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Old Mother Hubbard Gourmet Goodies Soft Bakes Carrot & Pumpkin Natural Soft Dog Treats, 6-Ounce Bag
Old Mother Hubbard Gourmet Goodies Soft Bakes Carrot & Pumpkin Natural Soft Dog Treats, 6-Ounce Bag
Price: $5.99
7 used & new from $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A huge hit with my dog, a former Old Mother Hubbard treat hater, March 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Several years ago, at a great pet food/grooming store named Rogers Bark, located in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago, they use to sell a number of Old Mother Hubbard treats for dog. Healthwise, the items were allegedly great. Unfortunately, my dog refused to eat them. It was the only time in his life when he refused to eat any treat on the Old Mother Hubbard label. So I avoided this in subsequent years. But having been given the opportunity to review these treats as part of the Vine Program, I was enthusiastic to see how my boy reacted to them after all this time.

The reaction couldn't possibly have been more different. After taking the bags out of the boxes and torn just the corner so he could smell what was inside, he became very excited. He started going "Woof!" which is entirely different from his barking at people who ring the doorbell. It is the bark he uses when it is read for dinner and he sits in anticipating for me telling him it is OK to eat his food. I'll ask, "Can you say please?" and he will response with a huge "Woof!" and I then tell him it is OK to eat. In other words, when I tore the packaging and he could smell the insides, he was, in effect, barking, "Please!" He never reacted this way to the old hard as iron cookies from Mother Hubbard.

In short, huge improvement in the appeal of Old Mother Hubbard treats to my dog. Obviously we can't speak for all dogs, but my dog has always loved just about all dog treats, except for those old Old Mother Hubbards. But he barks a different song with these.


Toshiba Satellite S55t-C5168-4K S55t-C/5168-4K 15.6" Laptop (Brushed Metal)
Toshiba Satellite S55t-C5168-4K S55t-C/5168-4K 15.6" Laptop (Brushed Metal)
Offered by antonline
Price: $961.53
9 used & new from $961.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Though I've seen the negative reviews, so far this has been outstanding for me, March 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is tentative review and the five stars are based exclusively on my experience with it the first few hours that I have had this computer. I plan on revising it in a couple of weeks - or perhaps three - after I have completely put it through its paces. The fives stars is based on two things. One is that it really is a very impressive out of the box, with tremendous graphics, great sound (especially on headphones, though the external sound is pretty good). This is a great laptop to watch movies and listen to music on. I am going to test some games on it, since it is advertises as a gaming computer (nearly 100% of my gaming is on the PS4, though I do still go back occasionally to some of my PS3 games). But I mainly use laptops for writing for my website, so I do a lot of text and image and video editing. But the great thing about a gaming laptop for doing this is that they always have much, much larger hard drives than regular laptops and this one has at least four times as much hard drive space as most laptops. So all in all this meets my needs most than most portables.

The other reason I wanted to write a preliminary review is that after looking around the Internet and reading other reviews of this laptop, and then seeing the reviews here, I believe that this laptop has been singled out for unfair reviewing. I may revise my five stars down lower after extensive working with this, but for the nonce this does not appear in anyway to be a computer that deserves a one star or two star review. I don't doubt that they have had as bad experiences as they report, but I also doubt that many have had experiences this bad.

After downloading all of the Microsoft updates and then getting my own software favorite, I imported most of my files and everything has worked just fine. Because of the larger hard drives I was also able to bring a bit more music onto it than I normally would be able to.

The only thing it doesn't have that I usually get on my laptops is an internal hard drive. I'm going to have to get an external DVD/Blu-ray player/burner. But that's no big deal.

I will confess to dislikely this laptop a lot initially, but the dislike has nothing to do with Toshiba, but everything to do with Windows 10. I've not cared much for the last couple of MS OS upgrade. More and more they seem determined to turn laptops and desk tops into cell phones. It seems like the more we move towards apps instead of programs, the less I am able to do with a computer. I had to learn various forms of DOS, Windows 95, Windows97, NT and NT Professional, all the way to the present with Windows 10 and whatever will come next. Oh well, this review is about the Toshiba Satellite, not Microsoft so I'll sit all this aside.

I love the design of this computer. It has a full-size keyboard, which is incredibly important to me. I use a portable mouse, but the pad is easy to use. The picture on the computer is intensely detailed. I like the arrangement with plugs. Two USB 3.0 on the left side and one on the right, with an HDMI on the right as well. There is also a card reader slot on the right, along with a phono and a lock slot. The only other slots besides the power cord is one for a CAT cable. I have had laptops that have attempted to have a slot for every cord in the history of electronics, and I just don't like those. Not only do they weaken the frame, but it is just one more thing for cat and dog fur (love, love, love my dog; hate his fur) to get into. It has precisely the right number of slots.

