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Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People
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Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  93 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Charlie Campbell highlights the plight of all those others who have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, illustrating how God needs the Devil as Sherlock Holmes needs Professor Moriarty or James Bond needs "Goldfinger."

Scapegoat is a tale of human foolishness that exposes the anger and irrationality of blame-mongering while reminding readers of their own
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by The Overlook Press (first published September 1st 2011)
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Adam Ross
Nov 05, 2015 Adam Ross rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, culture, history
Campbell's work is equal parts interesting and frustrating. Interesting because of many of his historical examples and engaging style. Frustrating because he does not seek to differentiate scapegoating and blame (the two are not the same thing; a scapegoat is an innocent person blamed for something that is the fault of the collective group or guilty party. Victim-blaming is a form of scapegoating, like blaming the way the girl was dressed for sexual assault. Blame is correctly identifying the gu ...more
Alison C
Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People, by Charlie Campbell, is a slight volume that chronicles the human tendency to assign blame for things that go wrong, from blaming animals (the infamous goat, for example) to religious groups (Jews, especially) to entire genders (women, obviously) and also to blame individual people such as Alfred Dreyfus in 1880s France. Although the book tries to develop a common theme about the need to find causes for unexplained negative phenomenon, it's really a ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The idea of scapegoats and our trans-historical dependency on them is a topic which really interests me, so I was particularly pleased to see a book like this in Waterstones.
Unfortunately within the first few chapters I began to grow bored, as I found the book was filled with details that seemed irrelevant and completely off-topic ("The Church was arrogant and out of touch with the common man. Henry VIII put his sexual desire ahead of his kingly duty" - an interesting debate, and quite a broad
Jun 05, 2014 Stella rated it liked it
A interesting collection of historical anecdotes I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys odd historical facts. While students of American history will likely already be familiar with at least some of the material (it'll be no surprise to know the infamous Salem witch trails are included) each example the author gives is covered fairly quickly so old material soon leads on to something new that you likely did not know. Even with all that though the book lost a star over.. well, it's hard to pinpoint a ...more
Nov 22, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it
A quick read, full of humor and interesting information. This book drew my attention because I had recently written an article about playing the blame game in my own life. Glad it caught my eye in the bookstore. I think more people need to be aware of how they themselves blame, as well as our leaders. The more aware all people become, the more we can hold ourselves accountable.
Deborah Beamish
Dec 04, 2015 Deborah Beamish rated it really liked it
"The truth is that we, who pride ourselves on being the most intelligent life-form on earth, are just not quite clever enough fully to understand ourselves or the world around us. This is never more manifest than when we blame others."

Yuthipong Sae-jew
Nov 29, 2012 V rated it liked it
Shelves: z2012
An interesting and- considering the subject- relatively light read. Some chapters seemed to end abruptly... I thought there was considerably more to be said on some of those topics. Also, some chapters were more interesting than others- I really enjoyed the one about witchcraft and the one about scapegoating animals was hilarious, but I found my mind wandering during some of the more abstract sections.
Nov 08, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
Well worth reading. A lot of history on a topic were all guity of "blaming others". Putting pigs on trial, excommunicating horses, snakes grasshoppers anything living or dead that crossed the church or state.
The economics of hunting witches at 20 shillings a conviction no wonder they had so many victims and lot more triva on why the good old days were lousy.....
Aug 23, 2013 Burcu rated it really liked it
Kiliseyi hristiyanligin bas otoritesi olarak gormeyi reddeden, incilin cevirmeni -bence bir nevi kahraman- olan Tyndale'i astirmak icin elinden geleni yapan unlu Ütopya'nin yazari Thomas More'un protestan krali klisenin basi olarak kabul etmemesi sonucu asilmasi... Boyle ilahi adalet simgeleri icinde yasadigimiz bu ilahi komedyayi serinletiyor dogrusu.
Jun 03, 2015 Phakin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ชวงแรกกับชวงทายสนุกดี ชวงกลางๆ เรารูสึกแปลกๆ อาจจะเปนเพราะเรืองทีเราไมไดสนใจเปนทุนเดิม และเบือกับ argument ทีเหนชาวยิวเปนแต แพะรับบาป และไมคอยมีแงมุมที critical ไปกวานัน อานสนุกดี อางอิงนอยไปหนอย ขอมูลทีนาสนใจบางอยางกไมอาง แนหละ มันไมใชหนังสือวิชาการนี ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Tara rated it liked it
An interesting scholarly read revealing some history of the church and of ancient times I did not know. Towards the end, though, I grew tired of the dryness of the material. The author is somewhat humorous, so that helps. No big new conclusions drawn, however, IMHO.
Richard Pierce
Jun 27, 2013 Richard Pierce rated it really liked it
Well-written, consummately interesting and truthful, this should be required reading for history and philosophy pupils.
May 26, 2013 Jill393 rated it liked it
Interesting look at society... got a little tedious towards the end.
Shana Dennis
Jun 06, 2012 Shana Dennis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, morbid
Good read, just wish some of the chapters were longer.
Patrice Tyler
Jun 21, 2012 Patrice Tyler added it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Patrice by: No One
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“The one thing we will not do under any circumstances is accept ourselves as we are. We prefer to find an explanation for why things are not perfect, and these rarely stand up to close scrutiny.” 2 likes
“What starts as satire is so often reborn as propaganda...” 1 likes
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