Many people have an appreciation for the heroes of our past. But what are we to look for in heroes who walk among us today? And what are we to expect of our heroes as we prepare for the trials of an uncertain future? In A Call to Heroism, Peter H. Gibbon argues that heroic ideals are fundamental to the enterprise of American liberty and to the very fabric of our nation's culture. In tracing the evolution of our collective vision of greatness from the age of our founders to today's celebrity-obsessed media age, he concludes that although our reverence for these ideals may have eroded along the way, we now have a unique opportunity to forge a new understanding of what it means to be a hero, one that will fortify the next generation of American leaders as we engage the challenges that lie ahead.
Gibbon believes that our multicultural society can be brought together through cherishing our history's exemplary men and women who have sacrificed for causes greater than themselves. These include not only traditional civic heroes such as George Washington but also heroes of ideas and conscience: scientists, educators, religious leaders, and activists. Gibbon also contemplates the meanings of seven monuments and artworks dedicated to heroes, including the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, Jean-Antoine Houdon's bust of Benjamin Franklin, and Mount Rushmore, to examine what these memorials say about the America of their time and what they mean for us today.
A Call to Heroism is a provocative book full of insight and inspiration.
"Gibbon [reminds] us real heroes are not celebrities but those whose lives are devoted to the highest ideals of society." (Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University Research Professor)
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Sad but True
- Stephen Jeffress
Gird your loins for postmodern pedantics