Dear Great Book Guru, While celebrating Presidents’ Week with friends and family, a group of us decided to form a book club which will focus on works new and old which might help us understand the present political climate. Do you have any suggestions?
Looking for Political Enlightenment
Dear Looking for Political Enlightenment, My book group just finished reading FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury. Since many of us had read the novel in high school, we returned to it with some hesitation, fearing it would seem dated and simplistic. On the contrary, we were amazed at how eerily prescient this 1953 novel proved to be with its descriptions of homes flanked by walls of flat screen TVs, seashell ear pieces replicating iPhone buds, and a numbing fascination with “reality” based entertainment. We quickly became part of Guy Montag’s world- somewhere in the United States, somewhere in the future, somewhere none of us would want to be… but also strangely familiar. Montag is a fireman whose job it is to burn books because the government had determined reading made people think and thinking made them unhappy The happiness of all its citizens was purported to be the government's ultimate goal so all books had to be destroyed. When Montag notices the malaise and mindlessness of those around him, he rebels with horrific results. My original reading had focused simply on the censorship aspects of book burning but this time around, I saw Bradbury’s condemnation of so much more of our society’s ills – coupled with the frightening realization that we are all amusing ourselves to death…. Highly recommended!