Monday, December 22, 2008

They Were a Stronger, Happier Bunch: Paul Johnson Reflects on the Great Depression

Reading the engaging wisdom and blue-ribbon prose of Paul Johnson is one of the best ways I know to pursue a quality education. Johnson is a journalist, historian, speechwriter, winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and popular author of some 40 books, including Intellectuals, Modern Times, A History of the American People, and A History of Christianity.

One of the easiest introductions to Johnson is his column in the Spectator and this warm, enlightening description of a few of his memories of the Great Depression is priceless. It's a column that shows off Johnson's subtle skills as a wordsmith, his attention to and respect for the human person, and the immense differences between that culture's response to economic hard times and our own. Very good, very provocative reading.