies) at Oxford University. He sympathized with the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) and tried in every way to help it join the League of Nations. 

The Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes “Puts the Century on Edge”

René Descartes had written: “I think, therefore I am.” Thomas Hobbes responded: “I think, therefore matter thinks.”

Jane Austen's Smackdown of the Cult of Sensibility

In Jane Austen's "Love and Freindship [sic]," a young man declares that he will not marry the lady his father has chosen: "No never exclaimed I. Lady Dorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no woman to her; but know Sir, that I scorn to marry her in compliance with your Wishes. No! Never shall it be said that I obliged my Father.""Where, Edward in the name of Wonder," replies his father, "did you pick up this unmeaning Gibberish? You have been studying Novels I suspect."
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