Before studying history, E.H. Carr famously quipped, you must study the historian. Paul Johnson, a graduate of Oxford writes on politics, culture, religion and history for a variety of journals. He has published several well-received histories that tackled rather broad ranging subjects such as the history of the American people and, of course, the history of the Jews. As a younger man his political views tended to lean to the left, but he became more of a conservative as he aged and remains so today. In terms of religion, Johnson identifies as a Roman Catholic.
Part of proper note-taking on any serious reading demands that you engage in both a dialogue with your author and with other people. So I want you to begin developing a habit of taking notes on and asking question about serious literature, and then sharing your thoughts with others. This is a rather demanding and provocative text – it demands questioning and intense thinking.
I’d like you to comment on this post with a substantive response to your reading of the excerpt from Paul Johnson’s history. You may write anything as long as it 1) contains some serious thought, 2) comes from your reading of Johnson’s text, and, of course, 3) is not offensive. Please include your FIRST NAME and LAST INITIAL on your comment.
I have posted a shot of the first page of my own notes taken while reading Johnson to give you an idea of how I do it for myself.