Hello AVID SUMMER READERS: We still have 30 days left to the summer of 2019 with its warm, balmy, humid days and precious nights (for reading of course), so its high time to discuss, briefly my choice for the first of three reading lists.
My overriding concern is not to bore you with detail but spread out a broad philosophical canopy of ideas that begin about 2500 years ago.
The underlying theme is to start locally, to urge every citizen of our country, every El-Hi student--not just University attendees-- to understand, relate to and appreciate other cultures besides our very own In so doing we become more tolerant of the 'other;' We learn to collaborate with other groups, religions, sects, genders, people of otherskin colors, political beliefs, languages, etc.
There's no end to this butterfly effect.
In short, I am promoting multiculturalism and urging that we expand what we now call the Core Curriculum, traditionally limited to greco-roman and Judaeo-Christian texts....to include Arabic and Islamic, Near and Far East Asian, African and Native American cultures
And as we meander, I present texts, along with ideas, songs, movies and works of art to support, when appropriate, my thesis.
. We begin in my next post by examining the Founding and underlying political and philosophical principles, discussed argued and debated by our early country's leaders who helped draft our constitution.
So, shall we meander to...... first,.The Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis-- chosen because the book demonstrates how our country's early political leaders were successful at burying their hatchets and learned the art of collaboration in order to cement the union of 13 fragmented colonies.
We begin with our own American Culture because we are now a veritable amalgam of so many diverse peoples (Jackson Heights in Queens, NY has over 70 different languages spoken); then I segue into the native American peoples who inhabited our land for centuries before the white man's arrival. Then, let's learn how our long-established democratic way of life is threatened and corrupted through dark money.
We then journey back millennia to discuss time-honored sino- inspired formulae for national leadership, peace, order and stability outlined in Nobility and Civility and The Great Civilized Conversation written by Professor Ted DeBary, who, before his recent passing, was the nation's foremost living scholar of Far Eastern Cultures.
He taught at Columbia University for nearly 60 years.
The author meeting with Professor Ted DeBary (1919-2017)
This photo was taken at 502 Kent Hall in 2014, fifty three years after I took his Asian Humanities and Civilizations course co taught with Professor Ainslie Embree (1921-2017). He autographed his last book The Great Civilized Conversation which he presented to me
So let Ted's Great Conversation --the one on the values and benefits of a multicultural core curriculum-- begin and continue to be an inspiration to our generation as we continue his odyssey.
Finally, we will take a summer detour, with novelist Daniel Silva, and experience fast-paced global terrorism in the The New Girl.