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The Virtues of Captain America

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The first look at the philosophy behind the "Captain America" comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of "Captain America: The Winter Solider" in April 2014. In "The Virtues of Captain America," philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940's comic book character Capta The first look at the philosophy behind the "Captain America" comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of "Captain America: The Winter Solider" in April 2014. In "The Virtues of Captain America," philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940's comic book character Captain America remain relevant to the modern world. Simply put, "Cap" embodies many of the classical virtues that have been important to us since the days of the ancient Greeks: honesty, courage, loyalty, perseverance, and, perhaps most importantly, honor. Full of entertaining examples from more than 50 years of comic books, White offers some serious philosophical discussions of everyone's favorite patriot in a light-hearted and accessible way.Presents serious arguments on the virtues of Captain America while being written in a light-hearted and often humorous toneIntroduces basic concepts in moral and political philosophy to the general readerUtilizes examples from 50 years of comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and other Marvel superheroesAffirms the value of "old-fashioned" virtues for the modern world without indulging in nostalgia for times long passedReveals the importance of the sound principles that America was founded uponPublishing in advance of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier "out in April 2014.


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The first look at the philosophy behind the "Captain America" comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of "Captain America: The Winter Solider" in April 2014. In "The Virtues of Captain America," philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940's comic book character Capta The first look at the philosophy behind the "Captain America" comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of "Captain America: The Winter Solider" in April 2014. In "The Virtues of Captain America," philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940's comic book character Captain America remain relevant to the modern world. Simply put, "Cap" embodies many of the classical virtues that have been important to us since the days of the ancient Greeks: honesty, courage, loyalty, perseverance, and, perhaps most importantly, honor. Full of entertaining examples from more than 50 years of comic books, White offers some serious philosophical discussions of everyone's favorite patriot in a light-hearted and accessible way.Presents serious arguments on the virtues of Captain America while being written in a light-hearted and often humorous toneIntroduces basic concepts in moral and political philosophy to the general readerUtilizes examples from 50 years of comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and other Marvel superheroesAffirms the value of "old-fashioned" virtues for the modern world without indulging in nostalgia for times long passedReveals the importance of the sound principles that America was founded uponPublishing in advance of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier "out in April 2014.

30 review for The Virtues of Captain America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book is ok, but I just couldn't finish it. One of my resolutions for 2020 was that I wouldn't force myself to slog through books that just weren't doing it for me. I usually try to reach the halfway point (which I did with this book) unless there's just something offensive or off color in the book then to the garbage it goes. This book is fine and I could see it being useful or even interesting for some, but it just wasn't my jam. I have a to-read list as long as my arm and a limited number This book is ok, but I just couldn't finish it. One of my resolutions for 2020 was that I wouldn't force myself to slog through books that just weren't doing it for me. I usually try to reach the halfway point (which I did with this book) unless there's just something offensive or off color in the book then to the garbage it goes. This book is fine and I could see it being useful or even interesting for some, but it just wasn't my jam. I have a to-read list as long as my arm and a limited number of days on this orb, so this book will get donated unfinished. If you majored in philosophy in college, or are really into the stoics, this book would probably be of interest to you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Malpass

