What We Are Reading Today: War; How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan

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Updated 11 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: War; How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan

War: How Conflict Shaped Us is a historical study of the effects of war on many societal levels. 

The internationally renowned historian and bestselling author of Paris 1919, Margaret MacMillan, contemplates the existence of war: Why it occurs, and what it says about human nature.

“Drawing on lessons from classical history as well as analysis of modern warfare from all parts of the globe, MacMillan reveals the many faces of war — the way it shapes our past, our future, our views of the world, and our very conception of ourselves,” said a review in goodreads.com.

It said that MacMillan “looks at the ways in which war has shaped human history and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight.” 

MacMillan is a Canadian historian and professor at the University of Oxford.

She is the former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously at Ryerson University. 

A leading expert on history and international relations, MacMillan is a commentator in the media.

What We Are Reading Today: How to Be Content

Updated 21 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: How to Be Content

Edited by Horace and Stephen Harrison

What are the secrets to a contented life? One of Rome’s greatest and most influential poets, Horace (65–8 BCE) has been cherished by readers for more than 2,000 years not only for his wit, style, and reflections on Roman society, but also for his wisdom about how to live a good life—above all else, a life of contentment in a world of materialistic excess and personal pressures.  In How to Be Content, Stephen Harrison, a leading authority on the poet, provides fresh, contemporary translations of poems from across Horace’s works that continue to offer important lessons about the good life, friendship, love, and death.

Living during the reign of Rome’s first emperor, Horace drew on Greek and Roman philosophy, especially Stoicism and Epicureanism, to write poems that reflect on how to live a thoughtful and moderate life amid mindless overconsumption, how to achieve and maintain true love and friendship, and how to face disaster and death with patience and courage.

From memorable counsel on the pointlessness of worrying about the future to valuable advice about living in the moment, these poems, by the man who famously advised us to carpe diem, or “harvest the day,” continue to provide brilliant meditations on perennial human problems.

Featuring translations of, and commentary on, complete poems from Horace’s Odes, Satires, Epistles, and Epodes, accompanied by the original Latin, How to Be Content is both an ideal introduction to Horace and a compelling book of timeless wisdom.