The first English settlers of North America knew they were making history. New Englanders in particular were so sure of it that they started writing their own accounts of themselves as soon as they got here.
Education is a kind of continuing dialogue, and a dialogue assumes different points of view.
Our landscapes connect us to our history; they are the source of our character as a peopl, as well as our health, our safety, and our prosperity. Natural resources enrich us economically, yes. But they also enrich us aesthetically and recreationally and culturally and spiritually.
When I was 7 years old, I announced that I was going to write a book about pollution. I didn’t get around to it until I was 29, but I always recognized that pollution was a theft. That it was a way of stealing something from the public – the common earth.
It was not necessary and might even have been disadvantageous for a government to claim a direct personal commission and communion of the kind God had given some rulers in the Old Testament. A working government might need the support of the Church but not of God Himself in a voice from on high.
Apart from the intrinsic interest of the complex system of beliefs the Puritans carried with them, their lives give a clue to what it meant at the beginning to be American. And the level of scholarship dealing with them has reached a point where it can address the human condition itself.
At the time of the Civil War, there were six democracies in the face of the planet. Today, there’s 120 and they’ve been inspired by the American exceptionalism.
A liberal education… frees a man from the prison-house of his class, race, time, place, background, family and even his nation.
The famous convention of 1787 met in Philadelphia to define the additional powers needed to enable Congress to do its job effectively. Instead, the convention proposed a brand new national government.
My idea of education is to unsettle the minds of the young and inflame their intellects.