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Chris Walsh's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Chris Walsh recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Chris Walsh's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Triumph of the Therapeutic

Uses of Faith after Freud

Since its publication in 1966, The Triumph of the Therapeutic has been hailed as a work of genuine brilliance, one of those books whose insights uncannily anticipate cultural developments and whose richness of argumentation reorients entire fields of inquiry. This special fortieth-anniversary edition of Philip Rieff’s masterpiece, the first volume in ISI Books’ new Background series, includes an introduction by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn and essays on the text by historians Eugene McCarraher and Wilfred McClay and philosopher Stephen Gardner. less
Recommended by Chris Walsh, and 1 others.

Chris WalshIn The Triumph of the Therapeutic they appear as part of the old order that is being displaced or corroded by the therapeutic. The therapeutic comes in place of faith and any ideas of eternal truths or authorities, and so the idea of duty, like the idea of character, gets undermined. Duty is a kind of repression. (Source)

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The Thin Red Line

They are the men of C-for-Charlie company—“Mad” 1st Sgt. Eddie Welsh, Pvt. 1st Class Don Doll, Pvt. John Bell, Capt. James Stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more just like them—infantrymen who are about to land, grim and white-faced, on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk into hell and back.
In the days ahead, some will earn medals, others will do anything they can dream up to get evacuated before they land in a muddy grave. But they will all discover the thin red line that divides the sane from the mad—and the living from...
Recommended by Chris Walsh, and 1 others.

Chris WalshJones tried to write a book that was true to the experience of war as he saw it, but also knew that memory has a way of rosying things up. (Source)

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The Mystery of Courage

Few of us spend much time thinking about courage, but we know it when we see it--or do we? Is it best displayed by marching into danger, making the charge, or by resisting, enduring without complaint? Is it physical or moral, or both? Is it fearless, or does it involve subduing fear? Abner Small, a Civil War soldier, was puzzled by what he called the "mystery of bravery"; to him, courage and cowardice seemed strangely divorced from character and will. It is this mystery, just as puzzling in our day, that William Ian Miller unravels in this engrossing meditation.

Miller culls...
Recommended by Chris Walsh, and 1 others.

Chris WalshMiller says on the very first page of the book that it was meant to be about cowardice. (Source)

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This work is designed as an introduction to Dante's Inferno. With this in mind, Longfellow's poetic translation has been juxtaposed side by side with a prose version -- the poem for enjoying the poetry without the interruption of footnotes; the prose for delving more deeply into various aspects of the work.

Most of the footnotes are taken from various translations and commentaries (listed below), some of which utilize many of the older commentators such as Boccacio, Benvenuto, Scartazzini, etc. I have avoided material thats get overly involved in language issues or meter, since...
Recommended by Nick Havely, Chris Walsh, and 2 others.

Nick HavelyIt is a close and reliable translation, with the original text on the facing page, and it also has excellent notes. (Source)

Chris WalshThe Inferno is the classic moment of people not wanting to talk about cowardice. (Source)

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The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories

Oxford offers the most generously annotated edition of The Red Badge of Courage (1895), a vivid psychological account of a young man's experience fighting in the American Civil War based on Crane's reading of popular descriptions of battle. This volume also includes the short stories "The Open Boat"(1898), "The Monster"(1899), and "The Blue Hotel". The editors explore Crane's work from a fresh critical perspective, focusing on his role as an experimental writer, his modernist legacy, and his social as well as literary revisionism.

About the Series: For...
Recommended by Michael Morpurgo, Chris Walsh, and 2 others.

Michael MorpurgoI think in the heart of almost every man and woman there is this fear that if you were put in that position where you had to show courage, your courage might fail you. (Source)

Chris WalshIt’s the classic novel of the American Civil War. Henry Fleming — the youth whose tale is told — is worried throughout whether he will find he’s a man of traditional courage, or whether he’ll find that he is a coward. (Source)

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