Consolidated Wisdom

Gene S. Jones

Publisher: Dreamquest Publishing Pages: 368 Price: (paperback) $24.95 ISBN: 9780998324029 Reviewed: March, 2024

With Consolidated Wisdom, Gene S. Jones offers a compendium of quotations concerning various aspects of wisdom. More than just a collection of insights for “speeches, presentations, term papers,” and ‘trivia contests,” Consolidated Wisdom is a kind of guide for tackling life’s challenges. The author hopes his book will help “produce productive behaviors leading to enhanced prosperity and well-being for the entire world population.”

Jones organizes the quotations into 19 categories, some of which pair complementary subjects such as science and technology and others that are comprised of opposites, like war and peace. A few of the topics, such as education, explore just the single subject. Each quotation is attributed, followed by a brief biographical statement about the speaker or writer; these offer the bare minimum, such as the subject’s occupation, to the inclusion of interesting tidbits, such as George S. Patton’s participation in the 1912 Olympic pentathlon. The quotations cover a broad time-period, from the 29th-27th century BC to the present.

At each category’s end, Jones also provides summaries of the section’s basic ideas and what he calls “Wisdom Trails”, showing how some of the quotes connect to quotes in other categories and encouraging readers to experience an “interconnection of all wisdom” by turning to the other categories. This requires more labor, perhaps, than many readers would be willing to give.

Although the quotations Jones has selected are undoubtedly interesting, he often neglects to cite their original sources, leaving readers uncertain about their context or a way to confirm their authenticity. For instance, Quote claims that there’s no credible evidence for Jones’ attribution of this sentence to Caesar: “It is impossible not to become what others believe you are.” The ready inclusion of original sources would make Jones’ book more valuable.

Nevertheless, as it stands, Consolidated Wisdom contains an impressive assortment of sayings which will surely appeal to some quotation collectors.

Author's Current Residence
Katonah, New York