Dr. Thomson/Lit. (4th Quarter)


Marcus Tullius CICERO, Treatise on the Commonwealth, trans. Charles Duke Yonge.  (Charleston SC:  Createspace, 2017) ISBN: 9783849676254

Cicero was the greatest orator of ancient Rome, obviously well aware of the Rhetoric of Aristotle.  This piece by him was much admired in ancient times, but was long lost to the West, only rediscovered in the 19th century.  He was called “pater patriae” after saving the Roman Republic from the sinister Catiline; the humanists of the Renaissance emulated his Latin (even today, it is standard reading in second-year Latin high school classes!

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 2nd edition, trans. Harvey C. Mansfield.  (University of Chicago Press, 1998) ISBN: 9780226500447

Machiavelli’s manual of statecraft for a prince urges the imitation of Cesare Borgia, who never hesitated to ignore the moral code to keep himself in power.  Even in the late twentieth century, M. S. Gorbachev had it translated into Russian for himself.  Machiavelli was a diplomat, practicing an art actually developed by earlier Florentines and Venetians; this political craft is of course still essential in the international arena.

Winston S. Churchill, ed., Never Give In!  The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches.  (New York:  Hachette Books, 2015) ISBN: 9780786888702 

Without the magnificent leadership of Churchill, England would have surely surrendered to Hitler’s Third Reich; much of Europe already had by the time King George VI made him Prime Minister.  It is not an exaggeration to declare that more than any other individual, he deserves credit for saving Western Civilization.  His grandson here arrays many of his greatest speeches, which still inspire and evoke the greatness of England and America; he was the only person ever to be granted honorary US citizenship by an act of Congress.