Here you can find original blogs from our editor Brian Chappell and occasional guests. This is an opportunity to take your engagement with our offerings to a new layer of depth. These posts ask you to make connections: between elements of a given book, between books in a series, between other books in the Mouse catalogue, with the world of the past and present, and with your life.

On Whitman Jun 08, 2020 | Brian Chappell

In Moby-Dick, Melville wants to give us the cosmos, covering significant philosophical and theological ground in his “disorderly” story of a man’s obsession with killing a whale. If Melville wanted to account for everything under the sun (and beyond), his contemporary Walt Whitman is primarily and consistently preoccupied with one subject: himself. One need consider […]

Walking Jun 02, 2020 | Brian Chappell

When Mouse Books published excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s On Civil Disobedience, my blog post for the occasion attempted to strike a balance in terms of how we approach Thoreau. Namely, while his philosophy of disobedience provided a pathway for his intellectual inheritors such as Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, we must also reckon […]

The Enchiridion Jun 01, 2020 | Brian Chappell

If you search for the word “stoic” on various dictionary web sites, a panoply of words emerges, connoting a range of modalities: indifference, resignation, courage, patience, calm, maturity. Indeed, like with Thoreau, with Stoicism we must face certain popular misconceptions. First, we now use “stoic” as an adjective, to describe a certain state of being, […]

The Decameron Apr 14, 2020 | Brian Chappell

“First Day” Editor’s Note: This blog post was written in the early days of COVID-19 quarantine. It therefore express a “First Day” kind of mentality in response to it. This point is relevant, because we have reached a point when we can track how our engagement with quarantine has evolved over these months. We can […]

On Solitude Apr 05, 2020 | Brian Chappell

Like everyone else, we had our plans. Plans for a year of publishing more dynamic and provocative texts, based on our interests and certain landmark occasions (such as the election, which has become for many an afterthought along with so much else). Plans to engage with our subscribers about the questions that fascinate them, with […]

Gorgias Dec 23, 2019 | Brian Chappell

Socrates was Plato’s hero and mentor, a larger-than-life figure in his own time, a household name, even today. If we remember our school days, we might recall the Socratic Method, whereby instead of pronouncing answer after answer, the student must pose question after question until arriving at some consensus. And this is what I love […]

The Commentaries Dec 23, 2019 | Brian Chappell

The Commentaries of Julius Caesar occupy an interesting place in Roman history and literature. They tell of military and political exploits, highlighting victories over backward savages and dainty political haters alike. In this way it reads like a bestselling thriller for popular audiences. But the real goal of all this writing is to present Caesar […]

De Oratore Dec 23, 2019 | Brian Chappell

Unlike Socrates, Plato, and Caesar, Marcus Tullius Cicero may not be a household name. But what makes him famous, beyond his resistance to Caesar, is his carrying on of a tradition that began centuries before in Athens. In Cicero’s Rome, all the kids wanted to grow up to be crack orators. A public life was […]

On Public Dec 20, 2019 | Brian Chappell

Before I began to write this introduction to the On Public series, I re-read the entries I had written for each book. I noticed that a phrase appears in some way in each: “telling the truth truthfully.” I want to spend the bulk of this introduction unpacking (i.e., further exploring for myself) this phrase. We […]