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The Year of Our Lord 1943

Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

By early 1943, it had become increasingly clear the Allies would win the Second World War. Around the same time, it also became increasingly clear to many Christian intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic the soon-to-be-victorious nations were not culturally or morally prepared for their success. A war won by technological superiority merely laid the groundwork for a post-war society governed by technocrats. 

These Christian intellectuals - Jacques Maritain, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, and Simone Weil, among others - sought both to articulate a sober and reflective critique of their own culture and to outline a plan for the moral and spiritual regeneration of their countries in the post-war world.  

In this audiobook, Alan Jacobs explores the poems, novels, essays, reviews, and lectures of these five central figures, in which they presented, with great imaginative energy and force, pictures of the very different paths now set before the Western democracies. 

The Year of Our Lord 1943 is the first audiobook to weave together the ideas of these five intellectuals and shows why, in a time of unprecedented total war, they all thought it vital to restore Christianity to a leading role in the renewal of the Western democracies.

©2018 Alan Jacobs (P)2018 HighBridge Company

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Education as virtue development

I feel inadequate to comment on The Year of Our Lord 1943. I spent about two weeks reading it. I have been thinking about it for a week since I read it. And I think I probably should go back and read it again before I try to write about it. But do not really have time to do that. This is a book that needs a second reading. It is not that Alan Jacobs is hard to read. He is not difficult to read, he writes clearly and well. And he is not dense in the way that some writers are dense. But every time I read Jacobs I appreciate that I am not really as well read or as smart as many people in this world. Jacobs puts ideas and people together in ways that I just would not on my own. Which is why he is so helpful to read.

I have not previously read about many of the people that are talked about in this book. In fact, I think really the only person in this book that I had much more than a passing background in is CS Lewis. The other thinkers and writers that are explored here are Jacques Maritan, Simone Weil, WH Auden, TS Elliot and Jacques Ellul. I read some Ellul in college and I know that Jacobs has done a lot of work on Auden. But basically I was starting from scratch on all of these figures.

Much of this is about how World War II in some ways focused these Christian thinkers on the long term importance of human development, not as a eugenics or progressivist project, but as an educational project that seeks to create virtuous people that are deeply influenced by Christian thought.

I am going to stop at this point. I really do need to read the book again to understand more of the argument that Jacobs is trying to develop. But there were many ideas here that were provocative and that I will be thinking about for a while.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Warsaw, India
  • 09-04-18

The Audible is a Train Wreck

I LOVED "How To Think". I am really interested in the subject of this new book. I mean, really interested.

But it is a total train wreck of a recording.

I'll probably re-purchase it in book form because I am that interested in the subject. But I don't think it is possible to follow a train of thought with this audible version. It is impossible to tell when the narrator is speaking as the author or when he is speaking as one of the subjects who is being quoted. Impossible.

Additionally, I cannot for the life of me fathom why the narrator chosen for an Alan Jacobs book sounds as though he is British. It confuses the reading even more. It would be understandable if the narrator used a British accent for a Brit, a French accent for a Frenchman, etc. THAT might have made the narration understandable.

As it stands, every time the narrator's British accent comes more to the fore, I become ever more confused as to whom he is speaking for.

Save your money or your audible credit. I guarantee you will not be able to follow this book's content in audible form as presented. Guarantee it.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A book for our times

Of the making of many books there is no end. But this one is more thought-provoking and helpfully insightful in exposing the thought of profound Christian thinkers at an opportune moment in modern history than anything else I have read of recent vintage. It not only exposes; out of the analysis and comparison of their thought Jacobs synthesises a common core of great depth and power. Who else could have written this book today? ...Only one whose life has been immersed in the kind of educational endeavour and values recommended to form "men with chests". And so it has come to be. Highly recommended.