14 September 2010

Write It Down - Notebooks Of Famous Men

The Art of Manliness recently had a fascinating (at least to me) post about notebooks kept by famous men - mostly small, pocket-sized notebooks. Men such as Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, George Patton, Ernest Hemingway and others are discussed. But they missed a couple. Stonewall Jackson for example:

"The maxims--Jackson's self-selected principles of personal conduct and self-improvement--are brief and to the point. They were recorded by the general in a small blue-marbled notebook over a five-year period, starting in 1848, and are largely drawn from the collective practical and philosophical teachings of others who influenced Jackson's life, including Lord Chesterfield, John Bunyan, Joel Parker, O. S. Foster, George Winfred Hervey, and, most significantly to Jackson, the Bible. The notebook disappeared after Jackson's death in 1863. More than 120 years later, in the course of researching a detailed biography of Stonewall Jackson, Robertson uncovered the maxim book while examining other materials in the Davis Collection of Civil War manuscripts at Tulane University." 

As most of you probably know, Bud Robertson wrote a great book about Jackson's notes. The book provides keen insight into Jackson's thinking and passion for self-improvement and self-discipline.

Click here to see a photo of my current notebook of choice.


Scott Manning said...

Richard, interesting post. I will check out that Stonewall book. I can attest that Patton’s journal from World War II, known today as War As I Knew It, is an enthralling read. It is much more refined than a quick notebook though. He recounts the day’s events, provides statistics on his troops and their battles, and of course, offers colorful commentary on everything. He offers a very blunt perspective, which avoids politicking. Very refreshing.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Scott. Yes, the AoM post is quite fascinating. Robertson's book is a great read.

Patton - "blunt" - yeah, that's him! ;o)

Lawrence Underwood said...

I have a copy of Robertson's book. It is a treasure.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Lawrence, good to hear from you. Yes, it is.

Lawrence Underwood said...

Yeah, I've been swamped. I've missed hanging out here.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Welcome back!