Note: set up takes forever, as it does for any computer these days, thanks to the computer being set on automatic updates on Amazon. I was able to so a whole bunch of the chores when this was updating.\

I will update this review if any of the nasty things that the other reviews had happen to them also happens to me. I'm hoping they won't. But I definitely will share in case they happen to me.


JAY-BE Inspire Folding Bed with Airflow Mattress and Headboard, Regular, Black/White
JAY-BE Inspire Folding Bed with Airflow Mattress and Headboard, Regular, Black/White
Offered by Icon Home Store
Price: $149.32
3 used & new from $149.32

3.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to store and very easy to set up, March 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In my family, when all the kids come home to visit, someone gets stuck on the air mattress. I've had people tell me that air mattresses are not so bad, but I've never seen anyone fighting for the air mattress as opposed to an air mattress. On the other hand, I have a world class cot that is as comfortable as most beds after you have added a memory foam mattress and feather bed. That cot remains my benchmark for portable bed comfort. Does the JAY-BE Inspire come up to the level of the cot? Not quite, but it sure beats the air mattress. It also beats a big hunk of foam or most couches.

I weigh around 180 and didn't find this that uncomfortable. It doesn't offer quite as much support as I would like to see, but I should add that I recently had a sleep study at a hospital and this folding bed was much better than what I had in the hospital. I do think that kids might find this more comfortable than adults. The way that this is constructed it would be fair to call it a folding cot. Support along the body is provided by cord strung through grommets from. So this sleeps very much like a cot with a mattress on top.

So why consider this cot (I simply refuse to call it a bed - and yes, the headboard is silly and nonfunctional)? It sets up almost instantly, avoiding the amazingly long wait time with most cots, waiting for it to fill up with air. While my own cot is vastly more comfortable, it is incredibly difficult to set up. This one folds out and folds up very quickly. And it stores away quite neatly. With qualifications about weight and whether to call it a following bed or a folding cot I can definitely recommend this.


MAKER Homeware 2 Piece Bakeware Set, Brown
MAKER Homeware 2 Piece Bakeware Set, Brown
Price: $39.02
3 used & new from $30.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great cooking sheets at a great price, March 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got these in the mail just in time to allow me to make some cookies. It was nice using these rather than the old one that I'd been using for maybe twenty years. I know that surfaces have improved on other cooking items, but it was a bit of a surprise nonetheless upon getting these. But the really nice thing are the silicon handles on each end. I was a little hesitant to pick them up but it was a nice surprise to find that they conducted very little heat. The price is nice, too, for two sheets. They are slightly different in size, so the photo of the two is not an illusion. The smaller is only about a quarter of an inch narrower but two inches shorter. The dimensions of the larger sheet is 19 1/2 x 12, while the smaller is 17 3/5ths x 12. While both are 12" wide, the one is just a hint over and the other just a hint under 12". I think the reason they made the one just a tiny bit smaller is so that it can fit into the larger if you lay them both flat.

If you are looking for some cookie sheets you are unlikely to find anything of much higher quality than this except by paying a whole lot more. I definitely recommend these.


Weed: The User's Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana
Weed: The User's Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana
by David Schmader
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.37
50 used & new from $8.73

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun and enjoyable but remarkably superficial trip through the world of America's favorite weed, March 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Three years ago I would never have been particularly interested in a book on marijuana. But three years ago I had not been diagnosed with acute Peripheral Neuropathy and I did not have a severe sleep disorder and my Restless Leg Syndrome was easily controlled with the medication I was taking. Now, however, getting enough sleep is a challenge, my RLS causes me to twist and turn and stretch my legs and even arms all day long, while the neuropathy generates so much pain that I spend around twelve hours each day doing things geared to alleviating the pain.

I am not a pot user. If my life depended on it I wouldn't know how to find someone who sold it. And I wouldn't know how to take it. I'm a virulent anti-smoker (I broke up with more than one girlfriend because they were light smokers) so rolling it up in paper and smoking it is most definitely not an option. Bongs? I'm confused about how to use them and, besides, they are so very attractive. Nothing uglies up a room faster than a bong.

