How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem

How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem

by Rod Dreher


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The opening lines of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri launched Rod Dreher on a journey that rescued him from exile and saved his life. Dreher found that the medieval poem offered him a surprisingly practical way of solving modern problems.

Following the death of his little sister and the publication of his New York Times bestselling memoir The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Dreher found himself living in the small community of Starhill, Louisiana where he grew up. But instead of the fellowship he hoped to find, he discovered that fault lines within his family had deepened. Dreher spiraled into depression and a stress-related autoimmune disease. Doctors told Dreher that if he didn’t find inner peace, he would destroy his health. Soon after, he came across The Divine Comedy in a bookstore and was enchanted by its first lines, which seemed to describe his own condition.

In the months that followed, Dante helped Dreher understand the mistakes and mistaken beliefs that had torn him down and showed him that he had the power to change his life. Dreher knows firsthand the solace and strength that can be found in Dante’s great work, and distills its wisdom for those who are lost in the dark wood of depression, struggling with failure (or success), wrestling with a crisis of faith, alienated from their families or communities, or otherwise enduring the sense of exile that is the human condition.

Inspiring, revelatory, and packed with penetrating spiritual, moral, and psychological insights, How Dante Can Save Your Life is a book for people, both religious and secular, who find themselves searching for meaning and healing. Dante told his patron that he wrote his poem to bring readers from misery to happiness. It worked for Rod Dreher. Dante saved Rod Dreher’s life—and in this book, Dreher shows you how Dante can save yours.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682450734
Publisher: Regan Arts
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 170,305
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative and the author of Crunchy Cons and The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Post, the Dallas Morning News, National Review, First Things, and the Wall Street Journal, and broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC Radio. He lives in St. Francisville, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Dante? xiii

Part I From the Garden to the Dark Wood 1

1 The Child Is Father to the Man 3

2 There and Back Again-Twice 16

3 The Super Tuscan 36

4 The Rides of the Road 43

Part II Inferno, Or, Why You Are Broken 51

5 The Stories of Our Lives 53

6 Into the Black Hole 64

7 The Tempest 72

8 Uncle Jimmy Versus the Golden Calf 85

9 The Life of Books, the Books of Life 95

10 The Power of the Image 106

11 False Gods and Heretics 117

12 Is Life Ever Not Worth Living? 128

13 The Great and the Good 137

14 Sins of the Fathers 149

15 The End of All Our Exploring 160

16 Out of Egypt 170

Part III Purgatorio, Or, How to Be Healed 181

17 Stand Up and Walk 183

18 The Will to Love 195

19 The Ghost in You 207

20 Pride 215

21 Envy 224

22 Wrath 231

23 Sloth 237

24 Gluttony 246

25 Lust 253

Part IV Paradiso, Or, the Way Things Ought to Be 267

26 Into the Light 269

27 Down by the Riverside 282

Conclusion: How to Make Your Own Dante Pilgrimage 293

Acknowledgments 297

Bibliography 299

Customer Reviews