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Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue Hardcover – November 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595555692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595555694
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Humility should be required reading for leaders in the public and private sector as well as in our homes and communities.  In an age of arrogance there is much to be learned and strength to be gained from returning to the principle, power and pattern of humility contained in this extraordinary book."  --Mike Lee, U.S. Senator, Utah

"Humility is essential to good character--and to our country. In this smart and lively book, David Bobb illustrates this virtue with the stories of five great Americans, and  reminds us that humility is at the core of our national creed of equality and liberty."  --Paul Ryan

"Nothing defies political correctness and the prevailing zeitgeist as radically as the notion that humility remains an important virtue. Dr. Bobb not only makes the case for this dismissed and disregarded value but emphasizes its importance as part of the American national character."--Michael Medved, syndicated talk radio host

"Setting before us several exemplary models of humble greatness, Bobb convincingly shows that the achievement of true greatness is not contradicted by humility, but perfected only through its cultivation."  --Patrick Deneen, Professor of Constitutional Studies, University of Notre Dame

"A lively and counterintuitive argument, spiced with witty prose and engaging vignettes of Franklin, Washington, Madison, Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Abigail Adams." --Robert Faulkner, professor of Political Science, Boston College; author, The Case for Greatness

Review

"Humility is essential to good character—and to our country. In this smart and lively book, David Bobb illustrates this virtue with the stories of five great Americans. And he reminds us that humility is at the core of our national creed of equality and liberty."

—Paul Ryan

"Nothing defies political correctness and the prevailing zeitgeist as radically as the notion that humility remains an important virtue. Dr. Bobb not only makes the case for this dismissed and disregarded value but emphasizes its importance as part of the American national character."

—Michael Medved, syndicated talk radio host

"A lively and counterintuitive argument, spiced with witty prose and engaging vignettes of Franklin, Washington, Madison, Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Abigail Adams."

—Robert Faulkner, professor of Political Science, Boston College; author, The Case for Greatness


More About the Author

David J. Bobb, Ph.D., is executive director of citizen education for Hillsdale College, and lecturer in politics. He is the founding director of two centers for Hillsdale, the Washington, D.C.-based Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, and the Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence. Contributing editor to The U.S. Constitution: A Reader, he has written widely for national publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Fast Company, and the Claremont Review of Books.

Customer Reviews

I ended up plowing through the book, and really took a lot away from it.
Judah J
In this book, Bobb makes the case that humility above all else is one of the greatest virtues that a person, as well as a country, can exhibit.
banderson35
In his work Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue, David J. Bobb hands the classroom over to this great teacher.
Doug Hibbard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By banderson35 on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue" by David Bobb is a book that discusses the need for humility in our current time, and compares the humility that some of the most loved American figures had in their character. In this book, Bobb makes the case that humility above all else is one of the greatest virtues that a person, as well as a country, can exhibit. "Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue" offers an inside look at the humility of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and Abagail Adams.

It is clear through this book that David Bobb is deeply acquainted with the history and personal character of these historical figures, and upon reading his biography it is easy to realize that he is an expert. Bobb is a champion of constitutionalism, even one of founding members of a Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Studies. Bobb writes this book with an understanding of the challenges these people faced, and the character that helped them face them.

I thought this was an awesome book. I truly enjoyed reading the short biographies of these people who I was only given a brief overview of in history class. To understand the character of these people and how humility played such a vital role in making them a part of history was fascinating. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history - the book itself makes a good point, and ties in the humility factor to the current day, but if you don't have any interest in history, it will probably bore you. I give it a 4.5/5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth C on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book for two reasons. First, it helped me brush up on my history. (The first two chapters actually provide an overview from classical to modern times, but the main focus is the American founding and Civil War). Second, it made me think about what it takes to be a truly great person—not simply a famous person, but a person who changes lives. What is really important, and how do you pursue it? The characters in this book seemed to set their sights far beyond personal ambitions. It wasn’t just about “being elected president” for George Washington; it was about founding a country based on liberty and equality. It wasn’t just about escaping slavery and oppression for Frederick Douglass; it was about creating a society that made everyone fully equal (including women). The author argues that humility may have been the ballast that kept their lofty visions tethered to the ground. The book provides good treatment of the concept of humility, which can be very roughly paraphrased as the idea of goodness. Cynics may question whether it was really the tug of goodness that moved these characters forward, but their humility seemed at the very least to have tempered their worst motives. Benjamin Franklin (who provides a touchstone in the book) actually tracked his success in acquiring humility in his personal journal. It is hard for me to imagine our political leaders doing this today. In a time in which specific virtues are rarely discussed, let alone pursued, it is good to remember how this carefully cultivated virtue can prove a secret ingredient to success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lighthouse88 on December 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Humility is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people: the quality or state of being humble. What do you think of or who might you think of when you hear the word humility? Is it a famous person, a celebrity, a politician or is it someone at your church, office or neighborhood? David Bobb has highlighted five famous, historical figures to demonstrate the characteristic of humility in their lives.
Part I of this book uses Benjamin Franklin, Jesus and Socrates as humility is discussed and its opposite, pride. We see these traits portrayed in Part II as short biographies are presented of George Washington, James Madison, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Some show our human inclination to be prideful and how humility was gained through their life experiences. Some had humility as part of their lives from very early on. Part III brings readers to the modern “Age of Arrogance” where Bobb points out our lack of humility today regardless of political affiliation, people groups or nations. “Franklin’s dilemma—America’s dilemma at our founding—was how to be humble and achieve greatness. Our challenge today is how to rediscover humility.”
I enjoyed taking a look at these great historical people. If you don’t like history, then this probably isn’t the book for you. This book serves as a wake-up call to our thinking today as a nation and as individual people. We all need to infuse more humility into our lives. It must be an intentional effort because most are just about looking out for themselves. This book shows what can happen when just one person shows humility and how it can benefit to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R Leydorf on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! David Bobb cuts through all the static to the heart of our American political situation today. Yes, it's deep. It's not a fast read. But it's worth it. It's what a book should be--thoughtful, reasoned, informed--more than the endless shallow political chatter we are bombarded with. It offers real insight and hope. For the sake of our country, I hope you will buy it, read it, give it to our elected leaders or aspiring leaders. It's not too late to turn the tide and reclaim our American heritage of true statesmanship, but we must change of ideas of virtue and again embrace the strength of humility.
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