Saturday, December 7, 2013

How Should We Live?: Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life-Roman Krznaric

How Should We Live?: Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life Roman Krznaric BlueBridge, Dec 1 2013, $22.95 ISBN: 9781933346847 Philosopher Roman Krznaric seeks answers in present and past civilizations as to “how we should live”. He breaks down his response into four broad equal yet hierarchal categories (Nurturing Relationships, Making a Living, Discovering the World, and Breaking Conventions) with each containing three supportive elements. “Nurturing Relations” opens with an intriguing look at “Love” starting with the transformation over the centuries of St. Valentine and introducing six underlying themes while exploring the “Great Ideas from the Past …” like how the ancient Greeks and other cultures dealt with this feeling as compared with contemporary treatment. Likewise Mr. Krznaric does the same with “Family” and “Empathy” as well as the elements in the other three categories. This is an interesting philosophical look at comparative cultures, past and present. The inclusion of descriptive anecdotal examples adds fascination especially as to how a belief changes over time while also making it easier to understand the various key premises. However, that leaping about between time and place also limits the depth provided to each discussion; as the book is an intriguing but very expansive response to the title question. Hopefully, Mr. Krznaric follows up with deeper treatises (perhaps separate extensive books on each of his four categories) as even his broad brush provides readers with a thought-provoking comparative analysis of how various civilizations lived and what we should consider adopting. Harriet Klausner >

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