By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The varieties of heroism

In my latest for the Guardian, I parse recent incidents in New York and Boston that call into question the meaning of heroism. We should realize that a hero is defined by what someone does, not by who he is.


Welcome back, Bruce


Politics and the BPL (II)


  1. Larz

    I agreed with you, Dan, until I looked up the word in Webster’s: 2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.I have always considered a hero to be someone who put his/her own life at risk in an attempt to save the life of another or achieve a noble goal. But the dictionary speaks more of the quality of character, and others’ perception of that character, rather than a test of the deed performed.Could we be probing too deeply into the spirit of heroism? With apologies to Descartes, “I think (you) are a hero, therefore (you) are.”Larz

  2. Rob

    I read this article today on the Guardian site. It’s the best and most sensible article I’ve seen on the site.

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