Jun 13, 2024

group dynamics

I guess three’s a pattern, right? I just finished William Egginton’s The Rigor of Angels: Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality and loved it so much. A stunner — beautifully structured, keenly insightful, just astonishing. And then I realized that it joins a couple other profoundly meaningful books for me in the last many years that are also group biographies: Ben Lipscomb’s The Women Are Up To Something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch Revolutionized Ethics and Paul Elie’s The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage (on Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy). Something about this form is really for me, I guess. So after I go back to fiction for a bit, I’ll add others to my list:

Hoftstader: Godel, Escher, Bach (obligatory, seems like, at this point)

Jacobs: The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis (on Maritain, Eliot, Lewis, Auden, Weil)

Mann: The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World (on Norman Borlaug and William Vogt)

Raboteau: American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice (on Heschel, A.J. Muste, Day, Howard Thurman, Merton, King, Fannie Lou Hamer)

Lindley: Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science

Eichler: Time’s Echo: The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Music of Remembrance (on Strauss, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Britten)