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Santayana Goodbye

[Summary]We Didn't Start the Fire (Facts) History Summary from 1949-1989 by Ron Kurtus SfC Home > History > "We Didn't Start the Fire" (Facts) History Summary from 1949-1989 by Ron Kurtus (revised 20June 2016) The lyrics to the song We Didn't Start

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We Didn't Start the Fire (Facts) History Summary from 1949-1989 by Ron Kurtus

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"We Didn't Start the Fire" (Facts) History Summary from 1949-1989

by Ron Kurtus (revised 20June 2016)

The lyrics to the song We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel list historical personalities and events from 1949 until 1989.

This lesson lists those people and events and gives a short explanation of their role in history.

The Cold War 1949 To 1952: Santayana Goodbye (1952)

Glad to read your stuff. I am also a huge fan of Santayana, am also still a Canadian after spending huge chunks of life in the US when I wasn't traveling or sailing, so of course I also never considered the US as my country and studied it as an outsider as well.

Welcome to the Santayana Edition

Santayana Goodbye
To William James
Hôtel Foyot
Paris. December 6, 1905

Now that I am launched I will say a word about some of the criticisms in your letter. You are very generous; I feel that you want to give me credit for everything good that can possibly be found in my book. But you don’t yet see my philosophy nor my temper from the inside; your praise, like your blame touches only the periphery, accidental aspects presented to this or that preconceived and disparate interest. The style is good, the tone is supercilious, here is a shrewd passage, etc, etc. And you say I am less hospitable than Emerson. Of course. Emerson might pipe his wood-notes and chirp at the universe most blandly his genius might be tender and profound and Hamlet-like, and that is all beyond my range and contrary to my purpose. I am a Latin, and nothing seems serious to me except politics, except the sort of men that your ideas will involve and the sort of happiness they will be capable of. The rest is exquisite moonshine. Religion in particular was found out more than too hundred years ago, and it seems to me intolerable that we should still be condemned to ignore the fact and to give the parsons and the “idealists” a monopoly of indignation and of contemptuous dogmatism. It is they, not we, that are the pest; and while I wish to be just and to understand people’s feelings, whereever they are at all significant, I am deliberately minded to be contemptuous toward what seems to me contemptible, and not to have any share in the conspiracy of mock respect by which intellectual ignominy and moral stagnation are kept up in our society. What did Emerson know or care about the passionate insanities and political disasters which religion, for instance, has so often been another name for? He could give that name to his last personal intuition, and ignore what it stands for and what it expresses in the world. It is the latter that absorbs me; and I care too much about mortal happiness to be interested in the charming vegetation of cancer-microbes in the system—except with the idea of suppressing it.

George Santayana, Rome 1944

Silent film of George Santayana, age 81, taken at the Convent of the Blue Nuns on the Celian (Caelius) Hill at 6 Via Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome, 1944.

George Santayana facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about George Santayana

George Santayana

George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish and American philosopher, developed a personal form of critical realism that was skeptical, materialistic, and humanistic.

George Santayana was unique among American and European philosophers during his long lifetime. While others strove to make philosophy "scientific" and to apply philosophy and science to society, Santayana proclaimed, "My philosophy neither is nor wishes to be scientific." He rejected the inherited genteel tradition in American thought as well as his contemporaries' pragmatism, idealism, and positivism. He openly disliked the liberal and democratic drift of Western civilization. In his philosophy he strove to combine philosophical materialism and a deep concern for spiritual values. A prolific writer with a graceful style, he also published several volumes of poetry, and his most popular book was a novel, TheLast Puritan (1936). He is singular among American philosophers for the special flavor of his thought and for his treatment of religion and art.

George Santayana

Born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last will was to be buried in the Spanish Pantheon of the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano in Rome.

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