Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers’ Favorite
Classical Considerations by Steven McFadden brings focus to the ancient Greek philosophers and culture that have influenced our modern society in the arts, mathematics, politics, and philosophy. This is accomplished by introducing the reader to the lectures of Harvard professor John H. Finley, Jr., a popular classicist who taught a generation of men at Harvard how to live through his courses, none more popular than Humanities 103 – the Great Age of Athens.
McFadden picks a good sample of Finley’s lectures beginning with a short discourse on Diogenes, the ancient Greek who wandered the streets of Athens carrying a lighted lamp in daylight. When asked why, most people assumed it was to look for an “honest man”. It was really to look for a “human being.” What this means is explained by the late professor in clear and engaging language.
Classical Considerations gives a good sampling of Professor Finley’s lectures and the reader will learn as well as appreciate his knowledge and how the study of ancient Greece is very relevant in our world of the present day. Steven McFadden gives his personal insight and how he formed a friendship with John H. Finley, Jr. after he retired in the 1970s.
I, for one, hope to look at Finley’s study of the Odyssey by Homer. I recommend this book to anyone with an appreciation of Professor Finley and to those who seek knowledge of how to be a human being through the Greek classics.