Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
For over two millennia in the West, familiarity with the literature, philosophy, and values of the Classical World has been synonymous with education itself. The traditions of the Greeks explain why Western Culture’s unique tenets of democracy, capitalism, civil liberty, and constitutional government are now sweeping the globe. Yet the general public in America knows less about its cultural origins than ever before, as Classical education rapidly disappears from our high school and university curricula.
Acclaimed classicists Hanson and Heath raise an impassioned call to arms: if we lose our knowledge of the Greeks, we lose our understanding of who we are. With straightforward advice and informative reading lists, the authors present a highly useful primer for anyone who wants more knowledge of Classics, and thus of the beauty and perils of our own culture.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 28 minutes|
|Author||Victor Davis Hanson, John Heath|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 30, 2012|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #90,716 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#73 in Ancient, Classical & Medieval Collections
#146 in History of Civilization
#155 in Classic Greek Literature
Top reviews from the United States
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As for the book, I learned a lot I never really knew about the Greek worldview, or had it put a new way that I found enlightening. I didn't quite realize how much the Greed and biblical worldview had in common, and how much we need both in our culturally sick age.
As bad as things are, Hanson and Heath do not think them hopeless. In their concluding chapter, "What We Could Do," they list alternatives to the dissolution of their profession. Among them:
1) Re-introduce the classics into high school and college curriculums
2) Have senior tenured classics professors attend fewer conferences and teach more undergraduate classes
3) Reduce the time to complete a Phd in classics to five years or less
4) Scrap the traditional doctoral dissertation in favor of several broad papers of Greek culture
5) Give tenure only to those who teach a lot rather than publish a lot
6) Re-acquire the belief that the Greeks were a special people who have a great deal to say that is relevant today.
On the down side, both Hanson and Heath do not believe that any of their suggestions will be implemented anytime soon. As a result, when future Greek classes will be attended only by the doddering senior professors who will preside over a legion of empty seats, then it will be evident even to these soon to be retired professors that their profession has already gone the way of the dodo.
Their advice for university scholars and mentors in the field is equally relevant to professors of the humanities now that college education is so very expensive.
Top reviews from other countries
1) We need to think like Greeks. WTF? I doubt any anthropologists would agree such a thing is possible OR desirable. What is funny though, is that Greek somehow = right wing 20th century American. Not only is this naive it's dependent entirely on selectively (mis)reading our sources. Can we know how Greeks thought? Well it's highly dependent on class, polis, period etc (as well as the usual constraints!) but it's a world apart from this book.
2) Casual racism. Apparently modern Greeks don't speak good Greek!? British people are subservient and conniving? and so on...
3) Plaintive wailing: So much of this book is dedicated to basically complaining about complexity, apparently people use big words (wah), and scholarship is too complex. No s***, when dealing with complex topics complexity naturally arises. Not everyone is happy to treat classical Greek as modern American and getting beneath the skin of another people is very, very, difficult and tentative.
4) Rants against Evidence/Privileging own Viewpoint: What's really odd is how he'll occasionally attack the extant literature. Callimachus is bookish, Menander trite, Polybius second rate. Now what makes this hilarious is that he'll then tell us to read Virgil, heavily influenced by Callimachus et al, or Tacitus (who needs Polybius) and so on. Worse, the first two of these were some of the most important authors for the Greeks AND Romans. This is indisputable. Are we to assume that the authors are more Greek or Roman than they were themselves?
Idiocies like these abound. I've picked what I think are the most striking even to the untrained but you could easily open any page and lift a dozen more. It is, seriously, a terrible book. Which is a shame since a good expose remains a desideratum...this just isn't it, not even close. Instead we have is something terribly confused and misinformed, pursued with the vehemence of the fanatical and the ignorant.