This scrupulously revised edition offers a comprehensive introduction to the beauty and wonder of the Catskill mountain region. Combining a wealth of information with abundant illustrations, the book falls into four main sections. The first section deals principally with the geography of the area. Part Two focuses on the region's history, with subsections on Railroad Fever, The Romantic Era, War and Revolution, and Famous Hotels. Part Three- devoted to the Catskill's legends, literature, and art-features descriptive passages from the work of such famous writers as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving. The final section is an extensive gazetteer that provides succint descriptions of the mountains, ranges, rivers, brooks, kills, creeks, and other geographical features of the region.
This popular author worked with thought of Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas. He lived for the longest stretches in cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Mateo. He worked for Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Encyclopædia Britannica, and own institute for philosophical research.
Born to Jewish immigrants, he dropped out school at 14 years of age in 1917 to a copy boy for the New York Sun with the ultimate aspiration to a journalist. Adler quickly returned to school to take writing classes at night and discovered the works of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and other men, whom he came to call heroes. He went to study at Columbia University and contributed to the student literary magazine, The Morningside, (a poem "Choice" in 1922 when Charles A. Wagner was editor-in-chief and Whittaker Chambers an associate editor). Though he failed to pass the required swimming test for a bachelor's degree (a matter that was rectified when Columbia gave him an honorary degree in 1983), he stayed at the university and eventually received an instructorship and finally a doctorate in psychology. While at Columbia University, Adler wrote his first book: Dialectic, published in 1927.
In 1930 Robert Hutchins, the newly appointed president of the University of Chicago, whom Adler had befriended some years earlier, arranged for Chicago’s law school to hire him as a professor of the philosophy of law; the philosophers at Chicago (who included James H. Tufts, E.A. Burtt, and George H. Mead) had "entertained grave doubts as to Mr. Adler's competence in the field [of philosophy]" and resisted Adler's appointment to the University's Department of Philosophy. Adler was the first "non-lawyer" to join the law school faculty. Adler also taught philosophy to business executives at the Aspen Institute.
Adler and Hutchins went on to found the Great Books of the Western World program and the Great Books Foundation. Adler founded and served as director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in 1952. He also served on the Board of Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica since its inception in 1949, and succeeded Hutchins as its chairman from 1974. As the director of editorial planning for the fifteenth edition of Britannica from 1965, he was instrumental in the major reorganization of knowledge embodied in that edition. He introduced the Paideia Proposal which resulted in his founding the Paideia Program, a grade-school curriculum centered around guided reading and discussion of difficult works (as judged for each grade). With Max Weismann, he founded The Center for the Study of The Great Ideas.
Adler long strove to bring philosophy to the masses, and some of his works (such as How to Read a Book) became popular bestsellers. He was also an advocate of economic democracy and wrote an influential preface to Louis Kelso's The Capitalist Manifesto. Adler was often aided in his thinking and writing by Arthur Rubin, an old friend from his Columbia undergraduate days. In his own words:
Unlike many of my contemporaries, I never write books for my fellow professors to read. I have no interest in the academic audience at all. I'm interested in Joe Doakes. A general audience can read any book I write—and they do.
As a result, Adler makes three recommendations for progress:
• technological advances for the sake of eliminating poverty and pollution • a world government • a universal liberal education
This book is highly readable, and I feel cheated my lecturers didn't make it required reading during my politics degree at La Trobe University, Melbourne. It's a must-read for anyone interested in or affected by politics.