But I am definitely interested in using pot for medical purposes. Pot can help some people with peripheral neuropathy to a significant degree, while a number of people suffering from severe RLS report an almost complete elimination of symptoms. I don't now that pot helps directly with sleep apnea, but a lot of people state that it helps them to sleep. Is it really possible that pot could help me with all three medical conditions? From everything I have read, it seems not just possible, but very likely.

I live, however, in a state where marijuana is illegal, Arkansas. The last time its legalization was on the ballot was 2012 and it failed to pass, but only narrowly, with 48% of the voters saying that it should be legalized. It is on the ballot again here in 2016 and early polls show 70% of Arkansans favoring its passage. It does seem like there has been a sea change in the attitudes towards pot. Ten years ago, most people scoffed when told of pot's medicinal uses. Now almost everyone acknowledges its value. And come next January (or whenever the enaction of pot as legal) I could be facing practical questions with regard to pot. Which of my doctors would provide a prescription? Will I want to learn to grow pot for my personal use in my home? How would I ingest it? For the first 62 years of my life, pot has played absolutely no role whatsoever. But for how ever many decades I have left, it could play a key role in making my life enjoyable.

One reason I'm so interested in pot for pain control is that the body doesn't adjust to it, so that you have to increase continually the amount you use, much like aspirin, which is another substance your body does not adjust to. On the other hand, one of the things I have to take for my RLS and Neuropathy is a mild narcotic. The problem with the narcotic is that you have to keep increasing the amount you take. I first started taking hydrocodone for RLS/Neuropathy in the smallest form and a single tablet would completely knock me out. Ten years later, methadone in a very small amount and in tablet for, quiets my legs and leg pain just enough to allow me to sleep through most of the night (hydrocodone only lasts about 3 or 4 hours max, while methadone, which I take in smaller amounts than the hydrocodone, lasts a good 6 hours, giving me a shot at a night's sleep. With pot, however, you get something you don't have to increase all the time. Perhaps this won't prove true in practice. Perhaps if I start taking it in January and two hits does the trick, perhaps in 2027 three or four hits might be required. Maybe I'll find out.

All of this is sort of shocking to me. I'm not what you would think a major candidate to becoming a pot user. I am unquestionably in the bottom 1%-2% in the country in recreational drug use. I like to have my mine as clear as possible, but thanks to the severely of my sleep disorder, I am sleep deprived nearly all of the time. I need more help than my current regimen of medications has provided to date. Hence my interest in pot. I am, in other words, the perfect target for this book.

One of the most interesting things about WEED: THE USER'S GUIDE is the specificity with which the author, David Schmader, talks about the ways in which pot enhances the quality of life by such things as the enhancement of the sense of taste. While I'm not primarily interested in pot for recreational purposes, I can't say that I don't find some of those to be interesting. Color me curious. But the fact remains that more interested in reading about its medical use and practical issues about how to obtain it and how to ingest it. Finally, I want to know if it would be practical for me to consider growing it. The Arkansas law on the ballot allow someone to grow up to 36 plants at a time. But I was born with a brown thumb and I kill just about every plant that I try to grow. In short, I have a lot to think about.

Luckily, this book has a section going over each of these issues. I have had people recommending that I take pot in vapor form, assuming that the ballot initiative passes. Reading this book, I now know what that is. And I know a few other alternatives to rolling a joint. The book is full of fun and interesting information, such as a brief account of the Harry Anslinger, who as the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotic demonized and racialized marijuana use, linking its use to blacks and jazz . The are numerous sidebars, some of them outrageous, such as one asking if pot had created civilization or another asking if smoking weed will make me insane and kill me. Do you know which presidents smoked weed? You will after reading this book. Throughout it is both witty and informative, though at most points I felt like there had to be a whole lot more to the subject than was being offered on the pages of this book.

The most disappointing part of the book was the appallingly brief chapter on Medical Marijuana. Basically, I learned absolutely nothing from it, which is astonishing given my overall knowledge of pot. Admittedly, my past reading on pot as been targeted almost exclusively on the medical aspects. Still, it is odd that he had so little on the subject. Another tremendous shortcoming in the book was the lack of a "For Further Reading" section. A lot of the topics in this book cry out for delving into in greater depth, but apart from listing a few websites the book really doesn't help someone who wants to know more about the topic.

