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Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your…

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (utgåvan 2013)

av Anthony Esolen (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
366554,491 (4.26)1
Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn, and then he confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent.
Titel:Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child
Författare:Anthony Esolen (Författare)
Info:Intercollegiate Studies Institute (2013), Edition: 2, 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child av Anthony Esolen


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Visar 5 av 5
Wonderful, Screwtape-ish take of child-rearing and education. Delightful prose with convicting principles. One of my favorites in last several years. ( )
  jerrikobly | May 20, 2014 |
I love everything about this book--from all the classical references to his discussion of all the pitfalls in our current educational system. Esolen's book reminds me of some of the recent discussions we've been having on my blog where many of us have concluded that the greatest contributors to our society and those who have really made a difference have such passion and so much drive they they work independently outside the system. Highly Recommended! ( )
  Sandra305 | Mar 18, 2012 |
Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen, came highly recommended, so I started reading my library copy with much enthusiasm. My husband stole the book after I'd read the first few chapters, and devoured the whole thing in a day, saying at the end that it was fantastic and we needed to own a copy. For the first few chapters, I agreed with both recommendations and was ready to recommend it to others. The author echoed many of my own opinions, and I felt he was on the right track in warning parents about overstimulating modern technology that can destroy imagination and intelligence. He also advocates classical education, referring to many wonderful works of literature, poetry, history, science, and philosophy.

The book is written in a similar tone as C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, as if the author were in fact telling parents how to destroy their children's imaginations. He suggests television, video games, dumbed-down education, helicopter parenting, and other methods as ways to keep children from developing dangerous ideas and thinking for themselves. It's a clever conceit, but began to pall somewhat as the book went on, especially since the author seemed to have trouble keeping it up and it was sometimes difficult to gauge his sincerity.

Then I started to notice that he rarely mentioned girls or domestic activities. All of his examples of a good imaginative life were about boys doing things that might have come straight from The American Boy's Handy Book. At one point he mentions that he feels unqualified to discuss girls, having never been one. That's fine, but in that case perhaps the book should have been titled Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Son.

And then he started in on the feminists. Now, I can understand being less than enthusiastic about Virginia Woolf or Kate Chopin, especially if one is a man, but to imply that they contributed little or nothing to English literature is not only wrong, it's uneducated. And it shows a seriously flawed view of history to dismiss suffragists and other women's rights advocates as unpleasant females with nothing better to do than make themselves obnoxious. He even goes so far as to claim that no feminist ever risked her life for her cause. Mrs. Pankhurst, anyone? Emily Davison? The hundreds of women who were force-fed in English prisons simply because they showed up at a rally? There may be many people who think of feminists as "no-bra-wearin', hairy-legged women's libbers", but someone with the prefix of "Dr" should know better than that.

By the end of the book Esolen's argument had fallen into nothing more than a personal manifesto. He seems to believe that men should be men and women should be women, just like back in the good old days. While I'm one of the first to agree that men and women are and should be different than each other, I don't believe that that means traditional roles necessarily apply anymore. And at no point in history was there a magical time where everyone was imaginative and intelligent and happy. Modern technology does make it easier for people to dull their brains, and that's a great topic for a book. It's just too bad Esolen didn't stick with that idea.

I really wanted to like this book, and I think it might have been really good--if he'd had a decent editor. My husband and I both felt that the author simply didn't have anyone along the way to curb his rantings and bring him back to the original point. He got carried away and lost my approbation.
  kdcdavis | Nov 25, 2011 |
This is one of the worst books I've read this year.

The book jacket lead me to believe this book would be witty and insightful as well as have helpful solutions to the problems it identifies with the way children are being raised in this country.

It does not.

Instead, it is the author's personal manifesto about raising boys into men and girls into women in the old-fashioned way. He draws extensively on classical literature and an idillic and not entirely realistic view of the past.

Although I do not consider myself a feminitst, this book is offensive to women. The author belittles several female authors and historical figures while he extols the virtues of men as role models for children, leaving g
irls no role models other than their mothers.

While he praises male historical figures, male accomplishments, and the virtues of a brotherhood of men and boys, the author is vague about where girls should look for inspiration or answers. He claims it is because women are a mystery to his male mind, while completely ignoring the fact that until quite recently, women were not even permitted to receive an advanced education or parcipate in activities that would spark scientific or literary pursuits.

If you are a conservative Christian who wants your boys to grow up with a liberal arts education and your girls to grow up to be mothers and little else, read this book. Otherwise, don't bother...it'll just make you mad. ( )
  dandelionbunny | Sep 12, 2011 |
Book Review:


Anthony Esolen
Intercollegiate Studies Institute

I purchased this book after attending a dinner where the author, Anthony Esolen, was the guest speaker. We were late for the dinner, and so Carolyn and I - and the oldest five children living at home - polished off the remaining spaghetti right before Dr. Esolen started. The speech was far better than the spaghetti.

TEN WAYS TO DESTROY THE IMAGINATION OF YOUR CHILD is another in a series of books which proposes to do just the opposite of its stated goal. The most famous example of this genre would have to be C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, where a senior devil is writing letters of encouragement and advice to a junior devil who is working on ruining the soul of his 'patient.' The book also reminded me of a product which was sold during the Prohibition era - grape juice - which came complete with instructions on how to NOT ferment their product to produce wine. One can benefit from doing the opposite of what is suggested in all of these pieces of literature.

In his introduction, Dr. Esolen states that "a judicious application of even three or four of these methods will suffice to kill the imagination of an Einstein, a Beethoven, a Dante, or a Michelangelo." Of course this is not what he wants, so every chapter looks at the various things which are being squeezed out of the life of a child; things which will stimulate the mind of a boy or a girl to grow into independent, thinking man and women whose minds are free to think on their own.

I found the book inspiring, with every chapter full of references to great works of literature to recommend to my children. There is even a bibliography at the end of the book for those of us who are trying to construct a home library. Dr. Esolen has a writing style which is enjoyable to read, even when the subject is serious. For example, this paragraph made my wife and I chuckle when I read it to her as we both were drifting off to sleep:

"Chastity is absurdly easy to laugh at. For of all, no one is chaste. Second, it is stupid to be chaste to begin with. What's all the bother about, anyway? Elizabeth Bennett believes, in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, that her family will be disgraced when it becomes known that her silly sister Lydia has run off, unmarried, with a soldier. Weren't they quaint and unenlightened in Jane Austen's day? Better that Elizabeth Bennett should follow her sister's lead, ignoring that prig Mr. Darcy, and make the carriage springs squeak with Colonel Denny or someone - anyone will do."

Dr. Esolen focuses on several institutions which have seriously hampered the imagination of the child: television, schools, and lack of free or unscheduled time in the life of the child. In his lecture, he talked about a game he used to play, where one would try to guess if a collection of buildings one would see on trips was either a prison, a school, or a factory. He pointed out that all three are built in the same manner and perform the same function. Once again, in his introduction he describes the phenomenon known as Take Your Daughter to Work Day:

"See, Jill, this is the office where Mommy works. Here is where I sit for nine hours and talk to people I don't love, about things that don't genuinely interest me, so that I can make enough money to put you in day care."

I enjoyed reading the book. Like any other good book, TEN WAYS TO DESTROY THE IMAGINATION OF YOUR CHILD inspired me to want to read more classic literature which Dr. Esolen mentioned in this excellent addition to my library.

First published on the blog:
http://scorpionstalkingduck.blogspot.com/2011/05/ten-ways-to-destroy-imagination... ( )
  19vatermit64 | May 27, 2011 |
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Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn, and then he confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent.

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