Lincoln is a sui generis figure in the annals of history.
The reading group we have in Tripoli is going to discuss the book-Management Challenges of 21st century by Peter Drucker in our Year end meeting-2014. In a year when the protesters of Ferguson were the runners up for –Time Persons of the year(2) we went through some of the works related to race.
Over the years, we have discussed different aspects of literature in our reading group, ranging from Novels of Indian independence, to Mass Observation-remembering the lives of important figures in spirituality. In this series we will discuss some characters of literature.(see links below)
The reading group has also helped me evolve a –Reading journal– which has helped me keep in touch with friends and family across the globe.
In his book –Management challenges of 21st century, Peter Drucker tells that the AMERICAN CONSTITUTION is one of the biggest management tools and inventions as it solved the issue of transfer of power. This issue came up again over the decades in different ways in US and other parts of the world. In our part of the world-2014 Libya, this transfer of power issue is still unresolved.
BOOK DISCUSSION- UNCLE TOM’S CABIN
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s UNCLE TOM is said to have affected public opinion, both in Northern United States and Britain, leading to a stronger stand against slavery. It is said that when President Lincoln met Harriet Stowe he remarked-
“So this is the little lady who started the big war.”
Though there were many other factors for the American civil war, the book which was the first American novel to sell over a million copies did influence public opinion. Stowe is accused of creating a stereotype of Afro-Americans which hurts their dignity. This is probably true, but then it was Stowe’s intention to appeal to the conscience of the readers, especially female readers and attack the institution of slavery.
Present day Uncle Tom meanings include a –Race traitor-someone who will accommodate to any degree and compromise even his own race to be in good terms with the white people. This was probably not the intention of Stowe, whose character Uncle Tom had Fortitude
FORTITUDE-mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty,adversity, danger, or temptation courageously
The character faces many issues with passive courage and does not escape or react, and is seen to pray with persons whose faith is wavering, and they think that Jesus is not present in the places where the institution of slavery is present. (internal dilemma of the character)
The book takes a deeper look at America – The Land of Liberty, which can also be The Land of Hypocrisy. If a rich man dies and has not repaid his debts, legally his property can be sold to clear the debts, and the property could include slaves. (external dilemma of the character)
Throughout the book, the character Uncle Tom faces these challenges –both external and internal in a stoic manner , which brings out the character of Fortitude in him.
From Ferguson Missouri of 21st century to the post 2011 Arab spring countries, the successful transfer of power issue has come forward in many ways. In the Libyan context the plight of Tawergha is something which will plague the conscience of the new Libya, even after the present power struggle and succession issues are solved (hopefully) http://alrassedalliby.com/en/news/news.aspx?id=2168031
The nonprofit group Human Rights Watch reported in November 2013 that Tawerghans remain unable to return to their homes due to intimidation and violence by militias, most of which are based in Misrata, it said. The report claimed refugee camps for Tawerghans are often left without security and have been assaulted by small groups of armed men on multiple occasions, including at least twice in November 2013.
MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES-21ST CENTURY
While Drucker tells of how American Constitution is a remarkable document which solves the issue of succession of power, this issue is faced in different parts of the world with many far reaching consequences. Forcing a transfer of power, (by air attacks) has led to an altered dynamic which people living on the ground will continue to face for a long time.
LINKS-SUGGESTED FURTHER READING
Lincoln is a sui generis figure in the annals of history.
He has no initiative, no idealistic impetus, cothurnus, no historical trappings. He gives his most important actions always the most commonplace form. Other people claim to be “fighting for an idea”, when it is for them a matter of square feet of land. Lincoln, even when he is motivated by, an idea, talks about “square feet”. He sings the bravura aria of his part hesitatively, reluctantly and unwillingly, as though apologising for being compelled by circumstances “to act the lion”. The most redoubtable decrees — which will always remain remarkable historical documents-flung by him at the enemy all look like, and are intended to look like, routine summonses sent by a lawyer to the lawyer of the opposing party, legal chicaneries, involved, hidebound actiones juris. His latest proclamation, which is drafted in the same style, the manifesto abolishing slavery, is the most important document in American history since the establishment of the Union, tantamount to the tearing tip of the old American Constitution.
OTHER BLOGS OF INTEREST
Other blogs of Interest
On our Independence Day-2013-REVIEWING NOVELS IN INDIAN INDEPENDENCE AND EXPERIENCE
WORK RELATED ISSUES
Exploring public domains-From Kabir to Safir
Mutual Improvement societies
In her book- The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes’ Jonathan Rose writes about the workings of other grassroots and awareness-raising groups in hundreds of chapels and thousands of kitchens became known as ‘mutual improvement’ (a term used as far back as 1731). Although ‘these institutions are scarcely mentioned in studies of labour history,’ Rose comments, a Coventry millworker once claimed that
‘The Labour movement grew out of Mutual Improvement Societies’ (58).
The Exit Interview https://prashantbhatt.com/2012/05/16/the-exit-interview/
The Pygmalion Effect https://prashantbhatt.com/2012/04/23/first-line-managers-pygmalion-effect/
IMMIGRANT NARRATIVES PERSPECTIVES
Conversations in Identity
Tripoli Reading Group –Year End meeting-2011