Reference for Further Study

Encyclopedia Britannica:  Any edition is helpful, the more up-to-date, the better. [ Available on CD ROM but printed version is far more useful for in depth study; probably the best source for overall world comprehensive knowledge---tends to be somewhat prejudiced toward Western thought and modern scientific and educational assumptions at the expensive of true objectivity. ]

New King James Bible:  Thomas Nelson, Inc.  [ Eliminates threatening "thee's", "thou's" and other archaic language of the original King James Bible and is probably the most reliable modern translation available, although it contains several suspect renderings of the probable original intention; it is important to understand that ALL versions of the Bible contain inaccuracies and are prejudiced toward a certain perspective---some versions include works which are not included in others. ]

The Story Of Civilization:  Will and Ariel Durant; Simon & Schuster.  [ Probably the best comprehensive history of civilization ever written; somewhat skeptical and jaded toward erudite intellectualism and historians in general, which adds to the overall value and interest of the work---footnotes highly informative. Available on CD ROM but print version available at most libraries is recommended (don't let the arrogance of certain ‘scholars’ and religious nuts kid you, this is an excellent historical overview, well worth the time and effort). ]

A People’s History of the United States:  Howard Zinn; Harper-Collins.  [ A required source for anyone wanting a well-rounded perspective of American History, containing many disturbing facts of our often questionable past omitted by most mainstream histories---should be studied in conjunction with mainstream works, including related articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

1491 by Charles C. Mann:  Alfred A. Knopf  [ An excellent comprehensive history of Northern and Southern Hemisphere Native cultures; it is astounding how little most modern Americans know about pre-Columbian cultures.  There are several worthwhile histories available, both in print and online, but it is important to be selective; one should be careful of mainstream Native ‘histories’ which are often written from a pro-European, pro-capitalist Manifest Destiny perspective and tend to romanticize American natives while minimizing the incredible atrocities of the savage early European arrivals and their especially brutal offspring. ]

Cosmos:  Carl Sagan; Random House.  [ Somewhat outdated due to Hubble Telescope and other recent scientific discoveries (especially in gene research), nevertheless, one of the better books written for a general science overview, particularly valuable for integration of various disciplines into a cohesive whole; prejudiced toward the theory of evolution by Natural Selection at the expensive of other valid explanations---both video series and book recommended for combined study (again, don't let the arrogance of certain ‘scholars’ and the scientifically erudite discourage you, Sagan had the right idea in attempting to educate the general public about the wonders of creation, even if he failed to fully appreciate the overwhelming evidence of deliberate design himself). ]

Asimov's Guide To The Bible:  Isaac Asimov; Random House.  [ Though somewhat outdated, contains many comparisons of modern scientific knowledge to Biblical claims which render the Bible far more scientifically accurate than the unlearned may assume; interesting how, coming from the research of an avowed atheist, Asimov's work underscores the ageless credibility of the world's greatest collection of truth-enhanced literature. ]

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and My Bondage and My Freedom:  Frederick Douglass.  [ Also recommended are the Slave Narratives. ]

My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr.:  Coretta Scott King; Holt, Reinhart and Winston.  [ There are several worthwhile biographies about the late Martin Luther King, Jr. and histories of the modern Civil Rights Movement, this work in particular is highly recommended (who would know better?). ]

To The Mountaintop:  Stewart Burns; Harper-Collins.  [ More than a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the best histories of the modern Civil Rights Movement, from the Montgomery bus boycott through the assassination of King in 1968; makes one want to get up and march on Washington D.C. today. ]

The Grapes Of Wrath:  John Steinbeck; William Heinemann, Ltd.  [ Arguably America's greatest novel (ironically first published in Great Britain) by one of American history's most perceptive authors; most other works by Steinbeck are also recommended. ]

Collected works of Mark Twain:  Harper & Row.  [ Everything by America's greatest author, Samuel Clemens, is highly recommended; it is most difficult to condense down from "everything". ]

T.S. Eliot Collected Poems, 1909-1962:  Faber & Faber, Ltd.  [ In particular, “Choruses from 'The Rock'”, one of the finest examples of poetic art ever written; though often overlooked by critics, this particular poem is arguably Eliot’s finest work and is highly recommended ]

RECOMMENDED BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY:  Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Socrates, Leonardo DaVinci, William Shakespeare, Mamonides, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Black Kettle, Sequoyah, Chief Joseph, Black Elk, Samuel Clemens, Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, Jacques Cousteau, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joseph Carey Merrick, Henri Landwirth, Mitch Snyder, Jackie Robinson, Rocky Blier, Alexander Hamilton, all U.S. Presidents, major political, social, religious, medical, scientific, technological, industrial and literary U.S. and world historical personages.  [ One of the best ways to both learn and be inspired toward positive motivation is through biographical study of historically influential individuals---not an all-inclusive list; only a very few of a great many important historical figures are listed here. ]

RECOMMENDED FOR STUDY OF AMERICAN HISTORY:  In order to study American History adequately and obtain an at least somewhat accurate perspective, it is important to include research from a variety of sources.  In particular, highly recommended are the major and many related articles found in the Encyclopedia Britannica, the biographies of U.S. Presidents and other major American historical figures in the same source, A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn (Harper-Collins) and any and all video presentations by American film historian Ken Burns (PBS Home Video).  Also available online is A Biography of America (Annenberg/CPB

VIDEOS:  ALL video series by Ken Burns, PBS Home Video; The Century: America's Time with Peter Jennings, ABC Video; The Cold War, Turner Home Video; Non-video Cold War Information Q&A Online; Martin Luther King, Jr.; The Speeches Collection, Product Line Movies; Hiroshima: The Decision to Drop the Bomb, A&E Video; Underground Railroad, A&E Video; The Elephant Man, Paramount; Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story, Delta Library Company; various videos from PBS, The History Channel / A&E / The Biography Channel and The Discovery Channel / The Science Channel.  [ Much of what is available on cable television is geared toward entertainment rather than valid instructional purposes and thus, it pays to be selective. ]

NOTE:  Research sources for this book extend considerably beyond the short list of recommendations for further study included here.  Nevertheless, if one takes the trouble to study much of the above, that one is likely to be more educated than the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of professional American educators and scientists, who tend to specialize and thus, often lack adequate (especially historical) perspective; one should view the opinions and conclusions of modern scientists and educators as probably prejudicial and highly suspect.  The Encyclopedia Britannica is useful for the study of virtually anything, in particular, the biographies of important historical individuals are highly recommended.  It is important to understand that video presentations are helpful for enhancement of traditional study, but should not be used as a substitute for comprehensive reading.  Notwithstanding modern intellectual, scientific, educational and Christian and other religious prejudice, it is most important to understand that if one does not read the entire Bible carefully at least once, one cannot hope to be educated in even the most rudimentary sense; most individuals of important literary and positive historical contribution tend to most definitely agree.


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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