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Essays Into the 21st
By Adolph (Adolfo) Caso
When a publisher chooses to write essays regarding issues about which he is passionate, you can bet he will have written from a solid base of research. An essay, however, lends an opportunity to voice his own opinions as well, and when brought together into one book, allows his readers a much more satisfying experience in knowing the publisher, the author, as an individual as well as a scholar.
I had read several of the essays as they had been included as introductions to other books published by Branden Books, but many were new and on topics that also interested me. What I found most serendipitous however was that my stack to review had two books, one right after the other, in queue. The first book, I have previously reviewed--A Higher Court:One Man's Search for the Truth of God's Existence by John L. Betcher.
Now, here was Adolfo Caso, a man I have come to know and respect greatly, writing on God, Evolution or Evolvement, Galileo, Machiavelli, Salvation and so much more that was covered in the earlier book. Quite interesting to me was that both authors seemed to share their hesitancy in dealing with the issue that it all comes down to--Faith. Indeed Adolfo, in being willing to not only publish his title Essay, but also shares that the Essay had been shared, rejected, some with ridicule...by friends...is actually, to me, quite willing to say that he stands by this particular Essay. I thought it important to include the last sentence of this essay:
Ultimately, each one of us will find it in one single, monosyllabic three-letter word describing, depicting, or denoting GOD! (p. 151)In both of these books, I found a learned man--one a lawyer, one a publisher and scholar. Each of these men had created a book they felt needed to be published. I, on the other hand, have read and reviewed books by agnostics, atheists as well as men from various religions. who were sharing their beliefs. Would you believe that many of the arguments, be they scientific or not, are very similar?
So we have many individuals, asking the same questions! Many reach one point, however, and I believe the above statement is in the way in which they describe...their faith. There is a God.
Many of the Essays written by Adolfo deal with ethical issues. At the same time, it is also clear that Adolfo has a deep and great love for his heritage, so much so that when something is questioned, such as the validity of claiming that Columbus discovered America, there is evidence of extensive research to not only prove the great things done by Italians and Italian-Americans, by to disprove those speaking against the truth.
His essay on Machiavelli, What He Means to Me is an excellent example of how historical individuals are sometimes treated. Adolfo says, "In a recent conversation, in Italian, this well-educated medical doctor used the name of Machiavelli as a synonym for intrigues of unsavory nature." (p. 75). Now, thanks to Branden Books, I have read The Prince. You guessed right. In my opinion, having read Machiavelli's actual words, his image has been totally corrupted. In his Essay, therefore, Adolfo one again shares about the virtue of this important historical figure.
But Caso has not limited his thoughts to history. He writes about the important issue of bilingual education and states a much more realistic approach than is happening today. He talks about mass media, wealthy voters, and raises significant ethical questions that should and must be considered if we are to regain our position as world leaders.
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