So while I really enjoyed this book, it falls short in too many ways to get an above average rating. It does provide a nice overview for utter neophytes like me, but it doesn't help the reader break below the surface.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2016 4:29 AM PDT


To the Left of Time
To the Left of Time
by Thomas Lux
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.22
43 used & new from $7.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a one time reading - not much left for a second reading, March 18, 2016
This review is from: To the Left of Time (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The poems found in this collection are not in general my cup of tea. Too many are so loose in structure as hardly to be poems. Many could easily be made into prose poems by simply removing the line breaks. Few of the poems do what I expect and want poems to do, which is to attempt to transcend the limits of form by working within that form. A great example is Elizabeth Bishop's great poem "One Art." It is very definitely a villanelle, but a transgressive one, playing constantly with the limitations of the form, and always threatening to bust the form wide open and become something else. Only, it doesn't. It sticks with the form, and eventually ends, truly a villanelle by the end, but only by constantly twisting the two repetitive lines, until she closes with:

the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (write it!) like disaster

Everything is wrong about the last line. For one thing, the "write it!" is a complete violation of traditional villanelle form, having not appeared in any of the previous lines. And "like" is used right before the parenthesis but then used again immediately afterwards. It ends up being a great villanelle by playing with the conventions of the poem.

Why do I bring this up? Because I find it almost impossible to discuss any of the poems in this collection in the way I did Bishop's poem. These are poems that you read once and in that reading you get down to everything in the poem.They are blatant and in your face and don't leave you anything to toy with later. And the reason I find them so shallow and one dimensional is that there was none of the restrictions that verse normally places on a poem. Very, very few poets can take free verse and create something beautiful with it. Walt Whitman could, but that was mainly because Whitman was a genius. Most who write free verse are not geniuses.

I can't recommend this. I just found the poems to be too mundane, too prosaical, in the worst sense of that word.


Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America
Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America
by Bob Benmosche
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.93
55 used & new from $13.50

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating picture of what was happening behind-the-scenes in the AIG crisis, March 18, 2016
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I probably have a unique perspective among the Vine Program reviewers in that I was an employee at AIG throughout the crisis at the company. I was there when Benmosche was hired and I was there when he retired for a second time. I found this volume to be fascinating for its insights for what took place behind the scenes. I also found it to be distortive of what was actually happening at AIG at large, as well as being self-serving in the author's assessment of what he achieved at the company.

I want to say both what I liked and what I find lacking in the book, but first I want to say that I love how the book sets the record straight for what happened at AIG in 2008. At that time, before Benmosche, AIG was taking a beating in the press, in Congress, and public opinion. Things got so bad that the Chicago branch, where I worked, removed the AIG emblem from the building where we were at. One day a woman came into the building, screaming frantically that she wanted her money back. As an American tax payer, she wanted her money back. I partially agree with Benmosche when he says that absolutely no one was reporting what happened at AIG correctly. One person was: Rachel Maddow. She explained calmly, rationally, and intelligently that what had happened at AIG was the fault of only a few people and that the vast majority of the 106,000 employees at AIG (the company is much smaller today) had nothing to do with creating the mess. Remember the famous scene from Michael Moore's CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY (and for the record, I like Michael Moore, most of the time) stands out in front of the AIG and says witty things? Well, not a single person who worked in that building had any connections with what went wrong. All of the blame for that lay in the Financial Products division, which had offices in Greenwich, CT and London, and in those offices only a couple of dozen people actually had direct responsibility for the products.

Even though I no longer work for AIG, there is a question that I like to ask people - especially Libertarians, who are convinced that any efforts by government to save or help private enterprise is both undesirable and doomed to failure - and that is: How much money do you think AIG still owes the federal government? They almost always answer, "I'd guess nearly all of it?" Even though AIG repaid the equity loan. But apparently no one was all that interested in whether or not AIG actually paid it or not. In fact, AIG paid back the last of the loan well before Benmosche left AIG late in the fall of 2014, and while most major news organizations reported it, but barely discussed on the various talk shows. Again, Rachel Maddow, who despite being far to the left politically - or perhaps because of it? - was one of the very few to discuss it at any length, and she gave the company credit for a job well done. Virtually every right wing pundit ignored the story, probably because a government intervention working didn't fit into their partisan narrative.

