Thursday, February 6, 2014

Humility: An unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue by David J. Bobb

ISBN:  9781595555694
About the Book:  
There is no formula for becoming humble—not for individuals, and not for nations.

Benjamin Franklin’s dilemma—one he passed on to the young United States—was how to achieve both greatness and humility at once. The humility James Madison learned as a legislator helped him to mold a nation, despite his reputation as a meek, timid, and weak man. The humility of Abigail Adams fed her impossible resilience. Humility of all kinds is deeply ingrained in our American DNA. Our challenge today is to rediscover and reawaken this utterly indispensable, alarmingly dormant national virtue before it’s too late.

In Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue, Dr. David J. Bobb traces the “crooked line” that is the history of humility in political thought. From Socrates to Augustine to Machiavelli to Lincoln, passionate opinions about the humble ruler are literally all over the map. Having shown classical, medieval, and Christian ideas of humility to be irreconcilable, Dr. Bobb asserts that we as a nation are faced with a difficult choice. A choice we cannot put off any longer.
Reviw:  When first handed this book to review, I was hesitant.  I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to tackle a book on the topic of humility.  But then I quickly flipped open the book and saw this sentence:  “Early Americans knew that for their enterprise to become great, humility would be necessary.  They also knew that of all the virtues of the human heart, humility is the most hard won.  No one is naturally humble, but pride comes as easily to us as sleeping or smiling.”

I was hooked.  Pride (or lack of humility) has been the downfall of many a person.  Scripture teaches that “pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit be a fall.”  No doubt, volumes can, and have been, written on this topic of Humility.  Highlighting just a select few people from our American History, Dr. David J. Bobb has done an excellent job in capturing “humility” in less than 200 pages.  I was particularly interested in the chapter dedicated to Abigail Adams, although all the chapters were extremely interesting and informative.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Humility” and found myself wanting to highlight sections throughout the whole book, but the actual book was not mine to keep.  It will be going, hopefully, into our school library for our students to take advantage of.  I most likely will be purchasing my own copy to highlight.  Needless to say, “Humility” would be an excellent addition to any history class and is well worth the read.  Careful though, if you are a person filled with pride, you will not enjoy “Humility,” but it outside of the Bible, it may be the very book you need.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Humility was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

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