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Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 087

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"Certitude is not the test of certainty." This pithy phrase is from Jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr's essay on Natural Law, one of twenty nonfiction pieces chosen by their readers for inclusion in volume 087. Selections from Pascal, Josiah Royce, and C.S. Peirce also delve philosophical themes. Builders, warriors, artists, and activists, the many faces of mankind, are illuminated in selections on Ferdinand De Lesseps, Stanislaus Koniecpolski, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, Frederic Edwin Church, the 14th century citizens of Liège, who vanquished Sir Radus' castle, and Simon Pokagon's The Red Man's Rebuke. Major moments in U.S. history are visited in the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga and the Great Chicago Fire. An oft forgotten player in history, the mule, is not neglected, nor are the small turning points along the road of life, epitomized by a New England farm auction. For those in search of humor, there is The Senator's Offer and The Proper Way to Sit. Armchair travelers can visit The Old Town of Edinburgh. And, for the weary, there is a monograph On Being Tired. Summary by Sue Anderson

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