晨读英语美文 No More Heroes?
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晨读英语美文 No More Heroes?

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No More Heroes?


[00:08.38]Many articles have appeared in recent years, 


[00:13.52]claiming that there are no more heroes in the Western world. 


[00:17.12]The authors say that, 


[00:19.68]particularly in Europe and North America, 


[00:21.96]the young now refuse to admire anyone; 


[00:25.26]that we are living in a world too well informed, 


[00:27.98]too curious and critical for hero worship. 


[00:31.17]The press, books, and television 


[00:34.33]keep showing us the faults of the public figures 


[00:36.94]who could become today's stars, 


[00:39.03]until we lose faith 


[00:40.79]and start looking for defects in any person


[00:43.60] who seems worthy of respect. 


[00:45.38]In a neighbor or a statesman, 


[00:47.89]we try to discover the weaknesses, failures, 


[00:50.96]or ugly motives that are surely hiding


[00:53.76] behind his noblest actions.


[00:55.34]Is it true that we know too much? 


[00:59.49]Were our ancestors lucky to be only partly informed? 


[01:03.86]Those who read the first biographies of Charlemagne, 


[01:08.01]George Washington, Joan of Arc, 


[01:10.42]or other great men and women of the past 


[01:12.51]were not told that their hero had bad breath 


[01:16.23]or disliked his mother; 


[01:17.52]they only found a description of his great accomplishments 


[01:21.37]and their admiration was strengthened. 


[01:23.98]In fact, early biographers didn't hesitate 


[01:27.91]to make up an admirable story or two about their hero. 


[01:31.65]The man who wrote the first biography of Washington, 


[01:35.58]for instance, invented the cherry tree; 


[01:38.30]he admitted later that there was no truth in it, 


[01:41.82]but he said that it was in character 


[01:44.10]and that it would give young men a good example to follow. 


[01:47.06]His readers didn't seem to object; 


[01:50.45]the book was reprinted eighty times  


[01:53.20]a tremendous success in those days.


[01:55.92]Modern biographers do not invent such stories, 


[01:59.74]they respect the facts, 


[02:01.61]as indeed they should. 


[02:02.93]But we pay a price for their truthfulness, 


[02:05.98]for in their efforts to show the whole person, 


[02:09.48]they tell us more than we really need to know


[02:12.80] about private lives, family secrets, and human weaknesses. 


[02:17.03]The true greatness of a fine man 


[02:20.64]is often forgotten in the display; 


[02:22.40]and people lose not only their admiration for him, 


[02:25.66]but their willingness to trust any other star completely.




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