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4.0 out of 5 stars A GLIMPSE INTO HEARTS AND MINDS, 29 April 2004
This review is from: Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children (Hardcover)
In this day of email and instant messaging does anyone ever take the timeto write a longhand letter? What will future generations have toreference in order to learn more about us, who we were and what wethought? Well, I don't have the answer to those questions but I do knowthat today we can read the letters of some very distinguished people whodid take the time to advise, order or console their children via pen andink.
Yes, the writers of the letters contained in this volume arefamous Americans, but they are also very much like all of us when it comesto our offspring. What a privilege it is to be able to read these lettersand in that way perhaps know a little more about what was in the writers'hearts and minds.
The letters are arranged by theme, from "Continuity" to "Rules ToLive By," and each letter is preceded by a brief biographical sketch.
We find Albert Einstein writing to Hans Albert Einstein, "What Ihave achieved through such a lot of strenuous work shall not only be therefor strangers but especially for my own boys.....I am very pleased thatyou find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion foryour age the best pursuits......"
Sam Houston tells Sam, Jr. of a mother's love: "Your Ma loves youmore than she does any one else, so you should love her, more than anyone." While John Adams sends a note of caution to John Quincy Adams:"...Go and see with how little Wisdom this World is governed."
In moments of discouragement Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote toGeorgiana Stowe: "Why have n't I written? Because, dear Georgie, I amlike the dry, dead leafless tree, and have only cold, dead, slumberingbuds of hope on the end of stiff, hard, frozen twigs of thought, but noleaves, no blossoms...."
"Posterity" offers a collective portrait of who we were. It's abook that can be picked up and enjoyed a page at a time, and it's oneyou'll want to refer to again and again.
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Gail Cooke
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Location: TX, USA

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