Monday, February 10, 2014
Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue by David J. Bobb
At first the book looked interesting , just by the title but when I got it and saw who was on the front, you all know what my thoughts were. " Oh dear Lincoln." After all I am Southern, which enplanes a lot.
Humility is broken into three parts. Part one, Early Life deals with the origin of the philosophical idea of humility. Part two, Trials and Temptations, is the heart of the book and traces humility’s effects on the lives of five historically significant people from early American history. Part three, An Age of Arrogance, briefly states the author’s opinions surrounding our current culture.
The idea behind the book was a good one but his chose of people and words bothered me greatly.Part two was where I felt the book was really lacking. This encompasses five chapters , one each for George Washington, James Madison, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. . The author clearly knows his subject matter, but looking at the lives of these great men and women through the narrow lens of a single personality trait dilutes the power of the examples given.. Without a more rounded presentation of each person the reader is left with a sometimes overly positive view of the person profiled. You begin to think that all these people were perfect - even Benjamin Franklin. Reality they were people with flaws and foibles like the rest of us.
Nonetheless, I had a hard time following his theme throughout the entire book. All parts were interesting and informative, but at times Bobb seemed to strain to make connections to humility, and I think the book could have been more engaging if he included other character traits as well, and even stories, in an effort to highlight humility. I was a little lost at time so to speak. Not a book I will recommend.
I thought it would help proud me become humble but it did not.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze®. I was not required to write a positive review.