I Was Humbled by a Book...or Maybe Not

I wrote a post on May 29th about a book I was supposed to have finished by tomorrow (Saturday) for my book club. After a traumatizing experience reading that sucker (and a few days of careful meditation) I am now ready to share my (very unnecessary) thoughts.

Never in my life have I read a book (or textbook) that has made me feel as dumb as On War and Morality by Robert L. Holmes did. Wow, just wow. For the life of me I couldn't get past page three and believe me when I say it wasn't for lack of trying.

That thing is dense. Very, very, dense and extremely convoluted. In retrospect it was a complete miracle I managed to get past page one, and as crazy as it sounds around page TWO I found myself thinking “Wow, The Republic by Plato was more digestible and enjoyable than this.” THAT ladies and gentlemen is a problem. I've read The Republic twice, and whenever I decide to reread that sucker I will definitely have a deeper appreciation for it—and every other Philosophy/Ethics/Morality/Political Philosophy/Legal Philosophy/etc. book I've ever read or will read somewhere along the line. No joke On War and Morality is the equivalent of—there is no equivalent; because it is that difficult to get through. In comparison everything else I've ever read is a MUCH simpler version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

I'm used to reading complicated and complex material, heck I highly enjoy reading “it”, but this book was something else. I read and re-read and re-re-read the FIRST SECTION of CHAPTER ONE and I didn't understand a damn thing. Not one. Nothing in it made sense and I have absolutely no idea what the author was talking about. If you, Stranger, have read it (or tried) I would love to hear from you. Did you understand what you were reading or did you shut down and just glaze over the words after failing to understand ONE paragraph—after reading and re-reading and re-re-reading each passage multiple times like I did? Did you at least get halfway through it or are you dumb just like me? If so, please let me know. It would be nice to know I'm not alone.

I have never been humbled by a book as quickly as I was while reading this one, and thinking about it still hurts. Seriously, I have no words. None. If you happen to find this book while perusing the shelves of your local library or university store please check it out or rent it and give it a go. Then reach out and tell me what you thought of it.

My sister read section one of chapter one as well and after a quick 5 second discussion we decided to abandon it (for the time being; because I'm not a quitter) and start reading War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust by Doris L. Bergen. I am LOVING that book so far and I am learning a lot. The writing style (despite the heavy and extremely tragic content) is digestible, enjoyable, and very delicious.

That's it. I have no closing or inspiring end for this little blurb. I am a dumb woman and I am not ashamed of it. I tried to read a book I thought I'd be able to get through without a problem and I was immediately humbled humiliated in the worst way possible.

Stranger, how was your week? I hope it went well and that you at least smiled at something at one point or another.


C. W.