March 24, 2020
A special show talking about reading as a response to the global pandemic. It is a good time to ask if reading is superfluous or essential. We are responding in two ways:
1. We're developing a new series, On Solitude, as that look at our current situation from different angles.
2. START A BOOK CLUB - Use the discount code "CLUB" during the quarantine and get a 50% discount. If you are on lockdown with a group we can send several books to you in one location OR if you want to get into a club with friends remotely through the web we can ship books to different locations.
*** If you are afraid of losing your job and some Mouse Books could help you make it through anxious times, email me at email@example.com and we can hook you up with some free books. ***
March 9, 2020
Gaius Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE) is regarded as one of the most effective military generals in human history. His conquest of Gaul propelled him into the national spotlight, providing him the platform he needed to establish himself as a supreme leader. Despite what we learn about him and school (and how we learn about him), his biography should be a cautionary tale about power and betrayal.
While the Gorgias and De Oratore address the necessity of speaking well and telling the truth, Caesar’s Commentaries are pure propaganda, an early version of the “campaign memoir,” in which he uses his story of conquest to implicitly make his case for becoming the ruler of Rome. This text provides an important counterpoint to the work of Cicero in particular. Caesar embodied precisely what Cicero was trying to warn his generation against.
March 2, 2020
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BCE) was arguably the greatest intellectual and statesman of the Roman era. He was a key opponent of Julius Caesar, and his work on the art of oration, and his orations themselves, continue to instruct anyone who wishes to speak against propaganda and authoritarian rule.
De Oratore is Cicero’s textbook on oratory, in which he outlines the relationships between what we say in public and the kind of wisdom and goodness that we cultivate in private. Ultimately that relationship should be one-to-one, resulting in the highest form of persuasion: the conversion of one’s soul.
February 17, 2020
A reading of president Lincoln's favorite poem, "Mortality" by William Knox. Here is a LINK to the text.
February 10, 2020
An interview on philosophy, Socrates, and Plato's Gorgias with Professor Agnes Callard of the University of Chicago.
February 3, 2020
The Gorgias is a dialogue in which Socrates warns against the dangers of sophistry, or slippery rhetoric. He accepts many challengers, turning their objections back onto themselves, causing the interlocutor to refute his own argument. It is a foundational text of rhetorical studies.
January 27, 2020
We live in a time when the divisions between what is public and what is private are rapidly dissolving, to the extent that many are re-posing the question of what our personal lives are even for. The desire to be in public, to be seen, to be regarded, can occupy our mentality at seemingly every moment. This series aims to address what it means to be in public, to speak in public, and therefore to be a responsible part of a community.
January 21, 2020
An analysis of King's landmark appeal to his fellow clergymen, which is a master text in modern rhetoric.
September 9, 2019
Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784) was the first African-American female poet ever to be published. With the publication of Poems on Various Subjects in 1773, she came to be regarded as one of the most famous Africans in the world. Though some of her poems about slavery may be difficult for a contemporary audience to comprehend, her work occupies an integral position in the pantheon of black American writing.
September 4, 2019
Jean Toomer (1894–1967) was a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance. His work addresses both sides of The Great Migration: the problematic longing for life in the South, the energy (and injustices) of life in the North. In 2019, Cane became available in the public domain. To commemorate the occasion, Mouse will publish this landmark work in three installments. Volume 1 addresses Toomer’s imagination of the South. It is a fragmentary, hallucinatory, and lyrical, making it a key example of American Modernism.