Synopses & Reviews
What does it mean to be a hero? In The Heroic Heart
, Tod Lindberg traces the quality of heroic greatness from its most distant origin in human prehistory to the present day. The designation of hero” once conjured mainly the prowess of conquerors and kings slaying their enemies on the battlefield. Heroes in the modern world come in many varieties, from teachers and mentors making a lasting impression on others by giving of themselves, to firefighters no less willing than their ancient counterparts to risk life and limb. They dont do so to assert a claim of superiority over others, however. Rather, the modern heroic heart acts to serve others and save others. The spirit of modern heroism is generosity, what Lindberg calls the caring will,” a primal human trait that has flourished alongside the spread of freedom and equality.
Through its intimate portraits of historical and literary figures and its subtle depiction of the most difficult problems of politics, The Heroic Heart offers a startlingly original account of the passage from the ancient to the modern world and the part the heroic type has played in it. Lindberg deftly combines social criticism and moral philosophy in a work that ranks with such classics as Thomas Carlyles nineteenth-century On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History and Joseph Campbells twentieth-century The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
About the Author
Tod Lindberg is a research fellow at Stanford Universitys Hoover Institution. He is the author of the critically acclaimed The Political Teachings of Jesus
, a philosophical analysis of the view of worldly affairs presented in Jesus Sermon on the Mount and Gospel parables.
He is an acknowledged policy expert on international efforts to prevent and halt mass atrocities and genocide, and he serves as co-chair of the American Bar Associations Atrocity Prevention and Response Advisory Group. He teaches ethics in international relations at Georgetown University. Currently a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, his 30-year career as a journalist and editor in Washington DC has earned him wide respect across party lines for his political analysis.
He and his wife Tina Lindberg live in Washington and Palo Alto, California. They have two grown daughters.