Writing a Book is Child’s Play

Being a parent teaches you that you live forward but understand backward, as Kierkegaard claimed. You have to see the world from the standpoint of your children, but you can’t become a child. From that weird perspective, you begin to see your own parents in new ways. At any rate that is what has happened to me. I now see that my parents gave me a love of words, ideas, and arguments. So I give them back a book that came to me as a gift—a book that got written after my son asked me what would happen if I did not write it, and I had to say, “Well, nothing, I guess.” — James Livingston, Acknowledgments to Pragmatism and the Political Economy of Cultural Revolution, 1850-1940

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