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

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  13 reviews
We may have come a long way from the days when a goat as a symbol was saddled with all the iniquities of the children of Israel and driven into the wilderness, but is our desperate need to find some organization or person to pin the blame on and absolve ourselves of responsibility really any more advanced?

Charlie Campbell highlights the plight of all those others who have
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Overlook Books (first published September 1st 2011)
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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
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
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
Yuthipong Sae-jew
Nov 29, 2012 V rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.....
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.
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
Well-written, consummately interesting and truthful, this should be required reading for history and philosophy pupils.
Interesting look at society... got a little tedious towards the end.
Shana Dennis
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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