Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book Meme

There's an interesting meme going around the Internet these days. The rules are simple:

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The passage below, which raises an interesting question for discussion, is taken from Soldier's Heart, by Elizabeth D. Samet.
The story opens in the middle of an argument between two Union officers, General Cameron and Captain Ransome, the commander of an artillery battery, as they prepare for battle: "Captain Ransome," Cameron declares, "it is not permitted to you to know anything. It is sufficient for you to obey my order."

The longer I teach at West Point, the more fascinated I become by parables of obedience such as this one, for they illuminate the inescapable tension between "knowing" and "obeying" within military culture and the fear of commanders that subordinates who know too much might choose not to obey.

Having never attended West Point, I don't feel bound to follow rules with military precision. Therefore, I will not tag anyone. If you are reading this and want to participate in this meme, consider yourself tagged.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

since the only book close me me right now is my day planner, I'l try and get to this one tomorrow.