Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you wanted to know about the Grand Narrative!!!, August 7, 2000
This review is from: From Plato To NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (Hardcover)
Well, what to say on a book that dwells on western philosophy from the Greeks to post-modernism and universalism of the 1990s. Dry stuff, but I found this book very helpful to me and timely. With the end of the Cold War and the closing of the 1990s, I felt a sense of the question "what is western identity" as David Gress explores in this book.
First, I didn't have much background in Western Civ or Greek Mythology or about the Romans; as I did not take these types of classes in school. I was an engineering student. But, this is the point of Gress's book. Our society was filled with "The Grand Narrative" of the wonders of Western Civilization as it came to us Americans from the Greeks and the Romans. I mean there were always allusions to it from TV, commericials, movies, teachers, ministers, news commentators and etcetera.
The Grand Narrative permeated our society so much without us realizing where it came from. Gress does an excellent job explaining it came from the minds of two professors at Columiba College in the 1920s and more specifically from a set of books published by the Encyclopedia Brittanica company out of Chicago called the "The Great Books of the Western World."
He, of course, goes much further and traces it throughout history to many of the philosophers out of Germany during the Enlightment and the Sceptical Enlightment. An unique feature of his book is the emphasis on the Germanic freedoms. I never realized we owed so much to the Germanic tribes that dominated the central European forests. I do wonder if this ignorance of the German contribution is from a nationalistic point of view because we are a nation of English Founding Fathers and the fact we fought a vicious war against the German nation{twice}.
There may be controversies from Gress' book and I'm sure many an academic can argue the philosophy of all the great thinkers mentioned in the book; but, as a new entrant to this field of western philosophy, I really appreciated the book. If anything, I will now be more critical and think more about all these great philosophers I look forward to reading.
Conclusion: Consider the book Plato to Nato a good survey of the whole field of western philosophy from a modern current view of the world--a world after the 1968 anti-narrative revolt and Vietnam; a world after the 80s and 90s multiculturism and political correctness on campuses; and the world after the decline and fall of the Soviet Empire in 1991.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (16 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,012,761