Friday, December 22, 2006


#60: How the Irish Saved Civilization

My aunt and uncle recently took a 3 week trip to Ireland to visit some long lost (they weren't really lost because my Grandparents have visited them and they write frequently) relatives and enjoy learning a little more about the country that my Grandma's parents came from. During their trip they picked up a few good books and recommended them to me. The first one that I was most intrigued by is called How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. This is actually the first book in a series called The Hinges of History. Cahill's goal in this series it to retell the story of Western civilization through a series of stories about "great gift-givers" or those who aided civilization in getting to where it is today through their culture and passions.

This book was interesting, thoughtful, intelligent, and sometimes even difficult to read. Cahill shared the story of what drove the Irish to become great and even powerful missionaries of Christianity. He also explained their interest in literature, specifically Christian literature, during the Dark Ages. If it weren't for their desire for knowledge and making copies of books, Western civilization may have lost great pieces of literature. The reason the book was sometimes difficult to read was the historical names and literature pieces that the author mentioned were often foreign to me. But I actually read this book while I was giving finals and sitting by my computer at school so I was able to look up anything I didn't know on the Internet. Don't worry I still kept alert and watched for cheaters. I learned a lot of history about Europe, St. Patrick, about literature, and Ireland's role in a specific time period of history. This is a great book that I would recommend to anyone.

my parents read this book. maybe i'll have to find it. also, you can keep the undies, or throw them out or whatever. that's funny though. i'm proud of us. we've read 139 books this year. i think i can do at least three more.
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