Friday, February 17, 2017

Follow Friday - The Roman Tetrarchy Was Established by Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius Chlorus, and Galerius in 293 A.D.

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - A GREAT Read.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: What was the first book that moved you? Scared you, made you cry, disturbed your view of the world?

To go back to the first book that really changed how I looked at the world, you have to go back pretty far. I've read a lot of books that made me ponder how I view the world, but I think the first that really did this was The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill, which I first read when I was eight or nine. When I read it, my family had just moved to the suburbs of Washington D.C., before then my father had been a graduate student and I had lived most of my life surrounded by adults for whom getting a postgraduate education was a reality, although most of them were making considerable sacrifices to do so. Up to that point I had always lived in the midwest, first in Indiana, and then in Illinois, as my father's studies moved us about.

The Pushcart War is set quite explicitly in New York City (a place that I only knew of as the setting for the television show Sesame Street), and focuses on pushcart vendors living hardscrabble lives in the shadow of big industry. As I recall, one is explicitly described as being homeless, the others are vaguely described as living in rented rooms, and working all day on the streets of the city. And yet, when the trucking interests try to push them about, they join together to push back. Through the book, the pushcart vendors engage in what amounts to widespread civil disobedience, and even what can only be described as criminal activity - and yet they are the heroes of the story. For eightish year old me, the story challenged my embryonic ideas about how people lived, about how people are valued, and how people relate to authority. This was not the most influential book I have ever read, but it was probably the earliest, or at least the earliest I can remember.

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