The most important thing to realize about AIG's collapse is that they didn't go broke. AIG, Inc., in fact, had vast amounts of money. AIG had more assets than perhaps 75% of the world's nations. They owned more commercial airline jets than any of the world's airlines; in all probability, AIG actually rented to airlines most of the planes they flew. If you flew on an airline during the time of the economic collapse in 2007-2010, there is a very good chance you flew on an a plane that AIG rents to the airline. In the same way, if you walked down sidewalks or drove your car around and entered stores or hospitals, you probably encountered AIG a couple of dozens each day. At least. They may have insured many of the cars around you on the free way; they may have designed your companies pension plan; they may have written the general liability policy of the building you work in. There is a good chance that you spent your entire day moving from one AIG insured entity to another. If some of the banks were deemed "too big to fail," AIG was larger and more crucial to the working of society at large than several of the banks combined. Some distinguished trading companies were allowed to die, but mainly because they had only paper assets. AIG on the other hand, had over a trillion dollars in assets. Had the company been allowed to die there is no doubt that it would have brought the word economy down with it. Robert Benmosche understood this better than most, which is one of the reasons he agreed to come out of retirement to head AIG while it attempted to pay back the taxpayer.

The main thing to keep in mind when thinking of AIG in 2009-2014 is that they were not in trouble because they did not have enough money, but because they were limited by federal law - and these are very good federal laws, that make certain an insurance company can make good on any policy that they write. If you write a policy for $15 million in reinsurance, you better have money in the bank to cover potential pay outs. In fact, federal auditors will visit you to make sure you have money to cover all your policies. So, even though AIG had over a trillion dollars in assets, they had limited ability to shift it from one branch of the corporation to another.

Benmosche portrays his arrival at AIG, with his statements that he was not going to bust up the company, as a tremendous and permanent boost to morale. It wasn't. Or at least not completely. The truth is more complex than that. For most of the time that Benmosche, the company morale was as poor as you will ever see in a company. And that is where things stand today as well.


Go Tell It on the Mountain (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
Go Tell It on the Mountain (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
by James Baldwin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.59
55 used & new from $13.16

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyman graces us by releasing both GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GIOVANNI'S ROOM as Everyman's Classics, March 18, 2016
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This is being published at the same time as James Balwin's GIOVANNI'S ROOM, which was one of the most shocking novels of the Twentieth Century with its graphic depiction of a man falling into a homosexual affair. But for all the controversy that book caused, it did not change the fact that Baldwin's finest novel was GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN. At the end of the 20th Century, when the Modern Library rated the 100 best English language novels, this splendid novel made #39 on the list. I personally think this was the finest African-American novel of the century, better than Wright's NATIVE SON, better than Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN.

The great joy of this coming out on Everyman's is that the novel gets the royal treatment. Everyman's produces the finest novels in the world today. They are absolutely gorgeous, with their board wrapped in cloth covers and the intensely creamy, nonreflective, acid free paper. You can find better books, like the gorgeous productions by the Folio Society, but those are not mass produced. I like Everyman's better than the Library of America. I find the books to be wonderfully inviting. They look great and they feel right in your hand.

I would love to see Everyman follow up the release of these two novels by releasing a volume of his nonfiction. People know his novels today, but many don't remember what a great essayist he was. Hopefully we'll get that in the future.


303 (30217) Automotive Quick Wax, 16 fl. oz.
303 (30217) Automotive Quick Wax, 16 fl. oz.
Price: $9.46
5 used & new from $9.46

5.0 out of 5 stars A very quick-to-apply wax that produced great results, March 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Three things I want in an automative wax:

First, I want it to make my car look great when I take it off after applying. This passed this test with flying colors. My car was gorgeous after I used this, really bringing back the color and shine, far more than I thought possible

Second, I want it to help protect my car. You can never really tell if a wax does this, so we take it on faith that it will. It claims to provide UV coating for a month. All I can do is hope.

Third, and most important, is how fast it is to apply and take off. I remember as a kid waxing the cars for my Dad. It was a thick, hard to remove polish. It was HARD. Looked great afterwards, but it was a lot of hard work. This went on and came off with as little effort as anything I've ever tryied on a car.

So in short this wax passed on the tests. I was able to wax the car quickly and it really is hard to believe the difference it makes afterwards. It almost doesn't look like the same car.


