Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Markings”

Why would a middle school student become interested in Dag Hammarskjöld?

I have no idea, but I was, and have through this life held this man and his work in the highest esteem.

Hammarskjöld was the second United Nations secretary-general, appointed in 1953.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, shortly after his death in a plane crash while he was on his way to negotiate peace in the Congo.

That death has been the subject of debate ever since.

“Over the years, multiple claims have been made that the plane was shot down, and that Hammarskjöld was actually killed in an assassination plot involving some combination of the CIA, MI6, a Belgian Mining Company, a South African paramilitary unit, because he was pushing for the Congo’s independence, which would have hurt the interests of any of those forces.[37] Documents suggesting CIA involvement came to light when the South African National Intelligence Agency turned over a file to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission related to the 1993 assassination of Chris Hani, the leader of the South African Communist Party. These documents included an alleged plot to ‘remove’ Hammarskjöld and contained a supposed statement from CIA director Allen Dulles that: ‘Dag is becoming troublesome ... and should be removed.’ However, the authenticity of these documents has not been established.” - Wikipedia

There is no debate about his contribution to the world. He was the peacemaker of his time. John Kennedy said of him, “He was the greatest statesman of our century.”

“Markings” is his private journal that he started in 1925 and wrote in until his death. The book is a mixture of poems and prose.

The entire work conveys Hammarskjöld ‘s lifetime effort to balance and understand his inner spiritual strength with his public work. The book speaks to his struggles and successes in doing so in the most profound ways.

There is nothing here about his specific work with the UN. This is an inner story of a man of the world who strives for self-understanding.

He wrote, “We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it - according to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed - according to the measure of his purity of heart.”

Hammarskjöld was of immense courage and his sacrifice the ultimate, both for the world and for himself.


Love these stories. A friend and reader provided this.

“Cal running back and rising senior Patrick Laird is known for more than just his walk-on career and impressive collection of awards. An avid reader since childhood, Laird isn’t afraid to flaunt his bibliophilia - on the football field and now, in the classroom. With the support of Cal Athletics, he’s using his platform as a standout football player to encourage younger students to pick up a book (or four, or six) this summer.” - California Magazine

It is a 10-question article, the last question is: “Finally, if you could recommend one book, what would it be?”

The answer: “Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow.’ He lives in Berkeley during the summers, so I’m hoping to bump into him!”

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2018 season is his 12th with the club and 33nd covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 7th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March. 180 children participated last year.

* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2018 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blog comments powered by Disqus