I love the “A Very Short Introduction” series of books. I have developed the habit of reading an appropriate one in the lead up to every class I take towards my degree in History. They provide a very high level overview and usually provide a couple of topics I can explore for a paper.
The idea of resilience is a recurring theme for me. I might have started seriously reflecting on it while reading “The Obstacle is the Way.” Holliday, Greitens, Pressfield all using the Classics, the ancient philosophers and poets, the great military leaders, the great sports coaches to help us build practices of reflection, deep understanding, persistence, resilience.
This is in my Top 10 Must Read Books. I also highly recommend Greiten’s “The Heart and the Fist” which is another in my Top 10. This work is a series of letters between the author and a fellow-warrior suffering from severe depression, PTSD, addiction, etc. He uses ancient wisdom to develop this guidebook. Its truly remarkable. To steal from the summary on Amazon, “Resilience” explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more.”
Timely. All democracies ultimately end in tyranny. Here is a highlight from the book:
It is not patriotic to share an adviser with Russian oligarchs. It is not patriotic to solicit foreign policy advice from someone who owns shares in a Russian energy company. It is not patriotic to read a foreign policy speech written by someone on the payroll of a Russian energy company. It is not patriotic to appoint a national security adviser who has taken money from a Russian propaganda organ. It is not patriotic to appoint as secretary of state an oilman with Russian financial interests who is the director of a Russian-American energy company and has received the “Order of Friendship” from Putin.
I am a Red Sox fan. I was drawn to this book because I was interested in how Theo Epstein managed to take teams from cursed to World Series Champions. I did not know that Epstein had modified his Sabremetrician (Moneyball) approach from his time with the Red Sox and used a different strategy with the Cubs. I came away with an appreciation of Manager Joe Maddon too. One of the better “baseball” books I have read – Verducci is a pro. But also a great strategy/tactics and leadership book.