How Old Books Help Us Live in an Anxious Time

Our time is characterized by information overload, hot takes, and a preoccupation with the immediate. What’s more, there seems to be a growing consensus that history needs to be left behind—that the past has nothing to teach us. In this moment, why read old books? What, if anything, can we learn from the voices of the past?

Alan Jacobs, Elizabeth Corey, and Paul Gutacker discuss these questions in honor of the release of Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind. In this his latest book, Dr. Jacobs suggests that listening to the past offers wisdom we didn’t know we needed—and might even help us live less anxiously. This conversation was hosted by the Brazos Fellows, and we’re happy to share it with you here.

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