The Age of German Idealism: Routledge History of Philosophy Volume 6
The Age of German Idealism: Routledge History of Philosophy Volume 6
by Robert C. Solomon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $43.93
30 used & new from $37.08

3.0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing volume and a very disappointing series, March 18, 2016
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For whatever reason, the Routledge History of Philosophy has never become as central to philosophical studies as has, say, the Cambridge Companions or the Routledge Philosophers or Routledge Arguments of the Philosophers. These volumes are rarely cited by others, and looking at the contents, one can see why. If you compare the writers in this volume to the writers in, say the Oxford handbook or the Cambridge History of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, you will instantly see the difference immediately. Without naming many names, for the most part the Routledge uses scholars whose names are not familiar. There are exceptions. Daniel Breazeale is tasked to write the section on Fichte and Schelling. But the scholars writing on Kant are not particularly well-known. The same is true of those writing on Hegel, with the notable exception of Robert Solomon, one of the two editors of the book. There are also a couple of extremely quirky assignments. The editors solicited Patrick Gardiner to write the section on Kant's views on the powers of judgment. Gardiner is well known as a philosopher specializing on the 19th Century, having written books on Schopenhauer (indeed, for a long time in the 1970s and 1980s, Gardiner's book, along with Copleston's outstanding treatment of him in his HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, was one of the few decent treatments of his thought until several books were published in the 1980s). But Gardiner is not widely looked upon as a Kant scholar and it is odd to see such an important essay assigned to him.

The oddest assignment, however, might be having the famous cultural studies figure Judith Butler write the essay on Kierkegaard. Before having to drop out of grad school (a very long story) I had lighted upon a dissertation topic on Kant and Kierkegaard as the last two philosophers who took the idea of Sin seriously in writing about ethics. (Kant's position is not well known and yet is one of his more bizarre doctrines: because the Moral Law is categorical in its demands, we must conclude that it is possible to fulfill its demands. But because of our sensual nature, we cannot fulfill the Moral Law while in this body. We must conclude, therefore, that we will be resurrected upon dying, but not in bodily form; instead, we will be resurrected as purely intellectual beings, without bodies and therefore without sensual natures. We will then be able to meet the demands of the moral law. I have a similar argument for immortality. I have an absolute compulsion to read all the books I own - at this point, around 8500 - in addition to all of the books I would like to own but don't. I will not have time to read all of these before I die. There must, therefore, be a resurrection so that I will be able to read all these books. Of course, I jest, that I do believe in the resurrection on grounds like those of Kierkegaard's, that being traditional Christianity). Butler is certainly not known as a Kierkegaard scholar and has no real standing as one. The secondary literature she sites is pretty much the same stuff tat one would refer to as a student in an upper level college or first year grad school class. You get the sense that Butler read a lot of Kierkegaard in college and used this opportunity to revisit her old books. I was interested, however, to see my teacher included in her otherwise pretty bibliography: Paul Holmer's THE GRAMMAR OF FAITH. I took ever course that Holmer offered, did several independent studies with him, and he was the director of my master's thesis. We continued to correspond after I left Yale and moved to Chicago. After he retired he was a visiting professor for several years at North Park College, on the northwest side of the city. We got together several times, usually sitting on one of the benches under the old trees on campus. I even house sat for him one summer; I recently read Stanley Hauerwas's WILDERNESS WANDERINGS, and was delighted to discover that one of the chapters was on his relationship with Holmer, which included house sitting for him one summer. It made feel that we were members of a club that neither of us realized existed. Anyway, my point is that I knew how Holmer thought very well, and if there is a kind of writer that he found utterly without worth, or perhaps to be more precise, a kind of writer who produced books that were a waste of time, it would be a theorist of Judith Butler's ilk. I disagreed with Holmer on a number of things, like whether or not rock music has any musical worth, whether or not one should study the historical setting of a philosopher. I thought you did; my feeling is that knowing a thinker's historical background is like knowing what language he or she spoke. I have always been deeply concerned with the political aspects of a thinker, while Holmer tended to be apolitical (though Dave Gouwens once told me, while sitting in the YDS Common Room, that Holmer might be a closet liberal). The point I am building up to is to ask why Solomon and Higgins couldn't have asked someone like Paul Holmer to write the chapter on Kierkegaard. Or Bruce Kirmmse. Or Dave Gouwens. Or George Pattison. Or Louis Mackey. Or Alastair Hannay. And the same question could have been asked on most of the other chapters. Having Lewis White Beck write the chapter on German Philosophy from Leibniz to Kant was brilliant, but none of the English-speaking world's major Kant or Hegel scholars were included in the book, with the exception, as I noted, of Solomon himself.

Sadly, this is true of most of the books in the Routledge series. What I would love to see happen is for Routledge to have a Do-over. They are doing this with the Arguments of the Philosophers series, which is resulting in our having in many cases two great books on major philosophers, such as Sorell and Martinich on Hobbes, Della Rocca and Delahunty on Spinoza, and Ayers and Lowe on Locke. We are living right now in one of the great moments in history for the history of philosophy. Surely Routledge would like to have a history of philosophy that represented the best that we are capable of


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