Wishing to connect with potential allies in his battle against wishful thinking, in van Loon signed the membership book at All Souls. There is no Guidance. A Short Introduction to Constantine the Great. Because of the success of his early books, van Loon was able to devote the second half of his life to writing.
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Start your review of Tolerance Write a review Jul 23, Krishna rated it it was amazing This is truly a remarkable book, by an author perhaps better known today in China going by the number of editions of this book available there than in the West. It is a sweeping history of the world, told in simple language with entertaining humor and wide erudition. Unlike optimists who see the arc of history bending This is truly a remarkable book, by an author perhaps better known today in China going by the number of editions of this book available there than in the West.
Unlike optimists who see the arc of history bending toward justice, van Loon seems to contemplate an unchanging human nature, but with enough goodness in it that all hope is never lost. But if that sounds depressing, van Loon makes up for it with dollops of humor and an irreverent attitude, and a fearless, cheerful iconoclasm. His most trenchant criticism is reserved for organized religion, specifically Christianity since he focuses mostly on European history.
Or the ruthless persecution of the Albigensians, the Socinians and other "heretics" over trivial doctrinal differences. But the Protestants who rebelled against the Catholic church were no less intolerant. John Calvin comes in for particular criticism. Having broken with the Church over freedom of conscience, he set up in Geneva an even more regimented theocracy where he was the sole arbiter of conscience and any deviation from rigid orthodoxy could be punished with a flogging or excommunication or exile.
Or in the case of hapless Michael Servetus, burning at the stake. But in the second half of the book, van Loon also discusses the many scholars, thinkers and reformers who have sought to make their societies more tolerant -- including Erasmus, Rabelais, the unfortunate Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Voltaire. The last-named one gets the lengthiest treatment, but van Loon tempers his admiration with the observation that much of what Voltaire did was with an eye toward publicity.
Like many social reformers and thinkers before and since, Voltaire was a master of the carefully choreographed publicity event. How the iconoclastic idealism of the French Revolution turned so quickly to intolerance also comes in for lengthy study.
In the end, van Loon ends on a cautionary note, that we should not exult that out times are somehow more progressive and enlightened than those earlier eras of ignorance and superstitions. For van Loon, the modern man in the business suit is not much different mentally or morally from the hunter-gatherer in skins. The price of liberty is constant vigilance against the opportunistic forces of intolerance.
HENDRIK WILLEM VAN LOON TOLERANCE PDF
In the picture from the left are former president Herbert Hoover chairman of the Finland-committee , Dr. The newlyweds moved to Germany, where van Loon received his Ph. Van Loon had two later marriages, to Eliza Helen Jimmie Criswell in and playwright Frances Goodrich Ames in , but after a divorce from Ames he returned to Criswell it is debatable whether or not they remarried ; she inherited his estate in From the s until his death, Van Loon wrote many books, illustrating them himself. Best remembered among these is The Story of Mankind , a history of the world intended for children, which won the first Newbery Medal in
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Or in the case of hapless Michael Servetus, burning at the stake. When I finished it, by wife began reading it. The Evolution of Empires. About Hendrik Willem van Loon. Hendrik Willem van Loon.
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