By Callie Oettinger
Published: March 7, 2014
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
For The Graduate’s Mr. McGuire, “plastics” was it—that sure-fire, magic-bullet road to riches. A couple of decades later, he might have said “home health care”—and today’s young Benjamin Braddock would perhaps have given him the same confused look, and the same follow-up Q&A would have ensued:
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in [home health care]. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Mr. McGuire seemed like a shiny-object guy, always racing after the buck-making magic bullet du jour. He might have hit it big that way, too—but it’s a long-shot, like investing your paycheck in Powerball tickets. Odds aren’t in your favor.
But what if he had found that passion for the magic bullet within the long term?
Posted in What It Takes
Mac McCallister is our "Agora master"—the key writer for the Agora blog. This list reflects works written by Mac, as well as works he recommends to others for reading.
I know I've left out some great works on this list in particular. Consider it a work in progress, always being updated. If there's a specific title that you'd suggest adding, let me know.
Curious about Alexander? Not sure whether to start with the ancient texts or with modern biographies? My vote is for the old school, then head over to the boatload of excellent and very readable contemporary writings about Alexander.
Penguin Classics and the Loeb Classical Library (which gives the text in Greek on one page and in English on the facing) are the indispensable sources. Pick any and you can't go wrong. But here are the must-reads.
These are just a few of the titles that I've turned to in the past, from authors whose work I admire.
This is the ultimate short list. Hard to decide, but these two are starting points.
The title for this list says it all—golf.
Another short list—big on motivation.