Last week my wife and I happened by an estate sale near our house, Now really, who can resist those? We sure didn’t. Unfortunately, it was the last day of the sale and much of the really good stuff (as far as my wife was concerned) was already gone or paid for. Luckily for Old Book Junkies like me, a lot of treasures are overlooked by the non-book lovers. And I thank them for their ignorance!
I snapped up two books this time, neither of which is particularly valuable except for the interest I have in their subjects. The first is an old literature textbook called, fittingly enough, “Junior High School Literature, Book Two,” (Scott, Foresman and Company, 1928.) I love thumbing through old textbooks to get a feel for what was being taught in our past and how. This literature book offered a nice view into what was being taught in our public schools 85 years ago.
The book was divided into four parts: The World of Nature, The World of Adventure, Freedom and Democracy and Literature and Life in the Homeland. Four parts, and two of them dedicated to the life and philosophy of the United States. How many of today’s textbooks could claim that?
Selections include “The American Boy” by Theodore Roosevelt, an explanation of the American experiment by Daniel Webster, an excerpt from George Washington’s farewell address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry W. Longfellow and Walt Whitman’s “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”
The other volume was Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography, “Out of My Life and Thought,” (Henry Holt and Company, 1949.) One of the last century’s most brilliant men, Schweitzer was a theologian, philosopher, musician and doctor. He was well known for his book “Quest of the Historical Jesus” and other volumes on theology. At 274 pages, it should be a crisp read.
That’s all for now, folks. Have a great week!