Joined: Apr 2008 Posts: 2955 Location: Randolph Center, VT
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Chalice and the Blade
From Booklist Eisler's Chalice and the Blade (1987) has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, proving her own assertion that people are hungry for fresh perspectives on the human condition. In her new book, the bold paradigm-challenger continues her quest for a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural, spiritual, and political forces that drive us by exploring the complex realm of intimate relationships and posing some startling questions about our attitudes toward pain and pleasure, sex and spirituality. Why, Eisler asks, did sex, once the "sacred gift of the Goddess," become synonymous with evil? Why did veneration for women and their capacity for sustaining life change into such contempt and loathing? As Eisler traces the path of this destructive and pervasive bias, she reveals just how adverse its effect has been on every aspect of human life. Eisler makes some stunning points in this strongly argued, well-supported, and mind-stretching narrative, then urges us to imagine viable alternatives to the "sacralization of pain" and the "eroticism of violence" that stand in such stark and baffling contrast to our inherent "yearning for connection" and our aptitude for love. This is a gutsy and very important book. Donna Seaman
Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 6872 Location: Luray, Virginia
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All right, are you ready for this one? Confrontation can be good! Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is getting a lot of attention. It appears to be a challenging book, I mean for people like me who aren't predisposed to his point of view. Amazon rating: 157, 5-star reviews out of 244. Here is a 3-star review that I thought was a reasonable recommendation:
"At this point, I'm only about two thirds of the way through Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. So far, I've found the book to be fascinating. Growing up thinking that "this is just how things are", or hearing the sanitized (or romanticized) versions of recent history, it's really good to see the origins of "liberal" or "progressive" thought, its connection to the fascist or Nazi world view and the context of certain events -- like the unrest and the Great Society agenda of the 1960s.
The author approaches the subject of Liberal Fascism with considerable thoroughness. That is good, because you can get a very good sense of how things fit together, looking at things from several different angles and in different contexts. However, by the time I got halfway through the book, a lot of things were starting to sound very familiar. Since I'm not an historian, I almost wish I had waited for the Readers Digest version to come out.
The author also makes very strong links between the progressives of the early 1900s and the liberal politics of today. And, while you can draw a straight line through these respective agendas, I think the author might be overstating the links. However, as he states, "even when motives and arguments change, the substance of the policy remains in its effects" (p. 276).
All-in-all, I think this book is well worth the time it takes to read it. Certainly, anyone from the Right would gain insights from this book; but, those from the Left could also benefit from the historical perspective of his or her own political view. I think this book would be a great textbook for a college course on political history, and would provide valuable insights into a study of 20th Century American History.
Joined: May 2002 Posts: 16400 Location: Florida
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I've looked through this entire thread and see that there are some really great suggestions. There were a total of 15 books suggested with 5 books receiving at least 3 positive comments by different members. Those 5 books will all appear on the next poll.
I'm going to lock this thread so no further suggestions are made. Then I will create a poll thread where we will vote on our next non-fiction book selection.
The 5 books that will appear on the poll are:
The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture by Richard DeGrandpre
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
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