Why Every Man Should Build a Library

"Why Should Every Man Build a Library?" with Sam Guzman and John Heinen on The Catholic Gentleman

Mar 24, 2022

"The working man also was a collector of libraries. That’s what’s often overlooked. The working class couldn’t afford thousands of volumes of books. Maybe throughout their whole lifetime they could afford 40-50 books, and they were incredibly thought-out books. Up until the 1920s or 30s, you can see images of homes that had 50 books in them. I find what’s so interesting and telling of a man’s life is, 'which books did he decide to collect and keep, knowing that the cost to get those books was of such a high value for him?' But the worth in owning them and being able to come back to them was something that was worth the struggle, worth the difficulty in obtaining them, maintaining them, and choosing the right ones for the collection."

Why Should Every Man Build a Library? with Sam Guzman and John Heinen on The Catholic Gentleman. The working man also was a collector of libraries. That’s what’s often overlooked. The working class couldn’t afford thousands of volumes of books. Maybe throughout their whole lifetime they could afford 40-50 books, and they were incredibly thought-out books. Up until the 1920s or 30s, you can see images of homes that had 50 books in them. I find what’s so interesting and telling of a man’s life is, 'which books did he decide to collect and keep, knowing that the cost to get those books was of such a high value for him?' But the worth in owning them and being able to come back to them was something that was worth the struggle, worth the difficulty in obtaining them, maintaining them, and choosing the right ones for the collection. Listen St. Michael Indian School Leads With Catholic Faith, Navajo Culture in Educational Excellence by Peter Jesserer Smith at National Catholic Register. Teso said she believes St. Michael’s has succeeded because it has renewed its mission as St. Katharine Drexel intended, by fully teaching the Catholic faith and deepening their Navajo identity. One major change was that the school discontinued the practice of hiring teachers from programs where the teacher would teach a year in order to get their master’s degree. Read Getting Back to Irish Roots: Catholic Classical School Launches by Peter Jesserer Smith at National Catholic Register. St. Patrick’s Ireland, the “Land of Saints and Scholars,” preserved the learning of Greece and Rome and spread the Catholic faith that helped bring Europe out of its Dark Ages following the chaotic collapse of the Western Roman Empire. This July, a new “Saints and Scholars” pilgrimage is empowering Catholics to support St. Patrick’s modern-day successors, as a new movement aims to restore Catholic faith and education in Ireland and eventually Europe, with the creation of the country’s first-ever independent Catholic classical education schools. Read A Tale of Two Christian Universities by André Villeneuve at Crisis Magazine. I will always remember my first tour of Franciscan University’s campus. The student who guided our group of incoming students matter-of-factly spoke about how Franciscan sought to serve our ultimate calling as Christians—to become saints. That first impression was consistently confirmed in my experience there. I rarely, if ever, heard that kind of language at Azusa Pacific University. There, the conversation was dominated by the ubiquitous themes of diversity and social justice, deployed against the perceived evils of racism and white privilege that allegedly plague American society. Read

Throwback Article

On Not Buying Into the Mythology of “Prestige” Universities by George Weigel at First Things on October 13, 2021. In my prepared remarks, I had extolled the virtues of small Catholic liberal arts colleges with rigorous core curricula that introduced students to the best that Western civilization has to offer. I also took a few shots at the high-priced schools that fill the top tiers of those foolish college-ratings systems, but which are too often sandboxes of political correctness in which intellectual silliness (and worse) is on tap for something like $90,000 per annum. The pushback was fierce. Unless Johnny or Jane went to Stanford or Duke or the Ivies, parents insisted, he or she would be ruined for life. I countered with the example of my daughters, graduates of the University of Dallas who had gone on to fulfilling family and professional lives after attending top-tier graduate schools (in medicine and arts education) for which UD had prepared them magnificently. Read