ON-Lion Letter

Tod Lindberg's The Heroic Heart:  Greatness Ancient and Modern, forthcoming from Encounter Books, explores and answers the question of what it means to call someone a hero, tracing the quality of heroic greatness from its most-distant origin in human prehistory to the present day.  The designation of "hero" once conjured mainly the prowess of conquerors and kings slaying their enemies on the battlefield.  Heroes in the modern world come in many varieties, from teachers and mentors making a lasting impression on others by giving of themselves, to firefighters no less willing than their ancient counterparts to risk life and limb.

Lindberg is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Weekly Standard contributing editor.

Modern heroes don't assert a claim of superiority over others, according to Lindberg.  Rather, the modern heroic heart acts to serve others and save others.  The spirit of modern heroism is generosity, what he calls "the caring will," a primal human trait that has flourished alongside the spread of freedom and equality.

Through its intimate portraits of historical and literary figures and its subtle depiction of the most difficult problems of politics, The Heroic Heart deftly combines social criticism and moral philosophy and offers a startlingly original account of the passage from the ancient to the modern world and the part the heroic type has played in it.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as is the Hoover Institution.

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