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By The Masked Reviewer on 11-04-16
...Not as Good as The Echo of Greece
I will thwart the trend of obsequious unreflective praise of The Greek Way, probably because I have read it's original thesis in The Echo of Greece.
Essentially, TGW includes more tragedy and Comedy than did EOG and much more of the inessential in the bargain.
EOG focuses on that which is essential about ancient Athens: her philosophy and her sense of what a democracy is supposed to be. Nothing else really matters in conparison, no matter how many ruminations Hamilton makes on the supposed Greek core sensibility and the like. Hamilton, it pains me to say as a fellow admirer of ancient Athenian culture, is unduly biased toward all things Greek. Her work was worthwhile, but Echo is the better and miore lasting testament to the Ancient Athenians we are all thinking of. Pound for pound, there is certainly no comparison. Echo hands down more efficiently and elegantly defines the ancient Athenian ethos that Americans and Europeans (and all students of democracy of philosophy) look back to for inspiration and guidance.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Philo on 06-10-15
Liked it; but I have mixed feelings
I heard of this work in a quite different audible book, Landslide by Jonathan Darman, about Reagan and LBJ in the mid-1960s. In that book it was related that, after JFK was shot, brother Robert found much solace in The Greek Way. (I'm fascinated by the whole Kennedy saga, though by no means a fan of the main characters.) What the heck, thought I, I can always use a bit of solace, and a bracing visit with my western heritage, etc., by an unapologetic author, as a contrast to the cheap shots constantly heard nowadays. And I suppose this fills the bill. It is in its way probably a mirror of the sort of Homeric, heroic tone one might have heard directly from these intensely enthusiastic Greeks. And there is much artistry and beauty in it, if a big helping of that is what is desired. It depends on what a listener wants. Edith Hamilton was no slouch at composing a sentence or bringing some uplifting sentiment or sparkling and inspiring image to these scenes. I guess I am spoiled at present though, preferring a less strident ease of declaring what is what (and leaving out various troubling facts known better to more modern scholarship); I want the whole story and a balanced one, and I like a more patient scholarship that builds its case with implacable logic.
But I do consider it vital that, in my own university days, I had at least a few great professors of this sort. Because that energizes everything else, all the later paths that can open to a person who has exulted in these sorts of things. A LOVE of scholarship, I owe to earlier exposure to people like this.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful