Book: The Republic
The inspiration for reading this famous work came in the form of a "100 classics you must read before you die" list I stumbled across. Those who know me, know that I am sucker for lists like these and so I fearlessly embarked on the challenge. Book number one that I must read? "The Republic." I admit to apprehension and more than a little dread upon turning to the first page. There is a translation introduction and it's been my experience that whenever translation is required, you are in for a tough read. I took a deep breath, reminded myself of my list and moved on to page two. I am pleasantly surprised to report the enjoyment I discovered in the reading. At the very least, it is fascinating critique of the education and governmental systems of Plato's time followed by a lengthy discourse on changes that must be made and the rationales behind them.
The beauty of reading an academic work such as this for pleasure is the ability to keep moving from page to page without getting caught up in agonizing over your comprehension of the material. There are a number of dense and archaic passages that threaten to bog a reader down with confusion. Let yourself enjoy the arguments put forth without succumbing to getting lost in minute details and language barriers.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in the origin of government. Push through the difficult parts and you will put the book down at the last word grateful, content and with no shortage of ideas to mull over for days.
Good luck and enjoy!!