Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life

The title: The Ancient Guide to Modern Life
The author: Natalie Haynes
Publication:  Profile Books, 2012
Got it from: DC, Xmas 2011

I loved this book from comedian Natalie Haynes about the correlations between ancient times and today.  I've been interested in the classical world ever since my university classics courses, but haven't read much about it since.  I usually read things about the 19th century, so this was a nice change of pace.  The book is divided into chapters dealing with aspects of ancient Greek and Roman society (law, politics, entertainment, etc.) and shows the similarities and differences between then and now, with some observations on how we can learn from our predecessors.  For instance, there is a bit about how much more involved the people of ancient Greece were in politics and maintaining their democracy, and how we as a society can learn from their example.  I liked the comparison of ancient entertainment to ours - how we still love stories of dysfunctional families, for example, only instead of Medea we watch The Sopranos.  I highly recommend this funny, thought-provoking title.

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