    I liked the singular author for each chapter/essay in this book. Not all the books in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series have one author, and I prefer to read one voice from start to finish in any nonfiction book. The structure and organization of the individual essays was clear, concise, and had fluidity which then lent itself to the overall composition of the book. While some philosophical concepts were a bit more abstract than others, the relatively short length of the chapters and overall I liked the singular author for each chapter/essay in this book. Not all the books in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series have one author, and I prefer to read one voice from start to finish in any nonfiction book. The structure and organization of the individual essays was clear, concise, and had fluidity which then lent itself to the overall composition of the book. While some philosophical concepts were a bit more abstract than others, the relatively short length of the chapters and overall book made it easy and accessible to read. That said, I do work in academia and have a strong background in philosophy from studying Classics as an undergrad. Aristotle is not new to me and because I was already familiar with other philosophers mentioned throughout the book, like Kant, I didn’t feel like I had to learn the scholarly information in order to understand what was being said. I think a much more casual reader in general and casual fan of Cap might have a more difficult time working through the vernacular specific to philosophical analysis. They might be assisted by the repetitive arguments and examples, but at the same time, repetition can usually work against an author. I thought it did in case of this book. I’m also torn about the singular focus on the character of Steve Rogers. Yes, he is the main image anyone would think of when they hear the name Captain America, but even in 2014 when this book was published, the Marvel Cinematic Universe had established two other possible Caps in Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) and Sam Wilson (Falcon). I understand the need to narrow down a character like Cap who has almost a 60+ year history; however, and this could be because I am a minority, I would have liked to see Cap represented by some of the many other characters that took up the mantle over the decades. I gave this book a 3-star rating. I thought it was interesting to explore a comic book character like Captain America through a more philosophical lens and to question his validity and relevance in today’s world. While only analyzing Steve Rogers and sometimes being a little more than heavy handed with the philosophical concepts (repetition) are drawbacks, I think that fans who want to delve deeper into a modern interpretation of traditional Cap will enjoy this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

    This is an excellent exploration into applied virtue ethics and the relevance of Captain America as an exemplar of noble qualities. I enjoyed Dr. White's writing style - he's very accessible and quickly shows the application of what he's talking about. The only drawback of the book would be that since it seems like a collection of essays, the quoted passages are a little repetitive; you would expect that when he's backing up his own point or reinforcing a previous point, but I would have liked l This is an excellent exploration into applied virtue ethics and the relevance of Captain America as an exemplar of noble qualities. I enjoyed Dr. White's writing style - he's very accessible and quickly shows the application of what he's talking about. The only drawback of the book would be that since it seems like a collection of essays, the quoted passages are a little repetitive; you would expect that when he's backing up his own point or reinforcing a previous point, but I would have liked less repeating of specific examples. All in all, though, especially for a hero that many people think of as outdated, jingoistic or anachronistically silly (and who happens to be my favorite) I needed and enjoyed this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Crimson

    This book did an excellent job uniting the Captain America character (Steve Rogers) and his virtues that most people have overlooked in themselves as the common collective: Liberty, equality, justice proving that you can use comics to teach people things. Citing many different Captain America stories and many different villains with different ideals, White takes you on an incredible journey through philosophy, political theory, comics, and idealism to arrive on what is the essential theme of the This book did an excellent job uniting the Captain America character (Steve Rogers) and his virtues that most people have overlooked in themselves as the common collective: Liberty, equality, justice proving that you can use comics to teach people things. Citing many different Captain America stories and many different villains with different ideals, White takes you on an incredible journey through philosophy, political theory, comics, and idealism to arrive on what is the essential theme of the book: Captain America can teach us about ourselves, though he's over 75 years old. A wonderful read, highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    This is an interesting title linking Captain America and philosophy. It seems to be specifically targetting American readers, although I still found the ideas interesting, and with a broader focus, so they were still interesting to read. It highlights that I need to read more Captain America titles. I had not read anywhere near all the Captain America titles referenced, but context was provided so that this was not necessary.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This was pretty interesting. I admire Cap as a leader and a role model so this kind of book provides a lot of good insight. The last 20 pages or so were lacking... pie-in-the-sky thinking of how the American people can use Cap's ideas to bridge the political, red/blue divide. This was pretty interesting. I admire Cap as a leader and a role model so this kind of book provides a lot of good insight. The last 20 pages or so were lacking... pie-in-the-sky thinking of how the American people can use Cap's ideas to bridge the political, red/blue divide.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vance Gatlin

    Great book. Now I'm Distilling my notes and highlights, enjoying how the same ethical schools of Cap are the closely related to my own. Now to use it to help me on my journey Great book. Now I'm Distilling my notes and highlights, enjoying how the same ethical schools of Cap are the closely related to my own. Now to use it to help me on my journey

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andy Doyle

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  14. 4 out of 5

    E. Zehr

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeromy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Biafra

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Gonzalez

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  20. 5 out of 5

    James Elder

  21. 4 out of 5

    A Z

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Taylor-Ashfield

  23. 5 out of 5

    jade langston

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Atkison

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jake Kline

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Willis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Micah Sybor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elden Griggs

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