What We Are Reading Today: Winston Churchill

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Updated 17 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Winston Churchill

Author: Richard Toye

The book explores what elevated Winston Churchill to prominence and the shadows he continues to cast on British and American political culture.
In his book, Winston Churchill: A Life in the News, Richard Toye makes the fundamental claim that “Churchill would surely have had a political career in any age; but it was only the late-19th- and 20th-century media that made possible the type of political career he wanted to have,” said Kori Schake in a review for The New York Times.
Schake directs foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and is the author of Safe Passage: The Transition From British to American Hegemony.
According to the review, Toye argues that because Churchill bestrode an age deferential to “the right of the authorities to shape coverage” and focus on elite (rather than mass public) opinion, he was preternaturally effective in the first half of the 20th century.
But once the news media democratized and television became widely available, Churchill lost the ability to control the narrative and therefore to remain in power.


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.