Deeply thoughtful, Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue by David J. Bobb only raises a couple of questions, but otherwise completely satisfies this voracious reader.
Humility is the subject of this biography. Humility speaks about four characters in history that exemplified humility in their lives. First, it takes us on a tour of classical philosophy, including Aristotle, Socrates, and Augustine as Humility explored humility’s roots. The only hiccup in this section was on page 14 when Humility refers to Sirach 10:13 as Biblical. This is untrue.
A pastor friend explained that Augustine considered this Biblical. Augustine was a great Christian thinker. But just to be clear to my unsaved friends, its best to ask your pastor about this for a deeper explanation. Otherwise, Humility refreshed my mind with his view on classical philosophy. The book moves on to the four characters featured: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Abigail Adams.
My only problem with George Washington’s section came on page 56-57 where the book spoke about Washington’s prideful reaction following the disaster of Fort Necessity. He claimed Washington was deprived of a British royal commission which, the book says, would have given him legitimacy as an American enlistee. According to The Real George Washington (American Classic Series) (National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1991, 2008), Governor Dinwiddie unfairly reorganized the entire Virginia militia to placate the British officers from England who chafed at having to serve under colonials. Washington chose not to accept it because he considered it unpatriotic. In my opinion, it would be like working for ten years at a job as a CEO, and being demoted for no reason other than to make a favorite employee happy, to secretary. Washington had always struggled between his love of his Mt. Vernon and being a soldier. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading from all of the biographies. Lots of quotable quotes and information.
Humility is an unusual book. I gave it four stars. It made all four historical people quite relatable and down to earth.
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