Words on Wednesday – Bossing Other Men

Today’s Tolkien quote has a specific context which I’ll explain:
bossing other men
Tolkien wrote this from his experiences in the First World War. You have to understand something of the nature of that cataclysm to understand this thought.

The “leaders” of Great Britain and Germany didn’t seem to realize they were fighting the first modern war with modern weaponry. They threw soldiers by the thousands at the other side to try to break the stalemate of trench warfare. Generally speaking, decisions were made by leaders far from the front. And the efforts won a few yards at best, at horrific cost.

Tolkien lived through it, but only after losing several of his closest friends.

Does this mean he thought there was no such thing as a good leader? I don’t think you can read The Lord of the Rings and come to that conclusion (although the corruption of men and leaders is a predominant theme…). But “Why” is a question worth asking when someone proposes to be a Leader of Men. (I shall refrain from modern political commentary…)

Anyway, this quote came from Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth, which I read earlier this year.

(If you want to know more about how the Great War became a stalemate so quickly, see Barbara Tuchman’s brilliant The Guns of August.)

Recently Finished

Nothing since last week. (!)

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Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleeza Rice has been in my stack most of the summer and I’m just now getting around to it. Part memoir, part history, thoroughly interesting.

Current Read Aloud

We’re loving this Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, but every evening the girls have trepidation about what loss may befall Nat, because {SPOILER} he loses someone important to him in pretty much EVERY CHAPTER.

Current Kindle Deals

Leviathan Wakes is a sci-fi novel. Philip read through this series this summer. I haven’t read it so I can’t give you any disclaimers. $2.99 for Kindle today only.

The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton. If you love Halliburton’s Marvels, maybe this would be a nice addition to your collection. $2.99 for Kindle (free for Kindle Unlimited).

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst is $1.99 for Kindle right now.

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